If cycling through nature’s canvas with alternating rhythms of high speed and skill-testing terrain is your ideal bike day, look no further than the Great Wall Loop in Clarks Hill, South Carolina. Situated within the well-known FATS (Forks Area Trail System), this trail stands out for its unique blend of features that cater to intermediate-level riders.
The trailhead can be easily accessed by taking SC Exit 1 (SC 230) from I-20 near Augusta, GA. A five-mile northward journey on SC 230 leads you to Woodlawn Rd. Four miles down this road, the trailhead parking area awaits on the left.
No real mountain-climbing challenges here, but enough elevational nuances to keep riders on their toes. Amidst the largely smooth terrain, a few rocky and root-laden patches are sprinkled in for good measure. The trail offers a solid intermediate experience—offering exhilarating downhill stretches and just enough climbs to keep the journey engaging. These features contribute to its reputation as the most diverse in the FATS trail system.
Riders comment on the well-marked paths, complete with mile markers at regular intervals. This level of detail makes it an excellent choice for those who are new to the area.
The community is remarkably rule-abiding and friendly, creating a harmonious environment for everyone on the trail. Safety orange is recommended attire for visibility, especially during peak riding hours.
The trail does take some time to dry after a storm, and a minor issue of inadequate slope drainage has been reported. Additionally, the path can get pretty dusty during the pollen-rich spring season.
The Great Wall Loop gives riders an inviting blend of fast, flowy sections interspersed with just enough climbs and natural obstacles to keep things interesting. If you're in the Clarks Hill area, make it a point to explore this gem. It's well worth the ride!