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Lake Norman State Park
Trail Information
Nearest City: Troutman, NC
How to get there: Take I-77 to exit 42, and head west on Hwy 21, and follow the Brown signs to LNSP (approx 7 miles)
Trail Length: 30 Miles (2012)
Trail Description: The Itusi trail system (which incorporates the Hawk, Hicks Creek and Norwood Loops) totaling approximately 6.5 miles, in length opened in 2003. The fast and flowing 6 mile Monbo loop opened in spring of 2007. Spring of 2010 welcomed the opening of the 5 mile Laurel Loop. The trails are a rolling, Tsali-esque type of ride. The flow is unbelievable, and Laurel Loop expansion was completed in 2012 which upped Laurel Loop to approximately 9.75 miles. More additions in 2012 included the Fallstown Loop (1.25 miles), the Fox Loop (2.5 miles) and the Wildlife Loop (4.25 miles) to the southern trails. This brings LNSP to approximately 30 trail miles. LNSP is a true epic ride, with something for everyone. The trail reverses direction on Jan 1st of each year, so check directional markers and details at the kiosk before starting your ride. Camping, swimming and showers are but a few of the park amenities.
Other Info:
Trail Map Lake Norman State Park

Review this trail


 

Trail Reviews

Date Ridden: 10/26/2013  -  Scott of INDIAN TRAIL, NC
Route Taken: Momba and Laurel
Opinions: Laurel is roughly same mileage as all of Sherman Branch. If they were same distance from my house, I'd ride Laurel 8 out of 10 times. Loved it. Momba is about same distance as Beatty... Really can't compare the two but Momba had plenty of speed and a few decent climbs. I've also ridden most everything at WWC and I must say Lake Norman has risen to the top of my list. Cant wait to get back out there and do another section. Unfortunately probably will not be able to make it out that far but 1x every 5 or 6 weeks. My ratings based on the fact I have only ridden Beatty, Sherman, and WWC before LN.
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Date Ridden: 04/27/2013  -  ETM of Huntersville, North Carolina
Route Taken: All
Opinions: I finally rode everything in one push. Had a blast. I love this trail. All of it, except Laurel is cruiser. Laurel is great, too. It's good to have a more challenging section in the mix. Kudos to The Trailblazers and everyone who help build this trail.

It ain't hard, but it sure is fun.

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Date Ridden: 02/02/2013  -  Thom Tillis of Cornelius, NC
Route Taken: Laurel Loop
Opinions: It had been a while (too long) since I've been on the trails at Lake Norman State Park. I rode the Laurel Loop. I hoped to ride Wildlife Loop but I had a problem with a tire so I only completed the 10-mile segment. The trail is in fantastic condition. It has a great combination of good (not tough) climbs and some good fast downhill segments. The TrailBlazers have done a great job of creating a loop system that accommodates riders at all levels. Parking and access to the trail heads are great.
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Date Ridden: 12/14/2012  -  Kevin Preston of Clemmons, NC
Route Taken: All
Opinions: My wife and are new to the area and, as of yesterday, have now ridden all 31 miles at Troutman. Let me first say, that the work that Tarheels have done here is outstanding! We did however encounter a problem yesterday with the new Wildlife, Fallstown, and Fox loop trails. Due to the directionality of the trail (first part of the Laurel Trail) leading up to the start of the (3) new loops from the parking lot, there's no way to return to the parking lot without riding an additional 7 -8 miles of the Laurel Trail in the correct direction. so if you're running out of time, encounter an approaching thunder storm or, if it's getting dark, you're screwed as far as just riding the 2.1 miles back from where you started at the parking lot. The ride from the parking lot and the new loops and then back (in the WRONG direction) equals 14 miles. Yes my wife and I rode the the section (2.1 miles) back to the parking lot in the wrong direction! We were reminded of that fact by 3-4 riders who also agreed that this is an issue with the new trails. We could have ridden the road back, but that's not exactly we we were there. It looks like you could park in the lot of the road at the entrance to these new trails but the gate is closed until spring. There's no solution being offered by me other than making the 2.1 mile section 2 way, and disappointment that we won't be riding the new loops all that much.
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Date Ridden: 11/22/2012  -  KS of Mooresville, NC
Route Taken: Laurel Loop to the Wildlife Loop and then branched off to take in the Fallstown and Fox loops. Then, back to finish the Wildlife loop and Lauel loop. That's 18 miles all together! Remember - even years bikes go CLOCKWISE on all trails; odd yr. counter clockwise - changes New Years Day each year so come out and celebrate with us.
Opinions: WOW, there are now 31 miles of excellent single-track trails at LNSP; a true destination trail system for sure. I took the Laurel Loop from the lower end of the parking lot by the old Pavillion. Cross the bridge and immediately jump in to the right. (Clockwise direction) Get ready to peddle 'cause it starts with a good uphill with several turns and "strategically" placed roots to test your skills. Wind through the woods with some cool whoop-te-doos for about 2 miles and cross an old logging road (for a short 5 mile ride, take a right onto the double- track, go 1/4 mile and jump back in to the right. Great ride.) Back on the Laurel, about 1 mile further you'll see the sign marking the turn to the new Wildlife loop trail to the left. Cross the road and back into the woods. The Wildlife Trail is about 4.5 miles and loops you back to the Laurel. Once you're on the Wildlife loop, you'll see signs directing you to the Fallstown Loop (1.1 mi.) and the Fox loop (2.5 mi.). You speed lovers will like these and there is a really cool downhill on the Fox with several bumps. Back on the Laurel to complete the circle to the parking lot and you've been 18 miles. If you like epic rides with plenty of whoop-de-doos and humps and bumps you'll love this trail. LNSP is a State Park and doesn't get dangerously technical, so it has a trail for all ages and skills. I've heard it said that a trail's technicality increases as the bike's velocity increases. Said another way; speed makes all trails technical. If these trails don't get your mountain bike fires burning, you're wood's wet. Enjoy!
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Date Ridden: 10/05/2012  -  Peter of Huntersville, NC
Route Taken: Monbo and Laurel
Opinions: What a great trail system! Very well maintained and fun to ride. Monbo is super fun and fast with flow low Ad-Roc (may he rest in peace) and Laurel is a little more challenging but fun none the less.
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Date Ridden: 09/01/2012  -  jscusmcvet of Carthage, NC
Route Taken: Momba Loop and Laurel
Opinions: Trails were great fun. Rode Momba first. It is hard to express how much plain fun this trail is. Not extremely challenging, but no need... grin on my face the whole way. Laurel was more challenging and a great way to wrap up my ride. It takes a couple hours to get there from the house, but wife and I agree we'll be back... and not just for the riding, but to camp also.

