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Rocky River Trail
Trail Information
Nearest City: Concord, N.C.
How to get there: 2575 Parks Laferty Road. Look for a bicycle wheel against a mailbox, turn into gravel road across the street
Trail Length: 14.2
Trail Description: 14.2 miles of true single track winding thru hilly, steep terrain on the banks of the Rocky River. Elevation gain is about 1035 feet per lap. Suggested Donations is $3.00 per day.
Other Info: AKA Steves,...Parking is to the left when you turn off Parks Laferty Rd. Trail starts and ends at the Kioski on Left side of the gravel road. Recomended direction is counter clockwise. Trail Entrance is to the right of Kioski. This trail is on PRIVATE property so please be respectful to the owners of the land. Helmet Required.Suggested Donation is $3.00 per day.


Review this trail


Trail Reviews

Date Ridden: 03/10/2018  -  Leonard V. of Stanfield, North Carolina
Route Taken: Main Loop
Opinions: True single track! Kicked my behind, but I will be back for more. I met Steve, the owner after my ride, and being that it was my first time there, he asked me what I thought.....If you want to know where you stand as a mountain biker or your level of fitness, this is the place! No need to drive to the mountains, Steve has it right here!
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Date Ridden: 12/29/2017  -  Dougalmanitou of Charleston, SC
Route Taken: Everything but green
Opinions: Fantastic. This trail was great. Anybody that is familiar with typical North East woods riding (originally from Philly) will enjoy this trail. I am currently in terrible shape from eating and drinking way too much but this trail was still a blast. Not that technical really and people should not be scared off from trying it. The climbs are all doable and the downhill sections are fun and fast. Again, very similar to almost every trail in the NE.

Big time kudos to the person who designed it. The whole thing is well laid out and easy to follow. I did get confused a couple of times but all you have to do is follow the arrows. They are often marked with the mileage so you have an idea of where you are in relation to the lot. I ended up doing couple section twice by accident and ended up with 17 miles, which were all fun!

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Date Ridden: 12/18/2017  -  Jake of HUNTERSVILLE, NC
Route Taken: Entire trail
Opinions: So far, my favorite in the Charlotte area. The trail builder(s) have made very good use of the available elevation. We rode the entire trail counter clockwise and then added on the Green Loop. Trail was very clean, especially considering the leaves this time of year. Very excited to ride here more.
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Date Ridden: 10/14/2017  -  Jody of Matthews, NC
Route Taken: Main Loop and Everything else I could find.
Opinions: I was impressed and had a blast! My 1x9 was great but 1x10 would have been better. If you like to ride, got to put this one on your list!
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Date Ridden: 07/03/2017  -  Kevin Cooper of Waxhaw, NC
Route Taken: Full route
Opinions: When does this trail open? I like to get an early start but I know it's private property.

This is a fantastic trail. I love the climbs and tight switchbacks. Ski Run and The Plunge downhills are enough to make me pucker up. Favorite climb is River Climb. There are others that are steeper though. Lots of rocks and roots make it a technical ride throughout. Not easy but around here, probably the best benchmark for a mountain biker's stamina and skill.

