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Trail Reviews for Beaver Dam as submitted by trianglemtb.com guests

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CategoryAverage Rating
Overall :   4.0 / 5.0   based on 61 votes
Technical :   3.3 / 5.0   based on 61 votes
Climbing :   3.4 / 5.0   based on 61 votes
Freeride :   1.6 / 5.0   based on 61 votes
Scenery/Wildlife :   3.7 / 5.0   based on 61 votes
Flow :   3.3 / 5.0   based on 52 votes



Beaver Dam trail has been reviewed 61 times by our trianglemtb.com guests.

Reviewed by:Charles L.
Reviewed on:10/18/2017
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The West and South loops of this trail combine to provide an old-school feel, kind of like New Light but not quite as challenging. There are no berms, jumps or other manufactured obstacles. Instead you are challenged by the trail layout and terrain. BD has some of the longer descents in this area (at least outside of SanLee's Gravity Park), so a dropper post can actually be useful here. Some of the harder climbs are found near the end of the South loop, so it is a pretty good leg and lung workout just when you might be starting to feel fatigued. BD has decent flow, which would be faster if the trail were better maintained. The Drop Zone has become more challenging with erosion and the lack of maintenance. The trail is also one of the more scenic in the area.

Overall I really like this trail. I agree with the sentiment that maintenance could be better, however.
Reviewed by:Misterdrew
Reviewed on:06/05/2017
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Went to Beaverdam for the first time this weekend. I found the easier loops to be pretty boring. But the advanced loop and drop zone were fun. You can tell the trail doesn't get a lot of traffic. The trail rides pretty slow sometimes due to the large amount of pine straw and leaves. This would be fixed by more traffic. I assume there isn't a lot of riders due to the fee to get in (which by the way is now $7). I find it weird to charge to ride here. From my understanding it is built and maintained by volunteers. I'd like to see the fee waived. Anyways, there's a decent amount of elevation and fun downhill areas in the advanced section. Nothing over the top crazy hard but more of a constant steady challenge. I enjoyed it. Great work out. More people should come ride here!
Reviewed by:DaveTurnips
Reviewed on:02/28/2016
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Reviewed by:gadgetgeek
Reviewed on:08/25/2015
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Good trail to ride. Inner & Outer loop definitely for advanced beginners. West loop is more intermediate and the south loop is definitely intermediate, and for adventurous advanced beginners. They're all singletrack so you're committed once in. Most obstacles are passable for advanced beginners, and consist of mostly logs. Good place to hone skills and build endurance, especially the south loop.

If you've ridden Crabtree and want more of a challenge, this is the place to come. The climbs are longer and steeper than Crabtree, but doable. Drops are much steeper, and the roots are manageable.

Most times I've been here, I've only seen a couple of other riders, so if you're a beginner, you may want to come with a friend.
Reviewed by:JonB
Reviewed on:08/09/2015
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Rode this trail for the first time today and had a blast. The pine straw is really only thick on the inner, outer, and west loop. Those trails are easier and less interesting to ride anyway. The south loop and drop zone are definitely the best parts and I think are pretty underrated. Drop zone has some quick up and downs and a couple technical descents but ironically doesn't really have any actual drops. The rest of south loop is pretty similar to New Light but it's less technical and the climbs aren't as steep. The descents are longer and more flowy. There's a couple trees across the trails that need to be cut but otherwise I think the complaints about lack of maintenance are a little exaggerated. This isn't Crabtree with machine made hard pack trails. This is a more raw riding experience which means navigating roots, rocks, and imperfect ground. That being said, the large majority of the trail is still smoother that what you will find at New Light. Really the only downside to the trail is there aren't any jumps so don't expect to get any air on it.
Reviewed by:Curran
Reviewed on:07/26/2015
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I have ridden this trail twice in the last two weeks. It seems to have great potential but needs maintenance severely.

Trail surface is a thick layer of pine straw. Not a great surface, kills speed and energy in a hurry. I would say 5 mikes on pine straw rides like 10 on a better surface. In addition the roots and ruts are so bad that it is not fun on a hardtail.