It is clear that a tremendous amount of work and upkeep goes into these trails. Thank you trail builders.

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Date Ridden: 05/27/2012  -  Kevin of Mooresville, NC
Route Taken: Laurel Loop
Opinions: I love this trail. I've only been riding the trails for a short time and of the 4 or 5 trails I've done this is in the top 2. Very challenging climbs and some really fun downhill runs. Had a great time and will be back many times.
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Date Ridden: 01/01/2012  -  N Crotty of Waxhaw, NC
Route Taken: Laurel and Mondo
Opinions: Great riding on the new sections of Laurel. New direction today. Lots of people turned out for the Dirt Divas/THTB group ride. Great work to everyone who made this happen.
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Date Ridden: 12/26/2011  -  Rob of Davidson, NC
Route Taken: Laurel Loop
Opinions: I have ridden all of the trails at LNSP except the Backside of Laurel Loop addition today. Nice work to the folks who built this trail! Fast fun flowy trail. I am glad I live so close by and next time I will be in better shape.
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Date Ridden: 12/26/2011  -  Jayson of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Monbo Loop
Opinions: This trail is very simple with not much going on, good for kids and new people or if you just want a lazy ride. Mild climbs a few roots and that's about it.
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Date Ridden: 10/04/2011  -  Bob of Harrisburg, NC
Route Taken: Laurel loop
Opinions: Very cool trail. Nice tight single track. Some short climbs, fun downhills sections, switchbacks. Everything you need for a great ride. Reminded me a bit of Warrior Creek without the ong climbs.
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Date Ridden: 09/15/2011  -  jklax of Mooresville, NC
Route Taken: Laurel Loop
Opinions: The new Laurel extension is great. Thanks for all of the hard work, really enjoy having such a quality trail close by.
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Date Ridden: 09/09/2011  -  Adam of Sherrills Ford, NC
Route Taken: Laurel including the new loop (:
Opinions: New loop was a lot of fun this morning, not saying that the old section isn't fun, and a great surprise when we saw that it was open. It gives riders several different looks with good climbs, especially for this area, fast downhills, rocks gardens, tree crossings, nice rollers and curves and some technical obstacles towards the end. Still soft in sections but expected considering all the rain we had and I assume that we were some of the first to ride it. I know it will become a favorite of mine and the loop will only get better with age. Thanks for all the hard work on putting this together for everyone to enjoy. Looking forward to riding it again and again...
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Date Ridden: 09/09/2011  -  Mike of Salisbury, NC
Route Taken: Laurel Loop
Opinions: It was nice to see the Laurel loop extension opened. I had helped work on it several times and was really looking forward to it opening. I was very please for the way it flowed. There was one diffcult hill right after the creek crossing. But once it gets packed down I think it will be great. I really loved the way the natural flow of the land.
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Date Ridden: 08/03/2011  -  Eric Needham of Columbia, SC
Route Taken: All of it
Opinions: This was a really fun ride. Smooth, well maintained (looks like the Trailblazers just had a work day out there) and really great flow/speed. I was looking for a fast and aerobic trail while visiting family and this trail was perfect. Thanks Tarheel Trailblazers. I'll definitely be back.
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Date Ridden: 01/30/2011  -  J.Doc of LKN, NC
Route Taken: Hicks Creek Loop
Opinions: Great trail! Did a quick 4 miles on the Hicks Creek Loop. Enjoyed the climbs that were followed by some fast flat and downhill sections. Looking forwarded to going again. Word to the wise though, you'll want to call and make sure the trails are open before making the trip. Tried to go yesterday, a couple days after it had rained here and all of the trails were closed.
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Date Ridden: 09/05/2010  -  rocky of rockhill, sc
Route Taken: all
Opinions: sick, best ride I have had yet, fast, oh very fast. got to ride this trail more often. Going to be getting ready for Pisgah and Bent Creek in fall and this is the place to train at. Love it. recomend it.
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Date Ridden: 07/23/2010  -  LKN of CLT, NC
Route Taken: ALL
Opinions: Fast and smooth, very easy ride, nothing technical at all, beautiful park and trail. Did 20+ miles, am more tired from 9 miles at Poplar Tent. Would go back for sure though
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Date Ridden: 06/13/2010  -  Jayson of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Laurel
Opinions: This is a good trail, I only got to ride the first 3 miles and then my bike broke. Not a lot of tree branches good jumps and high speed.
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Date Ridden: 04/12/2010  -  cragmasterP of Floyd, VA
Route Taken: all
Opinions: Great fun, perfect for the single speed, with the rolling nature of these trails.

