South Mountain State Park MTB Loop
ElevationAscent: 2,342' 714 m
Descent: -2,343' -714 m
High: 2,786' 849 m
Low: 1,343' 409 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 28% (16°)
Popular rides nearby
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13.1 mi 21.1 km • Loop • 607 ft Ascent 184.99 m Ascent
Fonta Flora Barnburner
29.9 mi 48.2 km • Loop • 2,349 ft Ascent 715.87 m Ascent
Loose Mountain Loop
10.7 mi 17.2 km • Loop • 1,269 ft Ascent 386.74 m Ascent
7.4 mi 11.8 km • Loop • 1,438 ft Ascent 438.36 m Ascent
Woods Mountain Loop
24.9 mi 40.1 km • Loop • 3,381 ft Ascent 1030.48 m Ascent
“A great workout. Strenuous/hard climbs and fast descents on washed out forestry roads.”— Freddie Carpenter
Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown
This area really functions as a single trail, be aware no other trails are open to bikes. Only the loop.
Need to Know
HQ is the first climb and is a good example for the ride to come. You'll be along the ridge line and the trail will continue with moderate climbs and descents. At the T intersection with Upper Falls Trail go right. Right is the most used direction for the loop.
Continue straight on Upper Falls Trail for 1.9 miles. You'll pass a few trails, keep going to Lower CCC Trail intersection.
Turn left on Lower CCC trail and continue 2 miles to Benn Knob Trail intersection.
Benn Knob Trail will continue straight ahead for 2.9 miles to crest of Benn Knob . Go around the gate, soon the trail will intersect with Raven Rock Trail.
Take sharp left turn onto Raven Rock Trail, Part of Raven Rock Trail is paved. Other paved roads will lead down mountain to your right however these are very steep and are a dead end. Stay on Raven Rock Trail. Continue 3.1 miles, after pavement stops you'll pass Saddleback Trail on your right. You'll come back to Upper Falls Trail on your left. Take a left onto Upper Falls and continue straight.
After 0.5 mile, you'll have a wet river crossing. Then pass through Upper Falls Campsites. Just past the campsites, the trail will split 45 meters ahead.
The High Shoals Waterfall will be to your right and bikers can park and walk down to the top of the falls. Continue left on Upper Falls for 1.2 miles. This is the hardest climb of the ride. As you are coming to the crest of this trail you can look to your left to see Benn Knob and the ridge line you just came across. Soon you'll come down a grade to the intersection with HQ (Headquarters Trail).
Turn right onto Headquarters Trail descending 2.4 miles back down to the Jacob Fork Parking Area. This descent will be steep for 1.2 miles.
History & Background
Land Manager: North Carolina State Parks