This ride traverses most of the Cliatt Creek Nature Trail Loop
and Rock Dam Trail
. It features a number of creek crossings and other features that will keep advanced riders interested, yet the advanced features are not so plentiful that the trails can't be ridden by beginners and intermediates.
Bring $5 for the entrance/parking fee (or better your annual state parks pass).
The Cliatt Creek Nature Trail Loop
starts across the road from the main parking lot. The first 0.1 mi climbs until you reach the main road into the park; then it is relatively flat going on a pine straw covered dirt track following the Cliatt Creek Nature Trail Loop
until you reach Cliatt Creek. Cross the bridge over the creek to begin the Rock Dam Trail
which follows Cliatt Creek for a short distance.
Rock Dam Trail
is definitely more advanced than Cliatt Creek Nature Trail Loop
with several creek crossings. These will keep advanced ridees on their toes, but others might get wet toes. After about two miles, you'll enter a gully ride that takes you down towards the rock dam over an unnamed creek. At the entrance to the gully, there is another trail that branches off to the left, but the main trail actually goes through the gully.
If you haven't ridden the rock dam before, you'll definitely want to scout it before as it is probably only rideable by experts. Keep in mind the dam will be slick where it's covered by water. After the dam, a short climb begins before a fun, steep but too short descent towards the Clarks Hill Lake.Shortly after the descent, you'll reach a creek and follow it until you see the sign for the trail crossing. There are several places where it looks like the trail might cross the creek, but there is only one official crossing.
After the creek crossing, the Rock Dam Trail
continues back towards the lake. After you pass the lake for the second time, you'll rejoin the Cliatt Creek Nature Trail Loop
which takes you back to the main parking area. This section features some climbing on heavily rooted, cross-sloped trail with some off-camber sections, but nothing too difficult.
Once you cross the main park road on Cliatt Creek Nature Trail Loop
, the trail becomes an easy ride through the forest. First it descends toward the lake, and then you have just two short climbs back to the main parking lot.