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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I'm very excited to be camping at Santos two weekends from now. I've been into mountain biking for almost a year now and live in the Daytona Beach area. This will be my first time traveling to visit new trails beyond what is in my general area.

So, for those who are familiar with the Santos trail system: What trails should I be sure to hit? I will have about 2 days to bike. I would call myself an intermediate rider. I don't do any crazy jumps or stunts, but I'm getting to be fairly proficient navigating the local trails like Graham Swamp, Chuck Lennon, Spruce Creek Preserve, etc... Graham Swamp still has a couple climbs I can't quite seem to carry the right momentum into, but other than that I can complete them all...

Also, is there anything in particular I need to know or look out for before I go?

Thanks in advance-

J.
 

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You'll have a blast out there at Santos, if you can ride everything at those trails I assure you you'll be fine. No big stunts or many man-made features on the trails out there.More like lots of fun natural features like chutes, rocky techy, and tight line choices. Just good challenges nothing insane, I personally think the climbs are tougher than the descents out there.( Referring to the red trails) However that's just my opinion. I'm new to the area as well, but having been to Santos a few times now I kinda have a loop I like to do. The first time I ever went I knew it would be my favorite place to ride. I can't say enough good things about how awesome Santos is. Especially myself not being from the area. You'll enjoy yourself out there and anyone I've ever rode with there is more than willing to give advice or let you tag along. Never ran into anyone with their nose in the air. Make sure and stop by the shop on the way there and grab a map it will help out tremendously.
 

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I would def. Hit twister which is on the vortex side, its just a fun trail to ride fast. Ease into the reds. Do sinkhole first. Then Magic Mtn. John Brown I would say next, just take it slow and learn it, those rocks hurt. You can burn yourself up in one day if you get too excited. Oh and you can ride at night.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input everyone. I'm sure it will be a rewarding time for me out there!

@Rowe925 - thanks for the suggestions. I'm working on mapping out a plan right now, so that info helps a lot. So, you can ride at night there? Are some of the trails lighted?
 

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Thanks for the input everyone. I'm sure it will be a rewarding time for me out there!

@Rowe925 - thanks for the suggestions. I'm working on mapping out a plan right now, so that info helps a lot. So, you can ride at night there? Are some of the trails lighted?
Oh no not lighted. If you got a good light its even more intense, especially the vortex.
 

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twister is very fun and fast!. Definitely hit the red trail by the vortex section. My personal favorite because it actually has some big (well for Florida) climbs in it. Rattlesnake ridge is also very fun just watch your derailleur on the rocks. I broke my hanger on that trail and had to walk the bike back. But there is a store right next to the trailhead that should have anything you would need.
 

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A lot depends on your age and the type of riding you like to do (more specifically than your opening post) - Do you want Miles or Features ... or Miles and Features. I have led some first timers thru the Vortex ... and they hated it. I have led some people on long cross country rides and that was not what they were looking for ... so it really all depends on the "features" you want. There is really something out there for everyone.

From the Santos side, My usual ride is to head out from the parking lot:
- go Left on the first fork on Pine Tree
- Ride that up to Cow Bone
- Take Cow Bone to the John Brown Pit and do the shelf drops right on the pit
- From there you can ride John Brown (red tech trail)
- Take Cow Bone on out to its end at Blue Hwy
- Cross the road and Run Dog Bone to the left
- Pic up Twister and ride it to back door,
- Head into the Vortex and loop it Then out and back to the lot on the other side of Pine Tree, usually taking in Marshmellow and Sink Hole somewhere in there.

BUT if you would prefer some good XC riding. Ride all the way across (or drive the car over to the land bridge or 49th street trail heads - but I'd rather ride if for the milage) and hit Nyles and Earn and Burn ... now those are some fun rides. :D

If you park at the Land Bridge TH and go out from there and do Nayles, Earn and Burn and back ... that is 25 miles + or - Going from Santos to the Land Bridge TH the short way is about 7 miles each way if you go the quickest route. So that would give you a good 35-40 mile ride ... if you like the XC with some good challenge at the middle 25 miles.
 

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I plan on being out there Saturday, If you would like I can show you around. PM me for my number. I drive a Yellow Mustang So if it is there so am I. above suggestions are spot on.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
A lot depends on your age and the type of riding you like to do (more specifically than your opening post) - Do you want Miles or Features ... or Miles and Features. I have led some first timers thru the Vortex ... and they hated it. I have led some people on long cross country rides and that was not what they were looking for ... so it really all depends on the "features" you want. There is really something out there for everyone.

