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Old 02-27-2010, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Cary NC
39 posts, read 61,089 times
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I am looking for some great bike trails that would be family friendly. My wife and I have an 11 yr old an a 6 yr old that both love to ride. We currently ride around Lake Pine but are looking for something a bit more challenging. We just moved to the area from New Hampshire so please be as specific as possible with recommendations and locations. I know I have heard of a couple of bike paths such as those on some old rail road tracks or on the tobacco roads but I have no idea where or what these are.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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The American Tobacco Trail is what you refer to and attached link should give you the information you need. You will find the ATT very bike friendly as it has gentle gradients and perfect for cycling with children. I would recommend the car park at White oak church as a good starting point on the Trail as you have to choice of going north or south and it has bathroom facilities as well.

http://www.wakegov.com/parks/att/directions/default.htm
The American Tobacco Trail

Quote:
Originally Posted by janda001 View Post
I am looking for some great bike trails that would be family friendly. My wife and I have an 11 yr old an a 6 yr old that both love to ride. We currently ride around Lake Pine but are looking for something a bit more challenging. We just moved to the area from New Hampshire so please be as specific as possible with recommendations and locations. I know I have heard of a couple of bike paths such as those on some old rail road tracks or on the tobacco roads but I have no idea where or what these are.

Last edited by Beermat; 02-27-2010 at 03:24 PM.. Reason: add wake County web link
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:38 AM
 
4 posts, read 16,548 times
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I would get a copy of the Cary Bicycle and Greenway map... http://www.townofcary.org/__shared/assets/bicyclemap10484.pdf (broken link)

Cary is blessed with one of the best Greenway systems in the Southeast. The ATT is also a great option as is Umstead State Park if you are looking for something with a bit more elevation change.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Central North Carolina
1,335 posts, read 3,148,302 times
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Harris Lake County Park is exactly what you need. There are about 8 miles of singletrack out there. If you park in the paved lot (follow the signs to bike trailhead called "hogs run") the beginner loop is easy, and probably a half mile long, give or take, then there are two intermediate loops, and from there you can cross the street and go to the advanced. it is all pretty easy, and I see families out there all the time, mostly on beginner and first intermediate due to close proximity to parking.

There are roots and stuff there, but nothing too challenging. Definitely more than just a greenway or the ATT.

Also, you might want to visit www.trianglemtb.com, which is the local site for mountainbiking. They have trail descriptions and directions to get to all the legal trails in the area.

Another place to try is Lake Crabtree County Park near the airport, but it is WAY more crowded, and probably not quite as kid friendly.

Note that ALL of the legal trails in the area do close when they are wet, so check before you drive. (Crabtree is closed today because of the rain of the previous days and weeks, so a sunny day is not always a sure-thing that the trail is open...)
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:22 AM
 
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Singletrack MTB trails seem a big leap from a paved greenway.

The ATT is very nice for riding because it is wide and you can ride a long ways, but the railroad grade makes it a fairly easy ride. Other than being to ride a long ways, there isn't much challenge there. There are some other greenway trails that I like better than the one at Lake Pine. The White Oak Greenway in Cary (you can park at Davis Drive Elementary) is nice and the new section has a couple of good hills that at least make you use some different muscles, although nothing too difficult.

The carriage roads at Umstead State Park would an excellent choice. Some big hills that will really give you a workout, but the trails are wide enough to be very safe for kids. I usually access via Old Reedy Creek road off Weston Parkway. This lets me do a nice fairly flat section to start, such that I'm good and warmed up for the hills. In the map I've linked to, I start off on the left side and take the Reedy Creek trail to the Cedar Ridge Trail (which is a fun, steep downhill stretch) over a water crossing to the North Turkey Creek Trail (which is a twisty up and down trail that is a lot of fun, but the up sections can be steep) to the Graylyn Trail, which will take you back to the Reedy Creek Trail to exit (with some long, slow uphills out that can really get to you if you've pushed hard on the other sections).

Umstead Coalition - Large Trail map
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:56 AM
 
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Although not challenging more flat, we liked the part of the Cary Greenway Trail behind White Oak Park. It is paved. One direction will take you to Davis Drive while the other direction will take you to Hwy 55. There is also a park there so the kids can play. It is located off of Jenks Carpenter which can be accessed off High House between Davis and 55.

