Everything You Need to Know about Mountain Biking With Kids in Upstate, SC

Greenville has made headlines and received national recognition for the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System, but did you know the Upstate is also well-known for its mountain biking? With a dozen parks to choose from, there are options for all skill levels. Recently, KAG contributor Liene set out to compile a list of the best places to get some dirt under your tires!

This article includes:
Places to Go Mountain Biking in Greenville County, SC
Places to Go Mountain Biking in Spartanburg, SC
Mountain Biking in South Carolina State Parks
Mountain Biking on the Palmetto Trail
More Upstate, SC Mountain Bike Trails and Parks

My family recently explored a few Upstate bike parks and trails with the goal of finding some new favorites. Having ridden the same local trails numerous times, the boys were getting bored. As parents, we also felt that reaching out beyond the familiar would boost their skill levels by giving them a bit of a challenge. That being said, we have one little that still needs a bit more experience before being set loose on his own, and a newborn – which means mom is hiking along more often than she’s on two wheels. With all those factors in mind, I set out to put together a list of places to go mountain biking with kids in the Upstate.

Town Creek Mountain Biking
Town Creek Bike Park, Pickens, SC

Choosing A Mountain Biking Trail

A factor that comes into play when we are choosing a park is whether there is an admission fee. If we are headed out for a quick bike ride, I would rather go to a free course – and save the parks with admission for a time we can spend the whole day there. I also pay attention to the difficulty level listed; for this article difficulty ratings are listed according to MTB Project.

Remember: always wear a helmet, ride within your ability, follow the local regulations, and respect trail and park closures.

Places to Go Mountain Biking in Greenville County

Sliding Rock Creek Trail

This mile of mountain bike trail is just off the Swamp Rabbit Trail, providing some urban trail that gives you the “out in the woods” feels.

  • Entrance fee: none
  • Difficulty level: easy to intermediate

Riverbend Equestrian Park

There are 74 acres with numerous natural-surface trails open to mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding at this county park.

  • Entrance fee: none
  • Difficulty level: easy to intermediate

Pleasant Ridge County Park

Over 6 miles of trail are located in this former state park that is located just off scenic Highway 11 in Cleveland.

  • Entrance fee: none
  • Difficulty level: mostly intermediate, with a few sections of easy and difficult

Bike Skills Flow Park at Gateway Park

Just off the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Travelers Rest, the bike park at Gateway has a pump track in addition to a technical flow track. The trail progression with the various challenges and terrains is designed to introduce riders to the sport while sharpening their skills. Bonus: littles can play on the playground while older children ride on the course.

  • Entrance fee: none
  • Difficulty level: easy to difficult

Lakeside Loops

Lakeside Park offers three trails that are linked with a central hub for a total of 6 miles.

Entrance fee: none
Difficulty level: easy to intermediate

Spartanburg Mountain Biking Trails

Vic Bailey Subaru Bike Park

Vic Bailey Subaru Bike Park is located off the Mary Black Rail Trail near South Pine Street. The park has features for bikers of all skill levels including a pump track, dirt jump area, a boulder garden, and a perimeter trail.

Duncan Park Bike Trails

Six miles of trail in the woods of Duncan Park feature plenty of jumps and pump turns.

  • Entrance fee: none
  • Difficulty level: easy to intermediate

Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve/Cottonwood Trail

This 116-acre urban preserve and trail system is located minutes from downtown Spartanburg.

  • Entrance fee: none
  • Difficulty level: easy to intermediate

Holston Creek Bike Park

The park is located in Inman and is managed by the Spartanburg County Parks Department. In addition to the mountain bike course, the park also has a disc golf course and a playground.

  • Entrance fee: none
  • Difficulty level: intermediate

Mountain Biking in South Carolina State Parks

Paris Mountain State Park

The Paris Mountain trails were the first trails my boys went mountain biking on! With 15 miles of hiking/biking trails in the park, there are sections appropriate for all skill levels. Please note that biking is not allowed on any of the trails on Saturdays.

