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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We used to enter the Horsepasture area just north of Rocky Bottom (which is north of Pickens, SC) and ride dirt bikes. I recall riding all the way through and up over Jumping Off Rock for a great view of Toxaway Lake. If memory serves, that road came out near Chapman's Covered Bridge which was burned down by a group of drunken teenagers years ago.

Can anyone out there tell me about the mountain-biking in Horsepasture now? I am sure the main road is still graveled and that might be a good place to go when all the singletracks are too wet to ride. Has anyone MTBed that road lately? And are any of the small, ungraveled roads off the main road still accessible or are they now closed?

Many thanks. :D :D :D
 

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The horsepasture area is a great place to ride. miles and miles of rolling (and steep) gravel roads. There is some 'singletrack' but not enough to make it a destination. The Foothills travel cuts thru - but it is off limits to bikes.

Start at Laurel Valley, north of Rocky Bottom and ride in the long uphill gravel road. There will be a split a few miles in, go either way and you can circle around. There are some cool descents (and the appropriate climbs) off the main road. Get a map at the store at the Hwy 11 and 178: they aren't great but it suffices.

You also have to be wary of entering restricted areas owned by land developers keeping there property safe from the two-wheeled menace. Motorbikes, ATV's and Jeeps often use the roads so watch out for them too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks very much for the info. When I was just a kid I hunted deer and black bear with my dad and his friends in Horsepasture. I never got a deer there but I bagged a very large bear. A reporter with the Pickens Sentinel came out and they ran a story and photo of me with the bear. That was before Toxaway lake and we camped down in the valley where the two rivers came together.

Years later my wife and I occasionally rode dirt birkes there and the last time we rode, the entire valley was being bulldozed in pareparation for filling the lake. At the time I lived in Liberty and we always went in at Laurel Valley. There were two exits on the other end. One came out near Chapman's Bridge that I mentioned and the other was an extremely rough Jeep trail that came out above Walhalla. I remember a waterfall on that route and if memory serves it was called either High Falls or Whitewater Falls.

Have not been in Horsepasture in many years and intend to mountain-bike it soon just to see if I remember any of it. I'll stop by and pick up the map you mentioned.

Thanks again for your help :thumbsup:
 

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I think you mean Lake Jocassee instead of Toxaway

Lake Toxaway is on top of the the mountain by Hwy 64 at Toxaway Falls. Lake Jocasee is what all those rivers drain into. That whole place is incredible. If you have the inclination to explore the rivers they have some amazing gorges and waterfalls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You are exactly right. Thanks for jogging my memory. I have probably seem some of that country that few others have. Back when I was in high school four of us decided to put in at Toxaway lake and float down the river on innertubes, all the way through Horsepasture. We each had a huge truck innertube. Would that have been the Toxaway River? My sister let us out there and drove to, I believe, the Chapman's Bridge area where she left my car. This was before Lake Jocasse.

At any rate, the river became so narrow in a number of places we could not squeeze those giant innertubes through and had to do a lot of portaging around the narrow sections. The gorge was quite steep and its walls slippery and that ate up a lot of time. Eventually realizing it would be impossible to reach our destination before dark, we abandoned the innertubes at the river and started hiking over the mountain in search of civillization. We were all dressed in shorts and t-shirts and even though it was summer it gets pretty chilly in those mountains and with daylight fast running out we lucked onto an old abandoned sawmill. We each dug a trench into the sawdust pile and covered our bodies with about a foot of it. We still got cold but at least we didn't freeze.

We awoke next morning starving only to realize the only food we had for the four of us was a can of sardines. That got us through the day and we eventually walked out to a small town. For the life of me I cannot remember the name of that town. It was east of the river. We telephoned our parents from there and they came and picked us up.

So if ever you are in that country and run across four giant truck innertubes and a rusty sardine can----- :) :) :)
 
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