Bike the Lakeview Loop at Hickory Knob

By:Marie McAden

Date:9/10/2011

After warming up on the Beaver Run Trail in Hickory Knob State Resort Park, I was geared up to take on the rugged Lakeview Loop, a mountain biking favorite of visitors to the Little River Blueway Outdoor Adventure Area in Sumter National Forest.

This 7.2-mile rock ‘em sock ‘em MTB trail could be classified as extreme — extreme fun. We’re talking rollercoaster rush extreme.

I lost count of the number of dips and drops this bad boy delivers in just the first 30 minutes. Plunging down one side of a ditch and flying up the other offers all the thrills of your classic wood coaster. Only there’s no track keeping you on the trail.

Some of the gullies were scary steep with rocky banks and rough ruts adding to the challenge. The second half of the trail featured several double drops. I had barely regained my breath coming out of one ditch before I was plummeting down another.

Like Beaver Run, Lakeview Loop offers several threading-the-needle passes through trees. But on this maniacal trail, the pines and oaks are so close together, I felt sure I was going to scrape off bark with my handlebars.

I’ve always had a healthy respect for gravity, so I mostly kept my tires on terra firma. But for those so inclined, you can catch some serious airtime on this trail.

For all its heart-pumping features, Lakeview Loop also happens to be one of the most scenic trails I’ve ever had the pleasure of riding. The route follows the shoreline of Lake Thurmond and its many coves, offering beautiful water views at every turn.

You’ll ride over cedar and hardwood ridges, through young oak woods, towering pine stands and open grassy inlets. I stopped several times along the run to enjoy the vistas and walk along the shore. If you need a break, slip off your shoes and take a refreshing dip in one of the quiet, sandy back coves.

Lakeview is one of those trails you can ride again and again just for the thrills. Like the Terminator, I’ll be back.

Want to learn more about Hickory Knob State Resort Park and its three mountain biking trails? Click here or call (864) 391-2450.

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