Monday, March 28, 2011

20 Trails from My 2011 Trail Wishlist

Photo by GoldenGoose via
I have a personal goal of riding at least 1,000 different trails in my lifetime. In addition, I aim to ride in all 50 states, at least 1 Canadian province, and somewhere overseas (among other things). Of course, when I reach 1,000 trails I'm going to just shoot for 2,000... but here area few trails on my wishlist for the 2011 season as I slowly roll towards the 1,000 trail mark:

  1. Bent Creek, Asheville, NC: This one has been near the top of my to-do list for a long time now. I've had many friends tell me how killer this system is and how great the camping is as well. My wife and I are planning on taking a weekend trip up here sometime this spring.
  2. Big Mountain: Runaway Train, Whitefish, Montana: I have ridden several of the older trails at Big Mountain including the Summit Trail, but just before I left Montana the resort completed construction of a new, downhill-only trail: "Runaway Train." With jumps and drops galore, I've just gotta hit it!
  3. Black Mountain, Brevard, NC: Since I made this list, I have actually ridden this trail. The gnarliness of the descent lived up to all of the things that I've heard about it!
  4. Blankets Creek, Woodstock, GA: This trail is incredibly popular with everyone in Atlanta, and since it is only just over an hour a way, I really should have ridden it by now, just to see what all of the hype is about. Of course, I've heard that it really isn't all that good in the grand scheme of things... but I want to ride it anyway, just to say that I have.
  5. Blue Sky, Fort Collins, CO: I rode some of the other trails connecting to Blue Sky when I was last in Colorado, but I have yet to ride this specific trail. Next time I'm out there (which will hopefully be this summer), this one is going down!
  6. Centennial Trail, Sturgis, SD: Ever since reading a feature article in BikeMag about how epic and undiscovered the mountain biking in the Black Hills is, I have wanted to journey out there to see for myself. Hopefully I'll get the chance this year!
  7. Colorado Trail: Kenosha Pass to Georgia Pass, CO: I have ridden the lesser-renowned counterpart to this trail which lies just across the highway, but I have yet to ride this route. Since this is section is much more famous, that seems kind of backwards. I really want to remedy this.
  8. Copper Harbor Trails, Copper Harbor, MI: These trails look truly epic! I have visited Copper Harbor many times in the winter, so I know that the area is truly beautiful. All that is left is for me to visit it in the summer!
  9. Dupont State Forest, Brevard, NC: Since I initially compiled this list, I have been able to make my way up and ride Dupont. In brief: yes, the slickrock is as much fun as everyone says it is!
  10. Fort Ord Public Lands, Monterey, CA: I rode Fort Ord during last year's Sea Otter Classic, but there were so many trails out there that I simply didn't have the time to explore. This year, I want to further investigate this massive trail system.
  11. Georgia International Horse Park, Conyers, GA: This is the one of the few trails in Georgia that I have heard rave reviews of that I still have yet to ride. While it definitely doesn't have as much slickrock as Dupont, I have heard that it does have a couple of cool sections of it.
  12. Hanging Dog, Murphy, NC: I really don't know if these trails are worth riding or not, which is why I want to find out. I drive through Murphy quite often on my way to Tsali or Fontana. I really need to stop here one of these times.
  13. Kitsuma, Black Mountain, NC:Really, I want to ride every trail in Pisgah National Forest! And according to the guidebooks, this is one of the best.
  14. Lowes Creek, Eau Claire, WI: This trail is really close to my hometown of Neillsville, WI, and every since BikeMag named it as the quintessential Wisconsin mountain bike trail, I have wanted to ride it to see if it was really all that.
  15. Oak Mountain State Park, Birmingham, AL: Alabama is only a couple of hours away, and I still haven't ridden there. By all accounts, Oak mountain is the best trail in the state. Therefore, I want to ride it.
  16. Pinhoti: Snake Creek, Dalton, GA: Again, this is one of the few epic trails in the state of Georgia that I have yet to ride. I have heard reports of insane rock gardens and how this is one of the most technical trails ever... Honestly, it might be technical, but that doesn't mean it's unrideable. I want to show up and dominate this trail.
  17. Racoon Mountain, Chatanooga, TN: I have seen numerous, gorgeous photos (see above) from this trail system, and since I haven't ridden in Tennessee yet, I need to get up here ASAP!
  18. Santos, Ocala, FL: Santos is renowned as one of the best trail systems in Florida, and it contains several wicked jump sections and big cliff drops. I want to session this place on my Taka so bad!
  19. Snowshoe Bike Park, Snowshoe Mountain, WV: Simply put, Snowshoe is one of the best downhill mountain biking resorts east of the Rocky Mountains.
  20. Tanasi, Ocoee, TN: I've heard some decent reviews of this trail system, and it really isn't all that far away from Dahlonega. Again, I still have not ridden in Tennessee... this needs to be remedied!
    So those are just a few of the trails that I would like to ride. I may ride more, I may ride less. I may ride a totally different set of trails than these (and it is already looking like I will). There is really no way to know where God will direct my life and my mountain biking this year. But of course, that's half the fun!