Ride it!

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Date Ridden: 03/19/2010  -  mullymd of Mooresville, NC
Route Taken: Laurel + monbo
Opinions: I rode Laurel when it first opened... very muddy and slow. Now than it's been worked in a bit it flows very well. A very different feel from Monbo and Itusi. If you take this trail at speed, it will definitelly get your heart pumping, with some cool technical sections. And, of course, Monbo never disappoints with it's sweeping downhill sections. hats off to the Rangers for maintaining these well preserved trails. Anyone who rides around Charlotte will appreciate the difference.
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Date Ridden: 03/10/2010  -  Tim-CLT of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Laurel Loop to Mombo to Itusi
Opinions: All loops are now counterclockwise, the opposite direction of last year. I think that direction has faster hills and is a smoother ride. Great trails!
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Date Ridden: 03/07/2010  -  Mike K. of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Laurel and Monbo
Opinions: Another excellent set of trails in the Charlotte area. The Laurel Loop is pretty technical, but still rides fast. Watch out for sudden hairpin turns right when you're building up steam, though. The Monbo rode faster, and with views of Lake Norman, it really did remind me of the Mouse and Thompson loops at Tsali. There are some downhill portions of the Monbo Loop where you can build up some serious speed and take advantage of the trail features to catch a bit of air. As for the uphill sections, Lake Norman doesn't really have anything I would call killer. the uphill portions are either brief or medium in length but at a medium grade. No big rocks and usually not much in the way of roots to complicate the climbs, which you might or might not like, depending on whether you're wanting more of a challenge. Over all, a great set of well-maintained trails! Can't wait to go back!
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Date Ridden: 02/21/2010  -  Heath of Rocky Gap, VA
Route Taken: Not really sure.
Opinions: This was a nice break from the climbing in Southwest VA, and the 20 degrees warmer didn't hurt. The trails had nice flow and were very well maintained. A couple of trail maps at the trail kiosks would have been nice but all in all it's a very nice system.
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Date Ridden: 01/02/2010  -  MudDauber of Statesville, NC
Route Taken: Laurel Loop
Opinions: This new section is excellent; it is a more traditional trail, with sudden ups and downs, than the other Tsali-- like sections @ LNSP, which have longer ups and downs; there are technical treats along the way, including 3 or 4 unique,tight squeezes between trees; there is a good deal of climbing in this section; this is a welcome addition; the trail, being new, will be soft when it thaws & will need to be ridden to firm the path.
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Date Ridden: 01/02/2010  -  Craig (DPC) of Kings Mountain, NC
Route Taken: Mombo and Laurel loops
Opinions: Mombo is one of my favorite. fast,flowy trails with plenty of pump sections and enough climbs to keep your heart in your chest but definitely working. Make sure and call ahead before going, I have made the same mistake of assuming it would be open only to find it not, try Fisher Farm in Davidson if it is, it's an all- weather trail created and maintained by one of the coolest chicken farmers you'll ever meet.
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Date Ridden: 12/12/2009  -  Glenn of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: All
Opinions: This is one of the best kept trails with little erosion. The rangers do an awesome job of opening and closing the trail. Call the office before going to check the trail status.
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Date Ridden: 11/22/2009  -  Big Bike Mike of Cornelius, NC
Route Taken:
Opinions: The Rangers know where the trail stays wet the longest and they will not open the trail til it's dry at those spots. I have many hours building those trails, plus many more maintaining the trail. There are lots of other folks that have countless hours spent working on the trails there and other places. I think the Rangers do a fine job regulating the trail system.
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Date Ridden: 11/15/2009  -  Big Bike Mike of Cornelius, NC
Route Taken:
Opinions: I'm sorry there were some ticked off people in the parking lot, but the trails are still wet and slick in spots, plus there was lots of trees, limbs and debris on the trail. That's why you should call the park or check this Website for information about the trail status.
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Date Ridden: 11/15/2009  -  Josh of Mooresville, NC
Route Taken:
Opinions: The trails at this park are pretty good. Only thing is the park rangers are DICKS. They keep the trail closed for weeks on end, and when a nice dry day comes and me and a buddy go ride (having to hop a gate of course) 2 rangers took it upon themselves to walk 2.5 miles into the middle of the woods to find us, and proceeded to threaten us and make us walk the remainder of the trail to our car, where they wrote down all of our info and threatened us again. God forbid 2 college students ride their bikes on God's beautiful earth.
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Date Ridden: 10/20/2009  -  Jimmy of Concord, NC
Route Taken: The Whole thing, CCW
Opinions: If you're out of shape like me, there are a few difficult climbs, but the flow is amazing and the Monbo Loop has some of the fastest downhills I've ever done around Charlotte. Would definitely ride this often if I lived closer.
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Date Ridden: 10/10/2009  -  GRAVES of Stanly County, NC
Route Taken: All trails in 2009. (Not the new section opened up in 2010.)
Opinions: LNSP is great single track. Monbo counter-clockwise (2009) is great fun. Short climbs followed by long flowy downhills. Not sure if I'll hit the Monbo in 2010 since it's clockwise now - like others, don't think there is enough payoff in downhills for all the climbing you'll be doing. But, if you like climbing - go for it.

