A Bicycle Trip through Umstead Park

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2 - A Few Challenging Side-Trails

Just a small digression before we continue to Umstead Park, for those who prefer the challenge of more difficult singletrack.

This small geological survey map shows the Black Creek Trail (yellow) along with three challenging trails used by offroad bicyclists in this area. The large road passing through the center of the map is I-40. The intersection at the lower right is North Harrison, and the dashed road across the bottom of the map is Weston Parkway.

You can find more detailed descriptions of these and other local trails at www.mtbreview.com.

The three technical trails are shown in different colors.

  • Green: R o c k y    R o a d - Probably the most technical in the NC Piedmont. Don't try it unless you're ready. Just about anyone with a decent MTB can point you in the right direction to find this trail. One large loop with a few side loops, and some stunts as well.
  • Orange: S l u d g e    T r a i l - Fairly challenging but shorter. Named for the fact that it goes past a wastewater treatment facility, which your nose will confirm. Most people ride this east to west; I'm told it's difficult to take in the other direction.
  • Purple:  S c r u b    T r a i l - The line shown is only a rough estimate. This has also been called the tick trail (inspect yourself carefully for them, especially in the Spring) and the I B M  trail, because one end of it is near their large building on Winstead Ave. You can also start just past the bottom of the bridge on Old Reedy Creek, at which point it leads up a challenging hill. Recent bad weather has dropped some large trees across the trail so there's not much "flow" left here.
(8) If you go through the gate from the Black Creek Trail onto old Reedy Creek, you may wonder what this interesting trailhead is on the other side of Old Reedy Creek, a few dozen yards down. This served as the main entrance for R o c k y R o a d for a number of years, and provided a very challenging introduction. Shortly after the trail enters the woods it drops sharply down to the creek's edge. After twenty yards or so it veered up a very steep escarpment that required a lot of speed to achieve; falter, and you'd wind up back at the bottom. From there it traveled around a narrow berm for several feet with a sharp dropoff on the right. Unfortunately erosion completely overcame these challenges and has made them unusable. While you can still get to this trail its entrances are further along the road, past I-40. Ask a local rider for the specifics.
(9) A look down the first hill past the entrance shown above. I was first learning to ride offroad when I tried this trail. It was a great introduction to the sport.

Next: The Umstead Trails

Text and photos are Copyright 2002 © by Scott Chilcote.

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