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Date Ridden: 05/31/2017  -  Kiv of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: counterclockwise from kiosk
Opinions: Awesome. I have ridden this trail 6-8 times this year and I love it. I ride all of the Charlotte area trails and this is one of my favorites. Great climbs just like the WWC but there are more features per mile at Rocky River than anywhere. Having said that I have gotten turned around a couple of times out there at the trail intersections but the trail is well marked overall. I have noticed that people are clocking 12 plus miles out there on Strava while I am getting just over 11, so I must be missing a segment somewhere even though I feel like I am riding all of the main trail plus every available option. Also note that after recent storms there were 3 places that I had to dismount and forge my way through heavy brush to get around a downed tree. That just added to the fun though! Is there a detailed map of this trail posted on the internet somewhere?
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Date Ridden: 05/29/2017  -  Steve of Concord, NC
Route Taken: All
Opinions: Due to the previous post by Justin I went over the trial for signage today. Ever marked bypass had an arrow indicating direction when it reentered the main loop. The one following the first #1 wet Bypass was attached to a tree that had went down. I believe the issue may of been that Justin thought the bypasses had some length generally the bypasses are only 20-50 feet in length just enough to reenter the regular loop. Most of the time a bypass may cause a rider to miss multiple miles of trail Ex: No Name bypass. River Climb Bypass and Gorge Bypass I suggest you come back and give it another try.
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Date Ridden: 05/29/2017  -  Alex Bravo of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken:
Opinions: Great trail, probably my fav in the area. in regards to the comments about the marking. its very simple, if u want to do the whole trail, just DONT take any bypass. it took me a few rides to get the hang of it. its really not that confusing once you ride it a few times. riding today around 12 in case anyone wants to join.. stay safe
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Date Ridden: 05/27/2017  -  Justin of Concord, NC
Route Taken: Unknown
Opinions: I liked that trail is difficult and challenging. First ride here. Impression is poor however due to lack of trail headers. Rode only approx 5.5 miles. I got angry due to having to stop and wonder after each bypass if I was headed the correct way. I would thoroughly love this trail is properly marked. I liked that I had to use all my 1x10 to ride here. Sherman is a breeze for comparison.
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Date Ridden: 01/15/2017  -  Brian Dotson of Concord, NC
Route Taken: All but final mile and a half due to a mechanical issue.
Opinions: I have previously written this trail only once and did not have a favorable opinion of it at that time. However progressing in my own writing ability and stamina and then revisiting the trail today has led me to a different conclusion. Well the ride does take a good bit of focus as roots and rocks here are quite a bit more pronounced than they are at other local trails, the main challenge is simply in stamina. The climbs here are longer and steeper than any other trails I am aware of in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. The singletrack is absolutely wonderful, very Floweli and with great variety. The aforementioned roots can sometimes be quite large and require careful line choices but are not Dealbreaker's by any stretch. One of the amazing things about this trail is its ability to rise and fall with the terrain. Met the owner, Steve, and some of his family out working on the trail. What a nice guy! He made a point of asking us to help knock down this trail's reputation as being too hard or too technical. Make no mistake, this trail provides the best climbing experience I've ever seen in the metro Charlotte region! The climbs vary in steepness and length with a very nice switchbacks often included. would definitely say now that this trail has become my top pick in the area. I typically ride Lake Norman and Shermans Branch consistently. I think the challenge of the long epic climbs here as well as the simply beautiful trail layout and design have made RRT my new favorite! Despite all of the recent rain and snow, the trail was remarkably well drained and in excellent shape.
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Date Ridden: 08/18/2016  -  Zach of Kannapolis , NC
Route Taken: Full loop
Opinions: Firstly, i'm relatively new to mountain biking but have been a modest road cyclist for several years. I have ridden most trails in the Charlotte area with varied success but this trail kicked my butt. with that being said don't let other people's reviews discourage you from riding this trail. You'll never improve your skills if you just are taking it slow at North Meck. I encourage you all to ride this trail, see how you do and go from there. This will not be my regular ride spot because I don't think I'm good enough to enjoy it yet, but I will for sure be back to measure my skills
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Date Ridden: 08/12/2016  -  Greg B of Charlotte, North Carolina
Route Taken: Main trail, I've done the options on other occasions
Opinions: The climbs are hard, but there are a couple very good downhills. The real reason to come here is the sense of accomplishment when you finish. It's a great techy trail that kicks your butt while still managing to be fun the whole 12 miles. If you're hesitant to jump the creek gap just make sure you have enough speed and you can't go wrong. The trail engineering is as good or better than anything else I've ridden in the area.
