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Triangle Mountain Biking Resources

I get asked this question SO much, so I decided to put all the info in one place for you. If you're a mountain biker who recently moved to the North Carolina Triangle or you already live here and new to riding, here's all the info you need for getting the most out of this area. 

We are lucky that we have a TON of places to go with a good bit of variation in terrain. 

Places to Ride

First, download a couple of apps dedicated to mountain biking. The two I use are Trail Forks and MTB Project. I usually prefer Trail Forks, but I have both because the data detail can vary between the apps. They are both free. 

Trail Forks

MTB Project

Here's a list of legal places to mountain bike within an hour of Raleigh:

  • Lake Crabtree - flowy beginner and intermediate trails, advanced loop, skills sections, jump area and pump track
  • Forest Ridge - very flowy and great for beginner and intermediate riders
  • San Lee - most people love it or hate it, located in Sanford. Lots of rock gardens and technical sections. It also has a gravity park
  • RTP - 4 miles of trail, flowy and fast. No amenities
  • New Light - pretty views along Falls Lake, difficult, black diamond trail
  • Beaver Dam- intermediate and advanced loops. $4 fee per car memorial day through labor day
  • Wake Forest Reservoir
  • Legend
  • Harris Lake - very flowy and great for beginner and intermediate riders, has a super fun flow trail
  • Briar Chapel - a few trails for beginners but mostly for intermediate and advanced riders. Lots of rock gardens
  • Brumley- Nice large preserve with a few rock gardens. Something for all levels of rider here
  • Carolina North Forest
  • Little River Park
  • Sarah Williamson Preserve
People to Ride with
Triangle Off-road Cyclists (TORC) This group leads trail rides, hosts events and does a TON of trail building and maintenance in the triangle. If you're looking for people to ride with or learn from, you'll want to join. You can find them on their website, Facebook and Meet-up.

Trail Status
Trails in the triangle are very susceptible to erosion and damage if ridden while wet, so expect closures during and after wet weather. Use Triangle MTB to check the status of a park before you head out. This website is updated by users and the status for each location shows when it was updated. If it was updated several days ago, it may be useful to call the park. 

If the park you want to go to hasn't been updated recently, try calling their main office. Typically their answering machine will tell you if trails are currently open or closed even outside of office hours. 

Know Before Your Go
  • Helmets are required in all managed parks. Most parks have fines for not wearing a helmet and/or will kick you out
  • Some parks have bike tools, bathrooms and other facilities (Forest Ridge and Crabtree, for example) and other parks have only a porta-potty or no facilities at all (RTP and Brumley for example) 
  • San Lee asks that all riders sign in at trail head. Proven trail use is how they keep their funding. 
  • Riding alone isn't the safest, but if you must, share your ride plan with a friend
  • Electric bikes are not allowed at some parks, so check with the park if you have one