    Your Turn: 
    What trails are on your wishlist this year? Please share in the comments section below!


      Unknown March 28, 2011 at 10:19 AM  

      Cool list man... i myself wouldn't mind going to Slaughter Pen in Bentonville, Arkansas. Whistler, Snow Shoe, Keystone... etc :)

      J.B.,  March 28, 2011 at 2:19 PM  

      Long Horse Cane Trail

      Misteletoe Trail

      Blankets Creek


      Jeremy(GoldenGoose),  March 28, 2011 at 5:17 PM  

      From what I have heard, you may want to hold off on riding Kitsuma for a year or two to let it get "back to nature". Apparently the federal gov decided to fund some "trail maintenance" on the trail and it turned out to basically be a bulldozer job. Many people have been complaining that it totally changed the feel of the trail. Having ridden it about a year ago, I can say 1st hand that it needed NO change and was superb. Haven't seen the new changes myself but what I have read on the SORBA and MTBR forums have NOT been positive in any way. I can only hope it'll regain some of the old charm so many people say it has lost.

      Greg Heil March 28, 2011 at 5:24 PM  

      @Jordans_tiger, Haha yeah I would love to hit Whistler and Keystone, but don't think I'm going to be able to swing it this year!

      @J.B., Nice list... Pisgah is where its at!

      @Jeremy, Thanks for the heads up. I hate it when they do that...... that sounds like such a sad situation!

      AJ Heil March 28, 2011 at 10:52 PM  

      Coincidence? Remember last year when I pointed you to the new trails in Copper Harbor? I was going to take a trip with some buddies last summer before I broke my hand....

      Turns out we're doing it this summer instead! Let me know if you want to synchronize the trip.

      It also looks like I'll have to get over to Lowes Creek - I didn't know there were worth-while trails over there!


      bikepirate March 29, 2011 at 5:12 PM  

      I would recommend the following trails, 2 in New Zealand and 1 in Canada. Although some of the best riding in the world is in Canada, so you might want to consider doing a few here. My three picks for you:

      1) Makara Peak MTB Park, Wellington, NZ (

      2) Pan Pac Eskdale MTB Park: Napier, NZ (

      3) Prospector Trail: Exshaw, AB, Canada (


      Greg Heil March 31, 2011 at 8:24 AM  

      @AJ, Hmm, I would love to... don't know if I'll be able to, though. But keep me posted!

      @Bikepirate, Thanks for the recommendations, I would love to ride them! Although I don't know if I'll be able to drop the kind of money required to make it to those trails. :D

      dgaddis March 31, 2011 at 12:07 PM  

      Greg, you should do the Black Bear Rampage this year! It was my favorite race last year. It's on the Brush Creek and Tanasi trail systems. 40 miles, I think there is also a 25 mile option. The 40 miler isn't too bad though, I really enjoyed it. It's nice having all the turns marked and stocked SAG stops when riding somewhere new!

      Greg Heil March 31, 2011 at 11:51 PM  

      Hey dgaddis, thanks for the recommendation, that sounds like a fun ride! I will definitely have to look into it. Do you remember when it was last year?

      dgaddis April 1, 2011 at 11:18 AM  

      Looks like the date for this year is Spetember 11th.

      The entry fee is $100, but includes a VERY cool jersey. So it's kind of like buying a jersey and getting to race for free.

      Greg Heil April 1, 2011 at 12:43 PM  

      You can always use another jersey....

      bikepirate April 1, 2011 at 5:33 PM  

      I know that NZ is pricey and a bit of a trip - well worth it if you can do - but if that's not on the agenda, you must come to Canada for some great riding. Let me know if you decide on visiting Canada and I'll be happy to show you around.
      Happy Trails!

      Greg Heil April 4, 2011 at 12:24 PM  

      Hey man, thanks for the offer... I may take you up on that sometime! I've skied in Canada once, but haven't been up with my mountain bike yet...

      Post a Comment



      Blog Archive

      About Me

      My photo
      Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

      About This Blog

      Mountain biking, plain and simple. Trail reviews, ride reports, and philosophical musings induced by delirium from grinding up way too many vertical feet.

      Read More

        © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

      Back to TOP