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Date Ridden: 04/01/2016  -  walt of charlotte, nc
Route Taken: main loop
Opinions: this is a great trail, but it is tough! a little over 2 hours to complete the loop. i am 230lbs so the extra weight sure doesnt help but there are some really tough uphills and one downhill too steep for me to ride. i ride this trail when sherman branch and the whitewater center are closed
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Date Ridden: 03/22/2016  -  Jax of Belmont, NC
Route Taken: Main loop and roller coaster loop
Opinions: This trail was my favorite I've been on so far (I've seen about 5 trails). It's a ton of fun !
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Date Ridden: 08/15/2015  -  Philicia of Mount Airy, NC
Route Taken: Full loop- 12 miles
Opinions: Awesome! I loved this trail! A ton of fast, flowing sections. A couple of challenging climbs. Some rock gardens- all totally ridable- I was smiling the entire ride! Made my list of favorites for sure! Also, Very well maintained and easy to find from the directions on this site.
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Date Ridden: 08/01/2015  -  Tracy224 of Concord, NC
Route Taken: Did the main trail, I consider myself to be in pretty good shape comparing my speeds at neighboring trails,and a advanced rider. And this place kicks my butt, his climbs are brutal(to me). But this place has to be the best trail on this side of town, "Fast" sections, technical sections, off cambers little bit of everything. I would highly recommend this trail, wish I had time to go more often.
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Date Ridden: 03/22/2015  -  Will of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Full loop
Opinions: This trail is a ton of fun to ride. Technically it's just challenging enough to keep things interesting, but the climbs are what really make it an adventure. Trail is well-maintained with good flow, and it has more personality than a lot of others in the area.
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Date Ridden: 01/01/2015  -  Nick of Concord, NC
Route Taken: 12 mile trail
Opinions: I went on this trail with a friend of mine and was using a trek xcaliber 8 29er. I found the trail very technical and fun with its steep hills and winding single track. The track was very well maintained and easy to use with all its signs showing the route. There were some very intense, steep hill climbs that were challenging and fun. I liked the way the trails felt more natural with the terrain and had a lot of fun climbing over the rocks and jumping the log made ramps. Good mix of technical riding and fast single track trails, lot of fun, good work out, would ride this trail over and over again.
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Date Ridden: 10/12/2014  -  Charles Sink of Lexington, NC
Route Taken: Messed around on all of it
Opinions: Having built my own trail I must admit I am an admirer of what Steve has done with this trail. The trail is somewhat of a throwback to the more primitive design which is a delightful thing in my view. I do enjoy the banked/bermed machine cut trails but this trail is just as wonderful in a different platform. Love the steep turns occasionally along with the intermittent rocky/rooty challenges that are perfect for my 29er hardtail. Not sure how Steve gets by the liability issue but I certainly hope private trail model could get some legs as I think we would get some trails that would be like this one- simply outstanding.
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Date Ridden: 10/05/2014  -  GTF of Fort Mill, SC
Route Taken: Counter Clockwise, followed signs
Opinions: I wish I tried this trail years ago, would put it in top 3 for the Charlotte area. The start of the trail was a bit narrow and twisty, but then it opened up with some great single track. The trail offers some great climbs, downhills, technical sections, jumps. Well maintained trail, you could tell the owners have made it a point to enhance over the years. 11.5 to 12 miles of trail, with heart pounding elevation. Cheers to the owners for letting us ride it. I plan on making this a regular in my rotation with Anne Springs, WhiteWater, Sherman Branch. Pedal Up Flow Down!
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Date Ridden: 09/15/2014  -  Marcus of Waxhaw, NC
Route Taken: Everything following the arrows
Opinions: Great trail. Amazed that someone built this in their spare time. Love the sense of humor with the signage and "decorations". Great place to ride
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Date Ridden: 09/12/2014  -  Jim of Rock Hill, South Carolina
Route Taken: All of the main trail. None of the by-pass/option trails.
Opinions: What a great ride!!!! After you are gasping for air on some of the climbs,especially late in the ride, you will know "this ain't Sherman Branch". The climbs are longer but they are spread out along the route and the signage lets you know they are coming. "The Plunge" will get your eyes open. The trail makers put alot of time in laying out this trail and it shows. Very well thought out. Worth every dollar and will probably pay more from now on. Rode the advertised 12 miles in about 1 hour 48 minutes. Stopped a few time after being whooped on the late climbs.Did make it up "Stairway to Heaven". Even though it rained heavy the day before the trail handled it well and was ready to ride. A great work out. No other trail is like it. You can see similarities but this trail is one of a kind. The trail is not very technical but that lets you save yourself for the difficult and numerous climbs.
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Date Ridden: 06/15/2014  -  Peter of Huntersville, NC
Route Taken: Whole trail sans under construction portion
Opinions: A review for concerned about the climbing...