As far as these idiots who are complaining about the rangers... I speak for hundreds of riders who are thankful that the rangers keep the trails closed until they are ready to be ridden. Who wants rutted up, trashed trails? I'd rather spend my time riding that having to grab a rake every few weeks to clean up after some losers that think they can ride whereever and whenever they want. Special thanks to all the Trailblazers who help maintain the the trails at LNSP - nice job! Again, special thanks to the rangers. Keep up the great work!

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Date Ridden: 09/27/2009  -  burner of the queen city, north cockitback
Route Taken: all of it
Opinions: awesome, pretty easy but still awesome. great workout, good climbs, fast as can be in parts. i heart this trail and will frequent it since i have a dojo in denver.
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Date Ridden: 09/21/2009  -  Dave H. of Denver, NC
Route Taken: All but at different times.
Opinions: This is one sweet riding area. The downhills are worth some of the climbs. As was pointed out the downhills are something you need to work up to if you are new. Speed IS your friend but if you go shooting off the trail it's no good. I saw 3 skid marks on Monbo leading off into the woods....... Once you get your reflexes tuned you can go wicked fast down these hills, just like on You Tube! There are berms in some places to help make the turns at speed. Man, I love the downhill part.

It's the climbing part I have to work on. Cause despite what some say, there are some pretty good climbs. What goes Down, must ride Up.

Suspension is a Metaphysical Thing and to each their own.

I ride a Giant NRS with Bomber forks and other fine upgrades, and it's just right for this.

It would be interesting to ride an All Mountain bike here.

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Date Ridden: 09/13/2009  -  Barry of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Itusi trail
Opinions: My 1st time ever mountain biking and LOVED IT! I'm an experienced/avid 47 yr old large road cyclist, but Newbie mtnbiker. It was incredible! It felt like it was downhill the whole way. In my opinion, the level of difficulty is determined by how much you use your brakes. It had bumps, curves, hairpins, dips, jumps, & obstacles. It was totally shaded (don't wear sunglasses). AWESOME for anybody.
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Date Ridden: 09/03/2009  -  Chip VS of Fort Mill, SC
Route Taken: It could use some signage for the first timers at the start and at the beginning/end of the Hicks Creek loop, a sign for hikers is confusing. Norwood to Monbo. Take a peek at a trail map before u go.
Opinions: One of the best trails I have ever ridden. A blast to ride, the volunteers who helped with this trail deserve a big "Thank You'.
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Date Ridden: 08/08/2009  -  Kevin of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: all
Opinions: This was my first time here. The state park trail signage is not as easy to read at high speed as our local Meck county park red arrows. After stopping once to read them I just started following a local who knew the trail. Monbo was excellent...very fast...great flow...no signs because it's one continuous loop.
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Date Ridden: 07/30/2009  -  doug of Statesville, NC
Route Taken: laps of the Monbo.
Opinions: Lets face it. The monbo is the most physically challenging of all the loops. But to get a really great workout, it's necessary to do multiple loops. Half of it is downhill. I like it though. Hawk,Hicks Creek and Norwood Loops seem to get more slippery when wet. I saw a women who stopped and looked at the directional signs and still went the wrong way. I tried to chase her down, but could not catch her. It would have been nice to meet the owner of the trail
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Date Ridden: 07/27/2009  -  Carpe of Matthews, North Carolina
Route Taken: Some of the smaller loops and then the monbo.
Opinions: I've been to quite a few parks, and I consider the monbo by absolute favorite trail so far. It has wonderful downhill sections that have little dugouts, where you drop in, and then quickly shoot back out. I loved them. Lot of fun, and really fast loop. I'll be going back soon, and maybe hit the itusi trail as well.
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Date Ridden: 07/26/2009  -  Benjamin of Gastonia, NC
Route Taken: All Trails
Opinions: I had a great time! My brother and I were exhausted after riding the hole trail. I will come back and bring my family. Great place to ride!
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Date Ridden: 07/16/2009  -  Matt Doll of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Itusi trail
Opinions: I think this is the best trail in Charlotte. Super fast. It seemed like it was down hill the entire way.
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Date Ridden: 07/11/2009  -  Mike W. of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: all trails
Opinions: This trail should win an award for design. What a beautiful, fun place to ride.
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Date Ridden: 07/10/2009  -  RAMSES of WESLEY CHAPPEL, NC
Route Taken: Parked at beach, rode 2.5m to itusi did all options jumped into mambo and rode back to Beach
Opinions: Very fast trail, I think I have never averaged a higher speed than I did today. 12 miles seemed like cake. This trail is similar to Sherman in trail riding conditions; the single track is a bit wider and pretty smooth. I was skeptical about riding my hard tail it at the beginning of the trail that was a bit bumpy, however 3 miles into it and I was blazing through what I would like to call the “Ewok Forest,” The scenery is fantastic. Long and steady drops in slightly twitchy sections allow you to grab some very serious speed; you need to know what you are doing to even attempt this, or have excellent brakes. I actually can’t remember to many climbs but I know they were there. Maybe I was going too fast to even notice. Great trail, a ton of fun Not to technical if you want to cruise thru it, if you want to blaze thru it, you need to have some skills.
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Date Ridden: 04/07/2009  -  Robert Vandezande of salisbury, nc
Route Taken: all trails
Opinions: i thought this trail was amazing. it was a pretty fast. and the hill climbing was spread out, the drops were really fun.
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Date Ridden: 03/25/2009  -  Ben of Mooresville, NC
Route Taken: Both in both directions...
Opinions: Great trail either way - READ THE SIGNS PEOPLE - nothing like coming on a rider going the WRONG WAY on a directional trail! Looking forward to the next 6 mile loop - AWESOME TRAIL!!!
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Date Ridden: 03/10/2009  -  johnnyzoom of Huntersville, NC
Route Taken: both Loops
Opinions: Excellent shape. Easy riding technically and very fun. Great training ground.
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Date Ridden: 11/11/2008  -  David of Kannapolis, NC
Route Taken: Clockwise Itusi and Mombo. All options Norwood Loop and Hicks Creek
Opinions: Have heard alot about these trails finally got a chance to ride them. Had a blast. Kind of a challenge with all the leaves. Can't wait to ride without them. Great trail fast wife even loved it. Great Job on the trail. Look forward to the new addition.
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Date Ridden: 10/11/2008  -  Rob of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Both Itusi and Monbo loops (Monbo 2x)
Opinions: This is a nice, smooth, fast trail. It is similar to Sherman, only with more roots. If there is a single technical feature on either loop, I did not find it, so hucksters need not apply. LNSP is a great XC trail to get some good, fast mileage in. There is some climbing, but nothing like Catawba or Renni (relatively speaking). The trail is really well maintained.
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Date Ridden: 09/28/2008  -  JDW of Cornelius, NC
Route Taken: Both trails
Opinions: Trails were open although Mombo was way too wet & muddy; Itusi was drier and decent.

