This route covers most of the singletrack in the park and offers some great climbs and descents. Paris Mountain is a great ride sure to quickly hush any nay-sayers that either don't know about or don't believe in the great mountain bike experiences on offer in South Carolina.
Expect to be smiling from ear to ear after completing this routes many fun and extended climbs and descents.
After entering the park at the south end, park in one of the first three parking areas. Pedal up the paved road, pass the large lakeside park center and turn right down a steep side road immediately thereafter. Head toward a small gazebo that marks the Mountain Creek
trailhead and houses a bike maintenance station.
Start pedaling down the smooth-riding Mountain Creek
trail and pass both the entrance to Turtle Trail
and the amphitheater. After a little over a mile of riding, keep right and begin up the Sulphur Springs
trail. Sulphur Springs
gains about 500 vertical feet over the course of a mile and a half. The grade steepens as the trail progresses but well built switchbacks keep it easily manageable. The trail surface rolls quickly and features some roots and rocks to keep the climb interesting.
Once you top out, stay left at a junction and descend to the road. Cross the road, enter the adjacent parking lot and head for the trailhead information kiosk. Keep left at the kiosk and pedal up the mellow and smooth Sulphur Springs - Upper
trail. This portion of trail is an old roadbed that has been reverted to singletrack. A gradual grade and a smooth riding surface make this an easy climb. At the next junction, stay straight onto Fire Tower
trail which continues in the character of Sulphur Springs - Upper
A brief jaunt on Fire Tower
brings you to another junction where you'll turn tight onto Kanuga Connector
. Once you hit Kanuga
, turn left and get ready for an extremely entertaining mile-long descent. Weave your way through numerous rock and root outcroppings until you bottom out at the lake. Turn left onto North Lake
trail and take in the great views as you partially circumnavigate the lake.
Once you reach a junction with Pipsissewa
, turn left and begin climbing back up the mountain. Soon after, keep right to enter onto Brissy Ridge - Upper
which is a technically challenging climb featuring prominent root and rock obstacles at high frequency. This trail will offer some degree of challenge for riders of most all skill levels. Keep left at a junction with Kanuga
. Once you reach the top and a junction with Sulphur Springs - Upper
, retrace your steps and cross the road to re-enter Sulphur Springs
After a very brief climb on Sulphur Springs
, you are rewarded with a smooth, flowing descent almost all of the way back to the parking lot. Enjoy the speed and flow of banked switchbacks but be very cautious of and courteous to other trail users.