If you're heading to Forks Area Trail System (FATS) in Clarks Hill, South Carolina, overlook Brown Wave at your own peril. This 6-mile intermediate-level loop trail injects adrenaline into your veins like a roller coaster, right from the get-go. Often paired with other loops like Skinny and Great Wall for an extended 12-mile ride, Brown Wave features fast, flowy tracks filled with dips and whoop-die-dos. Prepare for a memorable loop where flow is king, and the thrills never stop.
- From I-20: Take SC Exit 1 (SC 230) and head north for approximately 5 miles.
- Trailhead Parking: Make a left turn onto Woodlawn Rd and continue for 4 miles. The trailhead parking area is conveniently situated on the left.
What Makes It Special
A Balanced Riding Experience
- Great mix of fast, flowy segments and technically challenging bits like rock gardens.
- Optimal for both counterclockwise and clockwise riding; each direction offers its unique set of challenges and thrills.
Unique Trail Features
- Brown Wave Proper: A series of quick, steep dips that have caught many off guard—both novice and expert riders alike.
- Flow and Air: The trail offers numerous opportunities to catch air, with several well-placed rollers and bumps.
Rider Insights and Recommendations
- "You can really rip at speed on this trail, especially if you're good at pumping."
- "Keep your speed in check, as the fast corners are often accompanied by immovable trees."
- "Highly recommend trying the trail counterclockwise first, but both directions provide an awesome experience."
- Glasses are a Must: Given the pine forest areas, protective eyewear could save your eyes from stray branches.
- Trail Etiquette: The loop lacks a set riding direction, so be prepared to yield the trail to oncoming riders.
- Know Your Landing Areas: The trail offers several opportunities for airborne thrills, but be mindful of your landing spots as the trees don't budge.
The Final Verdict
Brown Wave stands as an exhilarating journey through well-maintained, well-marked singletrack that challenges and rewards in equal measure. Whether you're connecting it with Skinny and Great Wall for a more extended ride or tackling it as a standalone loop, it promises a fulfilling and adventurous cycling experience. This trail isn't just another loop at FATS; it's a must-ride playground that offers something for everyone, from the gravity chasers to the speed demons.Happy Trails!