When dry, these are really fast flowing trails, suitable for hardtails and full suspension bikes. Running both trails back to back gioves a great workout on about an hour...can't beat it!

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Date Ridden: 07/26/2008  -  Donna and Brett Weiser of Michaux State Forest, PA
Route Taken: We did the whole trail (13 miles) then went back and did the first half again. We would have done the 2nd half again, but our time was limited. We came down for Brett's cousin's wedding that took place that night.
Opinions: Your trails rock!! Well, literally, not really! We have so many rocks in PA that it was such a treat to find your trail and ride it! We rode it as fast as we could and it had so much flow and so many hoop-dee-doos!! I wish we lived closer! Great job to all that worked on the trail! (We do trail work in PA and can appreciate how hard you worked!) Thank you!
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Date Ridden: 07/18/2008  -  Mark Appel of Lake Tahoe, California
Route Taken: clockwise out of the parking lot and did the 6.8 miles, includes both loops and then back to the parking lot.
Opinions: A BLAST!! You are blessed to have a trail this fun and well-maintained. We don't have one-way bike trails out WEST for bikers, plus we are given a hard time by hikers. Can't wait to do the new loop too! Really great bike run for lots of levels. Today I saw nobody my entire trip, WOW!! Great job to all that worked so hard on such a beautiful trail.
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Date Ridden: 06/21/2008  -  itpcpro of Hickory, NC
Route Taken: Itusi w/ both loops
Opinions: Really great flowing trail to ride and no crazy hills. Well be visiting the trail again soon. Meet some really freindly riders on the trail. Trail was in great shape.
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Date Ridden: 03/23/2008  -  SpecEpic of Boone, NC
Route Taken: All three loops
Opinions: As many reviews have already stated, these trails are fast and flowing. This was my third time out there. I have to say that I was disappointed that the Monbo loop had been reversed and now runs clockwise. It is more of a work out now, but running counter- clockwise it flowed perfectly. Does anyone know if this is a permanent change?
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Date Ridden: 03/22/2008  -  Thorne Montague of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Monbo to Itusi (including Norman and Hicks Creek)
Opinions: Loved the new direction for Monbo. Prefer it over the old direction, big time. Different strokes, I guess. The rest was also fun.
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Date Ridden: 03/22/2008  -  MAPMAN of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: All trails with all options.
Opinions: This is a fast flowing trail that's not too difficult on the legs. There are some short climbs but nothing like Catawba. For the most part it's a smooth ride as far as singletracks go. It's quite a haul from South Charlotte, but worth it if you've never been there before. However, you can get a similar ride at Sherman Branch, Catawba, or Anne Springs.
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Date Ridden: 02/09/2008  -  flux777 of Concord, NC
Route Taken: Roller Coster, The the lake loop.
Opinions: Awesome trail, i'll definately be going back!!!
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Date Ridden: 02/09/2008  -  Brad of Mooresville, NC
Route Taken: Monbo Loop
Opinions: The trail direction has been changed to clockwise. Is this permanent? Two thumbs down.
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Date Ridden: 01/26/2008  -  SpencerL of Mooresville, NC
Route Taken: Itusi and Monbo Trails
Opinions: I went to ride today and saw posting that it was closed. It appears that it will be closed until February. Can anyone Confirm? Too bad, one of my favorite trails up here.
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Date Ridden: 01/12/2008  -  John M of Statesville, N.C.
Route Taken: Itusi,Norman Loop & Hicks Creek Loop
Opinions: Pretty Fun overall.Not very Technical Though.Flows Well!
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Date Ridden: 01/09/2008  -  John M. of Statesville, N.C
Route Taken: Monbo Loop
Opinions: Good Trail. not too technical.Trail flows good. I recently moved here from Florida and the elevation is refreshing.
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Date Ridden: 01/08/2008  -  Robert of Mooresville, NC
Route Taken: Everything
Opinions: Very well maintained trail. Really smooth and flowing. Should build some optional advanced/techical loops, but overall a very good trailo system. Why did they switch the trail direction?
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Date Ridden: 01/06/2008  -  Mike of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: All options, clockwise direction
Opinions: Well, 1st time out there ever and got the chance to ride in the 'new' direction. Seems like a lot of climbing and pain for some lame downhill sections. None of the climbs are killer, but will test your legs in sections. There was nothing really difficult on the trail at all, but for someone new or away and just getting back into it, you'll get a good workout. They do a nice job at grooming the trails (except Monbo could use a good leaf blowing).