I have to preface this review by stating that I am a pretty crumby climber and was leary of riding this trail based on reviews and perceived difficulty. Indeed this trail is more challenging from a climbing perpective than most local trails, but was definitely manageable even for me. I made all the climbs except two failed attempts at the initial "no- name" ascent. Did pause for water a few times and made full use of my 1 x 11 30t x 42t low gear.

This trail is very well designed and fun. It is the best elements of Fisher Farm and Sherman combined. Some technical and climbing with a lot of fast and flow. There is plenty of downhill to rest the legs on in between climbs and the climbs have some switchbacks to regain momentum and rest briefly if you need it. I definitely paced myself for this trail, not trying to push it too much to conserve for the climbs and that made for a good ride.

Probably not for beginners, but definitely not to be afrad of!

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Date Ridden: 06/14/2014  -  kyle of charlotte, nc
Route Taken: all 12 miles
Opinions: First time riding this trail. it is very challenging compared to the rest of the trails in charlotte. It has many hills, I think 4, that are equivalent to Goat Hill at the White Water Center. It does not have many jumps or obstacles other than a few rocks. Very challenging and fun for experts but not a place to take the beginners. All the main hills do have bypass trails, but then you miss the downhills as well.
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Date Ridden: 05/31/2014  -  David of Charlotte , NC
Route Taken: Just Followed the Arrows and trails signs
Opinions: Really Fun Trail. Conditions were pretty good, a little slick from the recent rain but overall a really great ride. Nothing super technical but definitely a few areas that were very "fun" to ride. The climbs were a little challenging but manageable, not super long but steep in a few spots. Downhill sections were really fun. There are a few small jumps and some rock features that added a little something extra. I have been on a variety of trails in Charlotte and this has to be the most fun. Challenging but has a good flow and offers something for every type of rider. Actually ran into Steve (trail builder) while riding, really nice guy and has put a ton of work into the trail system there. Looking forward to getting out there again soon.
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Date Ridden: 05/31/2014  -  Jerry L of Huntersville, NC
Route Taken: Complete Trail
Opinions: This is a true single trac. The terrain is flowing and natural. The climbs are very challenging much like the descends. Stair way to heaven in my opinion is more like the hwy to well you know. But seriously one of the most fun trails I have ridden. Great challenges. And beautiful views . Great job.
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Date Ridden: 04/26/2014  -  Mauricio of Locust, Nc
Route Taken: All
Opinions: Awesome, felt Like riding a mad bull. Crah with a tree and was ejected copule time. Luv it
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Date Ridden: 04/09/2014  -  Don of Concord, NORTH CAROLINA
Route Taken: Whole loop counter clockwise.
Opinions: I'm not going to lie, the trail was tough for me in places due to my lack of experience. However, it was physically challenging which is what I was looking for. I will definitely ride it again, but I will hone my skills on some easier trails first. I would recommend any beginners do some research before taking this one on. The area was beautiful and the trail well maintained. Overall, the trail had nice flow with some difficult sections. There was nothing too intimidating but it added up to a great workout.
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Date Ridden: 01/30/2014  -  Go-rilla of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: there is more than 1?
Opinions: Terrific addition to the Charlotte area trails. Nothing very technical. Very nice flow with mix of terrain. The real plus to RRT is the climbing; best available in the area. Nothing too steep, nor too long - but certainly enough of both to be challenging. LOVE the 'personality traits' of the trail - keeps it interesting. Would like to see more technical options. But it is privately owned/maintained, so first priorities first: good single track, good flow, good climbs. Options can come later. (will be a 5 star rating when options are there)
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Date Ridden: 01/25/2014  -  DanZ of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Entire trail minus green section, didn't use bypasses.
Opinions: The most natural trail in Charlotte. I feel like I upped my game by riding this one. I love the technical climbs, hairpin downhill switchbacks and several steam crossings. The river view option is a must and a great place to catch your breath before the grand finale climb.

It was very wet when I rode it causing a few of the downhills to be pretty sketchy. The one with the rock sticking out of the side of the trail is gnarly!

