Colonel Francis J. Beatty Community Park
(updated: Jan 14, 2008)
Went to visit Leslie's uncle who lives in the Charlotte area, in Matthews, NC. A quick google search showed a mountain bike trail only a mile from where they live. Yes it was no accident that the bike was conveniently affixed to the back of the car.
So I saddled up to check it out. The trail is labeled a beginner trail on Tarheel Trailblazers website, but rather than look at it in terms of beginner/intermediate/advanced, I saw it as a really fun, fast, flowy trail. Not much elevation change but as a result you keep pedaling most of the time so it gives you a great workout. And it's got lots of roots. Roots are great, especially when you have a full-suspension 29er.
The Tarheel Trailblazers built and maintain the trail. It is clearly marked, including signs that say not to ride within 24 hours after rain. I violated that bit because it rained the night before. The trails do drain quickly, however. They are hard packed, and there were only a few places where there was water on the trail, and only one spot about three yards long that was muddy. Kudos to the Trailblazers for doing such a good job designing the trail.
It's nice to have trails in a metro area hell bent on bulldozing all open space and continuing to build houses like it's still 2005. "Hey Charlotte, the earth called, and she wants her trees back." The park has basketball courts, soccer fields, a lake, and upcoming baseball fields. But the idea of including mountain bike trails as part of the park is a great one that should be followed elsewhere (like in Wilmington, NC). In fact, all developments and neighborhoods should have mountain bike trails ringing it in a buffer zone. Then people won't need to drive to the gym or buy expensive treadmills (yawn) or other stationary exercise equipment. Just a bike.
The trail is 5.5 miles long and miles are marked along the way. But it goes by quick because the trail flows so well. I had fun riding it. It would be a good spot for a race. Trail difficulty is also marked by green, blue and black circles, which I thought was a bit overkill.
Couple of small bridges:
The black circle trail:
No shortage of roots here:
1. Sir Lamm-Hammer said...
i dont think they will mind you riding their trails after a rain for the sake of promoting MTbiking and posting information on the net. you are on your way to having the largest database of MT bike trails ever just on this site. and this is not some funded orginization, you are doing it just for the fun and to give others the info that is so hard to find some times. soon the SIRBIKESALOT web site will be know nation wide and you will not have enough server space to run it on your own. hold on, no. that will just be an excuse for you to buy more sweet computer gear. LOL!
Dec 22, 2007 @ 7:19 AM
2. Steve Jolly said...
Beatty Park was the first MTB trail I ever rode when they first opened the beginner loop back in 1999 (I think) and it got me hooked. Next time you are visiting Leslie's Uncle try Sherman Branch. It's a new trail with better terrain and it's not far from Francis Beatty. Also, Anne Aprings Close Greenway in Fort Mill is also close by and they opened a ton a new trails there before the Treeshaker race back in the fall. Of course the US Whitewater Center is the best trail in the area.
Jan 6, 2008 @ 3:35 PM
3. Sir Bikes said...
USNWC video coming soon...
Jan 6, 2008 @ 8:23 PM
4. Steve said...
Races are held in the Spring and Summer http://www.charlottemtnbike.com/
Jan 22, 2008 @ 10:46 AM
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