I'd say if you live south of 85 in Charlotte, there are several better trails that are nowhere near as far of a drive and are more fun to ride (namely Catawba or Sherman).

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Date Ridden: 01/01/2008  -  Blake of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Monbo to Itusi - Clockwise
Opinions: Plan to bring your legs and your lungs! Now I know why I was fast at this trail going counter clockwise... It is mostly downhill in that direction. I found that out today going in the new diretion which is clearly marked along the trail and at the trailhead. It is definitely interesting to ride it clockwise, but you are going to work a lot harder. My average speed was a mere 10 MPH flat (although it was quite muddy and I was very surprised the trail was even open). Normally we are 12.5 or better. You might get caught off gaurd and catch some big air in a couple of areas so pay attention. It really feels like you are in the mountains now. The final climb out of the Itusi loop kind of reminds me of the switchbacks on goat hill at catawba. Definitely a new challenge at Lake Norman.
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Date Ridden: 12/14/2007  -  jon p of charlotte, nc
Route Taken: itusi and mombo ;)
Opinions: Wow. This trail is a haul to get to from matthews, but well worth the trip. beautiful natural environment and one of the best 'beginner' trails around that can also be a great cardio workout up the hills. Best of all, there are miles and miles all together, so if you're frequenting other places and having to go around 2x or more, this can be taken fast and keep you on the trail with something new coming up! A terriffic trail in great shape - many cudos to the builders and designers. One suggestion would be some 'bypass' trails that "up" the difficulty would be nice (ah-la Fisher Farm). As a beginner this past spring, i wish i'd tried this trail months ago. the roots are easy, and as you let your speed build the trail can suddenly reach "oh s***" proportions as you hit something MUCH faster than you anticipated! (big grin). Highly Recommended.
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Date Ridden: 11/22/2007  -  Charlie Sink of Lexington, NC
Route Taken: Both loops
Opinions: Great trail for fast cruising- well maintained and one nearly anyone could do. For me it would be better if there were a couple of hills on the course. It is amazing that the builders could make this trail so relaxing (unless you are going extremely fast) on such a hilly terrain. These guys could build an airport on Mt. Everest! Great trail anyway.
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Date Ridden: 11/20/2007  -  Jim of Winston Salem, NC
Route Taken: All
Opinions: Fantastic for anyone who loves fast singletrack or is just learning to ride. This is the place I love to take friends who are just getting in to the sport and thus far, no disappointments! It's fast, fun, long and not technical at all. I'm always surprised there are not more people riding these trails.
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Date Ridden: 11/04/2007  -  MG3 of CLT, NC
Route Taken: both loops
Opinions: Fun! Fun! Fun! This is one of the most fun trails I've ever ridden. It's not very hard. However, it's really fast and smooth. This is trail that you can ride all day long. Believe me, you'll want to.
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Date Ridden: 11/02/2007  -  Peter Henderson of Hickory, NC
Route Taken: all
Opinions: I give this trail three F's. Fast Fun and Flowing. I would compare this trail to the bigining section of the USNWC trail. I rode both trails which are aprox 6 miles each and maintaind a quick pace, that made the trails fly. I am and intermediate beginer and found LNSP to be pretty easy on the legs. I would recomend two things: watch your speed and stop by First Flight Bicycles in Statesville (they maintain the track).
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Date Ridden: 09/29/2007  -  Greg of Concord, NC
Route Taken:
Opinions: How can a loop trail be 90% downhill?!! At least it seemed that way. I finally got up to ride the new Monbo loop at Itusi this weekend, as it's more than a 50 mile trip each way for me. Awesome trail. Just an unbelievable ride. Nothing technical at all, just one significant climb, but unequaled for a pin-your-ears-back, pick-the-bugs-out-of-your-teeth fun ride. I thought the older loops were great, but this one takes it a step farther. Many thanks to the north-end guys who put this trail together.
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Date Ridden: 08/18/2007  -  Steve Wilson of Salisbury, NC
Route Taken:
Opinions: Really fun and fast. I've ridden trails in Western NC, Oregon, California and Colorado and this is one of the finest. How fast you ride effects the difficulty. Thanks to all that help build it.
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Date Ridden: 08/04/2007  -  Matt of Winston-Salem, NC
Route Taken: Itusi Trail - the trail was nice and dry and wider than most singletracks. I appreciate all the work done by volunteers. I can't wait to get to the Monbo trail
Opinions: Worth the drive from W-S. Can be easy for beginners and a fast workout for experienced riders.
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Date Ridden: 08/04/2007  -  John of Huntersville, NC
Route Taken: Main loop and Manbo loop
Opinions: Since I am a newbie and need to practice basic skills I find both of these loops fantastic. Nothing intimidating and great for a beginner. Could you lower some of the hills for old geezers like me ? HAHAHHA
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Date Ridden: 08/03/2007  -  Brandon B. of Concord, NC
Route Taken: All trails(Itutsi loops, and Monbo)
Opinions: Incredible work done by the developers of these trails. Itusi loops are quick and flow smoothly. Monbo is Money. Super fast and tons of downhill. Highly Reccomended.
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Date Ridden: 07/12/2007  -  DumpTuck07 of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: This was a pleasant ride started @ the trailhead and finished ahour later.