From the Santos side, My usual ride is to head out from the parking lot:
- go Left on the first fork on Pine Tree
- Ride that up to Cow Bone
- Take Cow Bone to the John Brown Pit and do the shelf drops right on the pit
- From there you can ride John Brown (red tech trail)
- Take Cow Bone on out to its end at Blue Hwy
- Cross the road and Run Dog Bone to the left
- Pic up Twister and ride it to back door,
- Head into the Vortex and loop it Then out and back to the lot on the other side of Pine Tree, usually taking in Marshmellow and Sink Hole somewhere in there.

BUT if you would prefer some good XC riding. Ride all the way across (or drive the car over to the land bridge or 49th street trail heads - but I'd rather ride if for the milage) and hit Nyles and Earn and Burn ... now those are some fun rides. :D

If you park at the Land Bridge TH and go out from there and do Nayles, Earn and Burn and back ... that is 25 miles + or - Going from Santos to the Land Bridge TH the short way is about 7 miles each way if you go the quickest route. So that would give you a good 35-40 mile ride ... if you like the XC with some good challenge at the middle 25 miles.
I appreciate the input. I like a mixture of riding. Basically, if it's not a paved road then I'm happy :)

I have only rode the local trails in Volusia and Flagler Counties. They are a mixture of techical features, climbs, open riding, etc...

I'm getting ready to head out now. We are driving to the 49th St. trailhead first and do Nyles and Earn N' Burn. Then go to check in after that. I hope it's not too rainy this weekend, but I'll have fun no matter what :)

Thanks again!
 

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I'll be out there tomorrow morning with my rank newbie dad.
I like to hit pine tree to marshmallow, to sinkhole, to dr ruth into the red section. There I'd loop anthill, john brown, magic mtn, and then ride ratttle snake to the blue highway. Follow the blue hwy to the road and cross into the votex side. Then pick up twister to the backdoor then loop the vortex reds. That's a pretty awesome ride and can easily turn epic if you double it all up.
 

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What r u thinking camping in fl in june? That wont make for a good night's rest. You will have fun on Nayl's and ern and burn. Then i would head up to the main trailhead and do sinkhole, dr. Ruth, cowbone, john brown, then vortex.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So how was your weekend ride?
I'd have to say that all-in-all it was a great experience! It did rain on and off both Friday and Saturday, but I got to fit a lot of good riding in there anyway.

My step-dad went with me. We started out driving from Ormond Beach to the Ross Prairie Trail Head to fit in Nyles and Ern N' Burn before going to check in at the campsite. I realize now that it would have been better to hit those trails from one of the other trail heads, but that's okay.



Ern N' Burn was probably my favorite trail in the Santos system. It was the 'hardest' blue, to me anyways, and had a good mixture of a little of everything. I basically rode that trail 2 times in one direction and 1 time in another. On my last trip I hit a rock and flipped over my bike. The chain ring sliced my calf open in the process. Here's a picture of the stitched up wound:



I was very lucky, though, that I didn't hit any arteries or anything and the wound did not bleed that bad. I made a tourniquet out of a towel and zip-ties and had to ride about 5 miles back to the truck. So, the biking day ended there and I was off to the hospital. I told the doc to stitch me up tight because I had a lot of riding left to do...

Saturday, we went out and rode from the Santos Trailhead down to the Vortex section following a mixture of blues and yellows. The entire experience was great. I've never seen so many trails. It was not raining, but was very overcast and it had rained that night. The BMX sections were tarped and closed. I was hoping to watch some of that. The Vortex section was awesome. I loved the climbs.

In the afternoon we got to go out with 'Dan' from the campsite across from ours and MellowYellow01 from here on the forum. MellowYellow turned out to be a great tour guide. He took me and Dan through John Brown and Ant Hill and gave my step-dad good directions for where to meet us since he was better suited for the yellows/blues. It started raining on our parade after a while. The rain made my first time on those red traills all that much more exciting/difficult/scary... I went through a range of emotions, lol.



Sunday was, weatherwise, the best day of the trip. We got up early and packed up camp then did a good ride in the morning checking out some of the trails we had not hit the day before and redoing some of the one's we really liked. After that we headed out and said goodbye to Santos. We ended our morning with a trip to Ray Wayside Park for some kayaking near Silver Springs. Kayaking is something I really enjoy, too, and that place had some of the best clear water I've ever seen...



It was a beautiful day.

So, I'm definitely going back. I'll probably head there soon for a good day trip. I'm under 2 hours away. If I leave by 7 then I can be riding by 9am on a Saturday morning and can fit a hell of a lot of riding in before dark. I still have so much to explore there. I also have to go show Ern N' Burn that I'm not scared of a little blood off that papercut it gave me ;)

Thanks again to everyone for the advice and especially to MellowYellow for taking the time to actually follow through with meeting me and showing me around!

Good riding-

J.
 
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