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Date Ridden: 12/18/2013  -  Did It Once of Indian Trail , NC
Route Taken:
Opinions: This is a great ride!!!! It gives you all of the climbing you would need and many cool small jumps, and enough downhill to keep it interesting. Watch out for the climbs because they will burn you, in which that's why we are all out there, right? Anyways thank you to everyone who keeps these trails up and in such great riding shape!!!
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Date Ridden: 11/09/2013  -  Chico of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Whole Thing
Opinions: Great SINGLEtrack trail. Flowly with toughs climbs, and enough turns and bumps to keep it interesting. Love the steep ups and downs. Bring strong legs and lungs, or you will get a beat-down.
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Date Ridden: 11/02/2013  -  Surlydave of Indian Trail, NC
Route Taken: Whole trail counterclockwise
Opinions: Fun, technical trail that provides a ride experience unlike any other Charlotte area trail offering. Most of the now 12 miles out there consists of narrow, rugged, genuine single track. With many attributes much like Beech Springs and the UNCC trail system, this trail helps fill the void left when those two legendary trails became defunct. If you are looking for a challenging ride to hone both your technical abilities and provide a physical work out, you gotta check this place out. This IS mountain biking folks.
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Date Ridden: 10/19/2013  -  James Busch of Boyertowwn, PA
Route Taken: all
Opinions: again thank you to all that make these trails possible . Yesterday I did Sherman , this trail is completely different and just as fun . to truly enjoy (and stay on your bike ) this trail you might need to do it a few times .
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Date Ridden: 10/03/2013  -  CLITTLE of Oakboro, NC
Route Taken: Rocky River Trail
Opinions: I am a large rider and this trail kicked my rear. Don't ever get it in your mind that this is close to something like Sherman Branch because it is not. I think this trail is more of the Purist as where something like Sherman Branch is for the Enthusiast. I would say the trail is well maintained, but very technical for someone with my experience and skill. I can't get over how steep some of the climbs were. It's sufficient to say I will not be going back; not due to the trial, but due to my lack of skill. The leaves will cover rocks, so be careful. Peace and Chain Grease
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Date Ridden: 08/07/2013  -  ET of Gypsy, NC
Route Taken: The whole she-bang, 10.3 miles or so?
Opinions: Tight & smooth singletrack, keeps you on your toes. It's not super technical, but the steep switchbacks on each of the 3 climbs (Gorge, No- Name, Stairway to Heaven) are killer! If you like to be challenged aerobically and aren't too humble to throw it in granny gear, this is the trail for you. I think it is the most natural trail of the ones in Charlotte. Way more climbing than any other trail in the area, and you don't always get the reward downhill at the end, but I enjoyed this RRT more than any other.
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Date Ridden: 07/28/2013  -  Jon of Concord, NC
Route Taken: Rocky river
Opinions: Not well maintained! One can tell that not many ride it and now I know why
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Date Ridden: 07/21/2013  -  DirtDan of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: All except the low lying areas that have been detoured due to this year's wet conditions.
Opinions: This is the toughest trail I've ridden in the area, but its very fun. You won't see any tough rock gardens, but it is technical in other ways. First, a couple climbs (gorge, no name) are technical in nature - very steep in sections w/roots and steep off-camber switchbacks. A couple downhill sections are also very tricky due to the steep off-camber switchbacks. This is not one of those wide and groomed trails. It has great flow and variety. I've ridden it a couple times and will be going much more, because it's a great trail to train up. If you can conquer this trail, all others in the area will be much easier. The climbs are the hardest in the area. I can't say that enough and its the biggest reason for me to keep hitting the trail. It makes me better. They are leg and lung burners and will challenge you technically. One thing to keep aware of is the wild nature of the trail. It's a tick haven, especially this time of year. I've had to flick some off my legs after each of my 2 rides on this trail over the past week and a half.
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Date Ridden: 07/08/2013  -  Pete of Weddington, NC
Route Taken: All
Opinions: Rode this trail for the second time last night after seeing Sherman Branch closed off. Figured I was that far out to go ride, might as well get in some time with my teenage son. The trail was in much worse condition than when I last rode in March - downed trees are everywhere and the recent rains aren't helping. A great trail never-the-less as long as you aren't an amateur or out of shape like I am. Always great to have your kid need to wait for you to walk up a hill..... This trail is clearly not as heavily ridden as others in the area, and you will find areas that are more natural than anything else around Charlotte, but with that be aware - we also both came home with ticks.