Opinions: Great ride
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Date Ridden: 05/19/2007  -  Lyn of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Itusi & Monbo combined
Opinions: Awesome 13-mile combined ride. Monbo was a pleasant surprise...more challenging than Itusi, although Itusi is great fun.
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Date Ridden: 05/19/2007  -  JR of Hillsdale, NC
Route Taken: Rode Itusi last week and Mondo today
Opinions: Great trails,both trails are technically easy but the uphills add a little difficulty especially the long hill about half way through Mondo.It seems like you are doing more downhill than up,some of the downhills can be very fast and long.If you like going fast on tight singletrack then this place is for you.Nice hardwood forest and some pine forest on Mondo make for a very nice ride,makes you feel like you are in the mountains.If you live anywhere close you should try these out.Thanks to all who helped make these trails possible.I rated these a 2 difficulty because of the length and some hills,technically they would be a 1.
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Date Ridden: 05/01/2007  -  James of Cornelius, NC
Route Taken: Itusi
Opinions: Enjoyed, lots of fun rolling through the trees... great workout!
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Date Ridden: 04/22/2007  -  Sean of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Where the signs told us to. All the loops including the new Mombo
Opinions: Great flow...FAST... certainly Tsali (esqe) great piece of land, the trail seems to be what you make it. Smooth enough for a slower family ride, but put the hammer down and it gets exciting. Great Job!
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Date Ridden: 04/21/2007  -  Larry of Charlotte, nc
Route Taken: MOMBO
Opinions: The trail builders should receive a standing ovation for this new trail. It is a delightful ride. Fast or slow, it provides challenges in a beautiful setting. This is the perfect trail to introduce people to the sport. If they can make the 6 miles they will be hooked.
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Date Ridden: 04/14/2007  -  Bob of Hickory, NC
Route Taken: Itusi and Monbo
Opinions: Rode Monbo today and was very impressed. Alot more rugged than Itusi and tons of fun, it actually feels like you are mountain biking. If there's a better trail outside the high country I'd have to see it to believe it. This is a destination trail, folks, come check it out! A thousand thank you's to the architects and builders...
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Date Ridden: 04/01/2007  -  Dave of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: All
Opinions: Great flow and tons of fun, especially on a single-speed. I will certainly be back soon
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Date Ridden: 03/31/2007  -  Blake of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Itusi trail and new Monbo trail
Opinions: I have always enjoyed the flow and speed of the Itusi trail. This trail is now the best trail in the Charlotte area with the opening of the Monbo trail (my opinion). We rode this morning and the conditions are awesome. Put these two trails together and you'll feel like you have just completed the left loop as Tsali. Monbo trail is excellent and flows just as well as the Itusi. One big difference you will find is the climbs are much longer and a couple of them get fairly steep at the top. You'll be rewarded by the views and the downhill which is awesome cross country riding. You'll also get your thrills with quite a few dips/drops that pop you right back up and if you take them at speed it feels like a roller coaster. Definitely worth the drive to ride this trail! Good job Trailblazers!
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Date Ridden: 03/31/2007  -  Abe of Waxhaw, NC
Route Taken: All
Opinions: Great trails, turns,jumps,and hills. A great workout, and is well worth the drive. Trek had Demo van there, and weather was perfect. Trailblazers did a great job with new trails, and old trails are in great shape.
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Date Ridden: 03/05/2007  -  Hoezaycuervo of Kannapolis, NC
Route Taken: Itusi plus all loops
Opinions: Fun, rolling trail. Enjoyed the varying types of terrain from rocky to clay. A few cool jumps along the way, but not technical at all. Saw a few good opportunities for some logs but the trees had been cut. Good workout and perfect length, only wish there were some steep drops, logs, etc.
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Date Ridden: 02/21/2007  -  Tim of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Itusi, Hicks Creek and Norwood
Opinions: Fast ride! My new favorite trail in the area! Lots of smooth transitions and not too technical. Great uphill aerobic challenges without insane obstacles. If you like lots of technical obstacles, this is not your trail. However, the faster you ride, the more difficult it can be.
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Date Ridden: 01/24/2007  -  Beaux of Davidson, NC
Route Taken: Main Loops, and then some ones that I accidentally made up
Opinions: I got pretty mixed up on the trail, basically I started at the end of the trail. I finally figured it out and ending the day clocking about 11 miles on a 7 mile trail. Oops. But it was a pretty solid trail, I don't know if it was because it was a little damp, but the trail was pretty slow.
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Date Ridden: 01/21/2007  -  OB1 of Mooresville, NC
Route Taken: ALL
Opinions: This is a great cross country trail. But I'm not much of a CC guy myself. The two optional legs that begin and end at the same point can come in handy when riding with a broken group. Flowing trail that is great for bringing out of town friends for a ride. You'll be able to talk and ride most of the time.
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Date Ridden: 01/13/2007  -  KitKat of Aberdeen, NC