  • Entrance fee: yes
  • Difficulty level: easy to difficult

Croft State Park

Bike one or all of the more than 20 miles of mountain biking trails in the park! The multi-use Croft Passage of the Palmetto Trail is also located within the park.

  • Entrance fee: yes
  • Difficulty level: mostly intermediate with a few difficult trails mixed in

Sadlers Creek State Park

The loop bike trail is 6 miles long with a trail rating of easy. Its location near I-85 makes this an appealing choice for residents of Anderson.

  • Admission fee: yes
  • Difficulty level: easy
Stumphouse Bike Park Trail
Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park

Mountain Biking on the Palmetto Trail

Stumphouse Mountain Passage and Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park

The 1.5-mile passage of the Palmetto Trail is a multi-use connector that serves as the gateway to the 10+ miles of mountain bike trail within Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park.

Oconee Passage

From Oconee State Park to Oconee Station State Historical Site, the passage drops about 1,000 feet for a challenging, one-way descent from ridgeline to cove.

  • Entrance fee: Oconee State Park yes, none at Oconee Station SHS
  • Difficulty level: intermediate/difficult

Croft Passage

The 12.6-mile Croft Passage is shared by hikers, cyclists, and equestrians! Please be advised that the bridge near the southern terminus washed out in February and has yet to be replaced.

  • Entrance fee: yes
  • Difficulty level: difficult

Blackstock Battlefield Passage

Four miles of nature trails, camping, and first-rate mountain biking along a remote section of the Tyger River where Revolutionary War patriots defeated the British.

  • Entrance fee: none
  • Difficulty level: intermediate/difficult

Enoree Passage

The 36-mile Passage along with the numerous trails on the Enoree Ranger District of Sumter National Forest provide extensive opportunity to experience biking on natural surfaces.

Town Creek biking
Town Creek Bike Park

More Trails and Bike Parks

Town Creek Bike Park

This is a local favorite in Pickens, SC! With everything from a pump track, dirt jumps, wall climbs, rollers, and singletrack, the park also has a multi-use paved trail that is great for the little ones to ride while their older siblings are on the mountain bike trails. A signed waiver is required.

Central SWU Bike Trails

This brand-new trail system in Central has more than six miles of singletrack tucked into the forest next to Southern Wesleyan University’s Central, SC campus. Open to hiking as well as biking, the park is open 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset.

  • Entrance fee: none
  • Difficulty level: easy to difficult

Clemson Experimental Forest

The trail system is divided into three primary areas: Fant’s Grove, Issaqueena/Keowee Heights, and Todd’s Creek. The trails are a component of a working forest used for teaching, research, and extension education for natural resource management while also allowing for recreational use. With dozens of routes to choose from, there is something for everyone.

  • Entrance fee: none
  • Difficulty level: from easy to difficult

Overmountain Victory Trail, Lake Whelchel

This 6.7-mile trail in Gaffney is part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail which traces the route used by the patriot militia during the Kings Mountain campaign of 1780.

  • Entrance fee: none
  • Difficulty level: easy to difficult

Find More Bike Trails in Upstate, South Carolina

For learning more about individual trails and parks, I have found MTB Project to be a valuable resource. In addition to descriptions and photos of many of the trails, there are also ratings and recommendations to help choose a destination.

Another good resource is Bike Upcountry SC.

What are your favorite places to go mountain biking in the Upstate? Let us know if we missed anything!

Liene
About the Author
Mother of four young boys, Liene is constantly on the move since returning to Greenville in 2012. Whether she’s exploring the state parks and natural areas of the Carolinas or teaming up with other moms to organize activities for the kids, she’s always searching for the next adventure in the Upstate. For everything from hiking, travel, cooking and crafts to multicultural & global education posts, visit her blog, http://FemmeauFoyer2011.blogspot.com.

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