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Date Ridden: 06/23/2013  -  GeneD of Salisbury, NC
Route Taken: I85 to HWY 601 to trail
Opinions: Personally, I like this trail a lot, just right for me...but I realize different people have different abilities, opinions, riding challenges, therefore everyone is not capable of riding this trail. The trail constantly has switchbacks, downhill, climbing and technical challenges and just the right amount of rocks. New bumps etc. and other challenges are being currently added. There are 3 challenging (do-a-ble) climbs near the end. My lady friend wished there was a changing station and/or Port-o-Jon Signs were great, never had a navigation problem. To me, one of the best trails within 100 miles.
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Date Ridden: 03/03/2013  -  Collin of Huntersville, North Carolina
Route Taken: All, in it's current configuration (with the River Climb).
Opinions: I enjoyed the trip to Steve's a lot. It’s an excellent all around package. I was constantly on my toes. It’s technically perfect in my humble opinion. There are plenty of challenges, but nothing overwhelming. The climbs are refreshing. They're down right humbling for me. It’s a beautiful piece of land, and a well-built trail.
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Date Ridden: 01/28/2013  -  Tom of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: All Trail
Opinions: This is a tight single track with some Big climbs. The Gorge, the No-name climb, and the Stairway to heaven respectivly. The Trail itself is cut in off camber in many spots and as the name would suggest,its rocky. I really enjoy it and I feel like it makes me a better rider everytime I go. Its well worth the 3 Bucks to ride
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Date Ridden: 11/17/2012  -  Blake of Weddington, NC
Route Taken: Entire trail
Opinions: They are going to need more parking when news gets out about Rocky River. The trailhead is just past a Plymouth GTX (someone needs to go grab and restore that car) and winds around into some weird areas behind peoples houses and delapitated mobile homes. Once you get past the first 2-3 miles suddenly it becomes a totally different experience. Not necessarily a fast flowing trail, but definitely fun and different from any other trail around Charlotte. Switchbacks are off camber and some are quite steep, good technical sections with some rocky terrain, and some massive climbs for this area. Ther are a few nice long downhill runs where you can pick up speed and give your legs a break. Definitely a good time for advanced riders. Would not take a novice out there.
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Date Ridden: 11/17/2012  -  Dave of Harrisburg, NC
Route Taken:
Opinions: Have been out to this trail 3 times so far. Each time I find I like it even more than the last. This is definitely a trail for the more advanced rider as the climbs are both technical and somewhat long (longer sustained climbs than just about anything in Charlotte). There are a few sections where you can pick up some good speed but its more about just enjoying good old single track. I highly recommend it for a change of pace.
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Date Ridden: 10/28/2012  -  Alex T. of Monroe, Nc
Route Taken: Main trail, optional downhill trail also, didn't ride it
Opinions: Great trail that hasn't been ridden by a lot of people, quiet n nice ride, definitely not for amateurs, some spots will test ur skills, three good climbs all at good intervals in the loop, definitely get ur cardio in check, will definitely go back ad its one the closest trails to my house that is really fun n a challenge, would recommend to anyone, oh n wear some bright colors rite now as I noticed dear stands n feeders out there, gave the difficulty a 4 because of tech areas, better have some good brakes to
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Date Ridden: 10/24/2012  -  Aaron of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: All sections and all climbs~
Opinions: An actual mountain bike trail that isn't to perfect and isn't too dumbed down. Like riding in the mtn's: and you do work for a good way. I have been over to the trail 10+ times. All on a Single Speed / rigid (32x19 and 32x18) and it’s a blast! Makes me a better climber and rider for the rest of the charlotte flat land! Say hello to the owner and be nice to your surroundings as it’s a private parcel of land! –

Regards, Aaron

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Date Ridden: 09/15/2012  -  Marlin of harrisburg, nc
Route Taken: entrance
Opinions: was not able to finish the trail. chain broke so had to push my bike out. hill looks big.
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Date Ridden: 10/29/2010  -  Wayne of Concord, NC
Route Taken:
Opinions: First time at trail. Was a little hard to find trail head because sign was down, but once on trail I had no problems following the route. I liked the flow of the trail and the climbs. There were two major climbs which got my blood to pumping especially the climb called the stairway to heaven. My bike computer said the total evaluation was 900+ feet. I ride mostly at the Sherman Branch trail and did ride ride at the now closed Beach Springs trail at Poplar Tent. Looking forward to riding the trail again soon.
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