Route Taken: All loops
Opinions: My girlfriend and I rode this trail a year ago for the first time, and come back on a regular basis. It's that good; worth the 2-1/2 hour drive. For newer riders, its a great place to ride that is fun with a little difficulty thrown in, and more experienced riders can go faster to up the difficulty. It's like Tsali. You know how you get someone hooked on mountain biking when you take them there, bring em here and get hooked all over again.
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Date Ridden: 01/08/2007  -  Linus of CLT, NC
Route Taken: All Loops. Has a portable toilet when the park facilities are closed for Winter. Good parking and well maintained trail. Trails clearly marked although the route to the park is not so make sure to print and take your directions with you.
Opinions: This Itusi trail is lot of fun. I don't recall any technical sections on this trail. The trail is wider than the normal singlet tack and not many roots, a few bridges and switch backs. Good endurance ride similar to Sherman Park. This trail is for someone that has beginner level experience. Lots of rolling up and downhills with not a big change in elevation. Fun for the whole family if you ask me. Rode the entire trail in under 40 mins. Not sure of the mileage. Great XC type trail.
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Date Ridden: 12/06/2006  -  Jim of Indian Trail, NC
Route Taken: Main trail and first side loop.
Opinions: First time on this one. Only one on trail with beautiful lake views. Good workout for this grandpa on new GF HiFi. Will return. Mixed slow climbs to try out all of my gears and took some fast downhill flats to try out Fox and Manitou suspension options.
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Date Ridden: 08/20/2006  -  illineil of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: The entire trail (6.7 miles)
Opinions: I thought that this was a great series of trails. All extremely wooded with lots of ups and downs and a few switchbacks. And parts of the trail go along by the lake. I found the entire trail to be well marked and maintained and alot of other people seemed to be riding this trail as well. Like people have said before, not many hills or technical manuvers required but there are areas where one can attain quite a bit of velocity. This is my new favorite trail!!!
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Date Ridden: 08/19/2006  -  GS of Concord, NC
Route Taken: Everything
Opinions: An absolutely fabulous trail, IMHO. The only thing it lacks is technical challenges, but it can't be everything at once. It's fast, with varied terrain and a lot of elevation changes. The rolling nature of the terrain makes for a great ride. The scenery is also nice as much of it parallels the lake. It definitely reminds me of Tsali. Can't wait for the other portion to open.
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Date Ridden: 08/31/2005  -  Jaden of Mooresville, NC
Route Taken: All loops
Opinions: Excellent trails with good climbs and minimal root exposure.
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Date Ridden: 11/21/2004  -  Tyler Hatton of Charlotte, North Carolina
Route Taken:
Opinions: I am only 10 years old and I had a great time. I had my sister Molly with me and she is only 7. We did the entire trail except for one one mile loop. The best was the longer part of the trail that leads directly out of Parking Lot #1.
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Date Ridden: 11/16/2003  -  Doug Mitchell of Concord, NC
Route Taken: Full 4.2
Opinions: Excellent trail with moderate climbs and some fun descends. A few more loops and I'm sure I'll pick up some of the nuances that make this trail really fun. Very few roots and rocks to get in the way of going fast.
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Date Ridden: 10/24/2003  -  Andrew Ventresca of Huntersville, NC
Route Taken: I-77 to exit 36. Left off the highway, go about 2 miles, right on to Perth Rd. 7 miles to the State Park Rd entrance.
Opinions: This trail is a nice ride. It is smooth and fast at parts. I enjoyed this one the most so far. Good for novice riders who are not interested in killing themselves on roots and technical obsticals
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Date Ridden: 09/21/2003  -  BMESS of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Entire loop. 4.2 Miles.
Opinions: An extremely easy trail with little elevation change and no technical difficulty. It needs character, which comes with time. I expect the trails to evolve through the winter especially with the addition of more options. Not bad if you want to take your wife and kids. I passed 2 families of 4 and one lady who was older than my mother riding a banana seat. No Joke.
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Date Ridden: 09/20/2003  -  Flyin' Elvis of Huntersville, NC
Route Taken: A trail map is at the kiosk. The trail is one way - follow the blue trail arrows.
Opinions: Look up the term "FLOW" in Webster's dictionary, and there is a photograph of "Water" Bob Carriker, trail builder extraordinaire, standing at the trailhead of the Itusi trail. The rolling rollercoaster ride is a model of self sustaining trail construction. The trail is heavily wooded and offers occasional views of Lake Norman. Think mini-Tsali. The trail is a great place to take beginner riders, but can be a blast for the experienced rider as well. The Achilles heel of the trail at this point in time is its length of 4.2 miles. That will be remedied in the near future, as trail expansion commences this weekend (9/27 - 9/28). The length shouldn’t be enough to discourage making the drive to Troutman. Several laps on the Itusi trail, and you start finding its little hidden nuisances. And there are two other trails in the area – Signal Hill, in Statesville and North Meck Park in Huntersville. So make a day of it and sample all that Northern Metro Charlotte now has to offer.
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