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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 7 year old daughter decided that she wants to go mountain biking with me. She saved up her money and helped purchase a Gary Fisher Cosmos bike. Most of the trails that I ride on would be much too difficult for her at this age. I am wondering if anyone has any good trail/ dirt path suggestions on where I can take her.

Has anybody had any experience taking a child this young out? I plan on taking her to some local parks to just ride around on the hills and of course she will ride around the yard but I'd like to know what trails (if any) would work for her.

I live only 15 minutes from NC so anything in Western NC will be helpful also.

I am aware of her and her bike's limitations so I have a good idea of what she will actually be capable of. I just want to take her some place that she can have fun and get an idea of what off-road riding is like.

Thanks.
 

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Drinker w/ Riding Problem
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Mountain Creek trail at Paris Mountain is very kid friendly, unfortunately thats about the only one that is kid friendly. it's a little over a mile, so maybe a couple of out and backs?

Issaquenna, has some pretty tame ones, over the years they have gotten rougher, Lawrence and the Lake trails, i've taken my son to and he had a good time.

Further south near Augusta is FATS and it has some good trail for beginners

Corn Mill Shoals @ Dupont is a good one, heard that they were building a kids trail on the backside near Guion Farm...

Lower stuff at Bent Creek, Explorer, my son loves that trail

Southside in Spartanburg is very kid friendly
 

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brado1 said:
Mountain Creek

Further south near Augusta is FATS and it has some good trail for beginners
If you are willing to come this far, FATS isn't your best option.

#1 FATS is closed until about March or April.
#2 the Bartram Trail is really the best kid friendly trail we have. It's 15 minutes closer to you than FATS and 100% more kid friendly. FWIW, I'd agree that FATS can be kid friendly, but once you ride the Bartram Trail up the road you will have found kid friendly nirvana on two wheels. I rode it a couple of weeks ago, and it is a fun trail with some good lake views. If you go, park at Petersburg to maximize the kid friendlyness and lake views.

But all that said, I doubt you need or want to come this far.
 

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The lake trail at Isaqueena could be kid friendly. The only thing tht would bother me is if your kid falls the wrong direction they will be in the lake in a few spots. There is not a lot of error room at these places. However there are not many, maybe two or three.

The drawback to Isaqueena right now is the gates are closed and if I was taking my son I would park around Indian Springs.

DuPont would be a good option as well. You could ride to several waterfalls with minimal climbing and give your daughter some really great scenery.
 

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Some of these responses kill me. I have no kids but I have a brain.

Do not take your child on the Lake trail at Issaqueena.

They just built a new "kids trail" up in Dupont. As I know the "maker of the trail" this would be a great place for you to go. It is up in the northern section of the park. That way you could also "bike/hike" around the big waterfalls.

Not sure how far you are from Greenville but the park by the zoo has some dirt trails combined with paved trails that would be absolutely perfect for a first timer.

FATS is too far. No child that I know wants to ride in the car fo 2 1/2 hours to ride for 1/2 hour.

Mountain Creek in Paris could be kid friendly but it is too wet to have fun on right now. Unless she is a mudder.
 

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extrmtao said:
Some of these responses kill me. I have no kids but I have a brain.

Do not take your child on the Lake trail at Issaqueena.
what are you saying?
granted my kid is couple of years older, but the lake trail is relatively an easy trail, yeah there are a couple of spots he has to walk through. come on, i have seen plenty of little ones on that trail. just gotta go slow.
 

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brado1 said:
what are you saying?
granted my kid is couple of years older, but the lake trail is relatively an easy trail, yeah there are a couple of spots he has to walk through. come on, i have seen plenty of little ones on that trail. just gotta go slow.
Your son also has experience on a mountain bike right?

I think we are talking about first time loops here. Once she is settled in on the bike and has some accomplished rides she would be ready for the lake loop.

I say this because I know some adults that were not happy with the lake trail as their "beginner" loop. However, these are fearless children we are talking about :cool:
 

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How about some of the trails out at Furman. You could put together a short loop out there in conjunction with the paved loop around the lake. I have been taking my 5 year old son to the loop around the lake lately building him for the next step. I look forward to the day I get to take him on real single track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all of the responses! I had already considered going to Paris Mountain and taking her on Mountain Creek. I ride up there a few times a week. I figure making it an out and back trail would work perfect for her.

I ride Isaqueena whenever I get the chance. I will definitely take her there and for the time being avoid the Lake Trail since as someone pointed out making a mistake at some points would end with her in the lake.

Despite being close to Dupont I haven't made the trip there yet. Sounds like I now have even more reason to try it out.

I've never heard of Bent Creek. Where is that located?
 

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Furman is a great starter trail

I took my kids out to Furman University this past weekend and it was a great starter trail. There are enough minor technical elements - roots, rocks, etc - to give them a taste and learn some basic skills, but if things don't go well you have the paved lake trail right there as well as the Swamp Rabbit Trail, so it's not a wasted trip. Both of my kids (7 & 10) really enjoyed it and I look forward to taking them out there again.

It's easy to get to. Head to the lake/bell tower at Furman and park wherever you like. Near the parking area by the cafeteria/lake you can get on the sidewalk and then hit the paved trail, but if you go straight instead of hitting the paved trail - like you're heading to the Swamp Rabbit Trail - you'll see the dirt trail heading off toward the right and it eventually heads in to the woods, pretty much always paralleling the Swamp Rabbit Trail. When we went there was a downed tree blocking one segment entirely, but other than that, it was a great little path and ride.
 
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