Other favorites of mine are Shelley Lake and Lake Lynn in North Raleigh. Shelley is off of West Millbrook and Lynn is off Lynn Road.

Cary Greenway Map http://www.townofcary.org/__shared/assets/bicyclemap10484.pdf (broken link)

Shelley Lake website City of Raleigh | Shelley Lake (http://www.raleigh-nc.org/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_306_209_0_43/http;/pt03/DIG_Web_Content/category/Leisure/Parks_and_Facilities/Lakes/Cat-1C-20041118-104321-Shelley_Lake.html - broken link)

Lake Lynn (only one I could find) Lake Lynn Park - Raleigh North Carolina
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Western Cary, NC
4,348 posts, read 7,352,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janda001 View Post
I am looking for some great bike trails that would be family friendly. My wife and I have an 11 yr old an a 6 yr old that both love to ride. We currently ride around Lake Pine but are looking for something a bit more challenging. We just moved to the area from New Hampshire so please be as specific as possible with recommendations and locations. I know I have heard of a couple of bike paths such as those on some old rail road tracks or on the tobacco roads but I have no idea where or what these are.
I shudder as I read “family friendly”. I was on the damage end of an accident where I dodged a child on the paved green way in Cary. His parents were riding in front of him, while he struggled up an incline on the trail with his bike going from side to side. The trails are full on bike riders most evenings, and most of them adult, and riding in orderly lines at a steady a workout pace. This makes dodging a child on a bike next to impossible.
I personally missed the child coming at a right angle to the traffic flow, but the cost has been 8 months and counting of recovery. I ended up with four broken ribs, a level three concussion, and aneurism, and a broken shoulder. My last surgery was December 18, and I was injured on September 4. I won’t even go into the dollar cost of the accident.

I think before you ask about family friendly trails, you need to ask if your child can ride a bike well enough to be on a trail with others, than ask what if the person who tries to dodge an out of control child hits him instead of going for the drainage ditch as I did.

The Tobacco trail is a great unpaved trail, bikes move at rates up to and over 20 MPH, and the addition of runners and horses make the need for an experienced rider even more important. I hope to be riding the trails again this summer, and I will be on the tobacco trail as I recognize it as having riders with more experience. I just hope the people with children recognize the dangers associated with bike riding, and make sure their children are ready to ride with hundreds of riders traveling at workout paces.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:15 PM
 
3,395 posts, read 7,767,831 times
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As a rider on the greenways, you just really have to be careful. The speed limit is only 15 mph, which is a modest pace for me. I usually slow considerably when passing people, and am extra cautious when there are kids or pets involved. If you can't dodge a child on the greenway safely, you are doing something wrong, IMHO.

The ATT and Umstead are wider, so I usually just call out and don't need to slow when passing, unless it is a large group, horses are involved, or there is two way traffic present.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Western Cary, NC
4,348 posts, read 7,352,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dire Wolf View Post
As a rider on the greenways, you just really have to be careful. The speed limit is only 15 mph, which is a modest pace for me. I usually slow considerably when passing people, and am extra cautious when there are kids or pets involved. If you can't dodge a child on the greenway safely, you are doing something wrong, IMHO.

The ATT and Umstead are wider, so I usually just call out and don't need to slow when passing, unless it is a large group, horses are involved, or there is two way traffic present.
Wolf, I agree, I was doing less than 5 MPH when I went off in the drain field, and if you can find a way to avoid a kid coming right at you than let me know. I have run my options over in my head a million times, and the only answer was to hit the kid or hit the drainage ditch. I chose the later. The bottom line is it is a public area, and if you take you children to the green way you need to watch them, and keep them out of the traffic. In my case all the yelling from dozens of people did no good, Traffic was going two ways, and it was no place for any person, adult or child, who can’t control the bike they are riding.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:45 AM
 
4 posts, read 68,034 times
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curious - did you find some good trails for you? Ironically, we've lived in NC for 8 yrs, wife just talked me into a month up in NH and now the kids (3 and 7) are really into biking (the land was very flat between the mtn - North Conway)
now she's trying to talk me into moving up there...to cold for me but trying to keep the kids into biking (our neighborhood is too hilly, I ride umstead all the time)
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