Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mountain Biking in the CEF

Ever since Atlanta hosted the first Olympic Mountain Biking events during the 1996 Summer Games, the sport has taken a foothold in the Southeast. The Upstate is a great spot for mountain biking with its rugged terrain, sweet weather and cool trails. Some folks even imagine a day when folks in Atlanta could hop on a train to the Upstate, use mass transit or rent a car to get to their destination, and make it a weekend get-a-way.

Clemson's Experimental Forest is open to mountain biking. Certain trails are well suited to the needs, demands and desire of mountain bike enthusiasts. (Others are not as well suited.) Of course, when in a national, state or local forest, one should always tread lightly and care for the Forest - the "take only photos, leave only footprints" mentality. Enjoy the ride, but make sure to take any trash or belongings with you.

Mountain bikers aren't the only ones using the Forest. Hikers, hunters, fisher(wo)men, horseback riders, Boy Scouts and other community groups use the forest. (Keep a look out for these guys on the trail!) Some community spaces and multi-day events require a reservation to help track usage and maintenance. But many of the trails are open to during most of the year, closing or restricting access only during various hunting seasons. Trails should be marked or a sign should be posted when restricted access is requested.

Enjoy the Forest - and other natural places in the Upstate - on your mountain bike. Ride hard, but take care of the trails.

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