If ever there was a trail to learn the three Rs of mountain biking - roots, ruts and rocks - Beaver Run in Hickory Knob State Resort Park is it. This 2.5-mile out-and-back single-track trail is an easy ride with plenty of natural obstacles to ratchet up the excitement.
The trail begins in the woods across the parking lot from the lodge, traversing gently rolling terrain shaded by pine and oak trees. From the get-go, this fun run dishes up all the basic elements of a mountain biking trail. You've got your roots, your fallen tree limbs, your scattered rocks and those wild ditches that will send you flying down and up before you can say "woohoo!"
Add to that a switch-back or two, some zigzagging sections and the always hair-raising squeeze through two close trees and you've got yourself an hour of adrenalin-pumping adventure.
The trail winds along the shore of the scenic Lake Thurmond, offering occasional views of the water through the thicket. But who's looking when you've got Mother Nature throwing assorted impediments your way.
When you come out of the woods in view of the sign for the skeet shooting range, it's time to stop, catch your breath and turn around for a repeat of the ride, only in reverse.
You don't need more than basic riding skills to have a rollicking good time on this trail. Advanced cyclists can speed things up for a more extreme ride. Be aware, all of the trails in Hickory Knob State Resort Park are open to hikers, so be on the lookout for wayward walkers.
Once you've mastered Beaver Run, you can move up to the next level of fun - Lakeview Loop. I'll tell you more about that mountain biking trail in my next blog post.
For more information on Hickory Knob State Resort Park and its three mountain biking trails, click here or call (864) 391-2450.