Who is supposed to maintain this trail? Is it done by club or by the park?
Reviewed by:TheGriz
Reviewed on:07/21/2015
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Lots of thick pine straw on the trail, limbs, branches, and trees down. The soft feel of the trail sucked the energy out of each pedal stroke. It has been years since I've ridden here. Is it not getting used like it used to?
Reviewed by:dalgy
Reviewed on:04/16/2015
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I have been riding in NC since the middle of 2013 and used to go to beaver on a weekly basis. Loved it... flow was good, secluded, a nice workout; overall a well rounded trail on the West/South/Dropzone loops and one of my favorites in the triangle.

That being said, I have ridden it 3 total times in the past 6 months. Each time I would show up, my hope was sincere that the state would have done some work out there. I cant believe they actually charge a fee to ride it now... Last weekend, I saw no evidence of any kind of investment other than a few cut logs. At least 4 large windfalls that need to be removed and 75% of the downhill flowy sections are completely gutted, rutted, and beat up, which takes every ounce of fun out of the loops. Its frankly a total bummer that this once-great trail is in the condition it is and I wont be going back anytime soon.
Reviewed by:jmillersan
Reviewed on:04/03/2015
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the 8.5 mile loop is great.
I see some 'negative' reviews about it - yes, it has some roots. but i'm not an expert rider and I can do the whole thing without any stopping. this is not an expert trail - but it is 8.5 miles of mountain biking including some hills and roots!! If you have the time to do the distance, great trail to 'learn' and practice on it. I think it flows great, nothing that I remember that is so bad that an average rider needs to push the bike.
Reviewed by:HazzMatt
Reviewed on:12/03/2014
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Not a fan. It was tough due to all of the roots. I'm a beginner and I do enjoy some roots, but wow! It's like riding on a railroad track of elbows cobbled together by Michael J. Fox.
Reviewed by:Dragon21
Reviewed on:09/21/2014
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I really like these trails. West loop is probably my favorite. Nothing too technical, but still some fun sections, you can find these mostly where the trail splits. Trails don't have the flow of Crabtree, but due to the trails being one way only, you don't have to worry about meeting another biker head on. I typically ride these on weekends when most trails are busy. If your just getting back in to riding, beware of south loop, once your start there are no early exits.
Reviewed by:fathippo
Reviewed on:09/08/2014
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Really nice set of trails. Thanks to the people who have worked on these. Not highly technical but it has great flow and good climbs. Every time I have ridden here there have been very few other riders. Do be warned that the South Loop is almost a 10 mile commitment from the parking area. Just my opinion but I think a cut through on this loop would be helpful for those who need it.
Reviewed by:Hesston
Reviewed on:01/17/2014
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Reviewed by:Zomp
Reviewed on:01/05/2014
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Beginners:

Follow both outer and inner loops. Enjoy many hills, roots, whoops, and downhill riding - this is a great place to develop your skills and muscles - from a beginners perspective (me).

The "One Way" trails are perfectly marked and you will find your way in and your way out with ease.

I would like to mention that the outer loop is about 2 miles and once finished, you can then jump on the inner loop, which is about 1 mile. You will start and finish at the same trailhead either route you decide to take. I was hoping to complete the outer and then take the inner, but I was exhausted.


About me:
Third time on trails.
Age 50
Riding a 26" Hard tail Airborne bike (soon to upgrade to a 29er)
Reviewed by:Miyata
Reviewed on:12/06/2013
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Rode this a few weeks ago and I was massively out of shape for the ride. The loops are a long commitment so be in shape and ride a good bike if you're going to undertake them. This is not a ride for the novice. I've done a lot of riding but have not done much in the recently. My legs simply gave out on the 8 mile loop.
Reviewed by:barnacle
Reviewed on:11/10/2013
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It works you without beating you up as much as new light. I've only rode the 3 and south loops. Seventy % of the ride I felt like I focused on things that were within 20 or 30 feet out, making this a tech ride. Great workout and skill builder.
Reviewed by:scoobycarolan
Reviewed on:09/14/2013
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I love this spot so much more than Crabtree or New Light. It's way more fun overall
Reviewed by:eddyward
Reviewed on:09/09/2013
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Rode this trail last winter, and was woefully under prepared in terms of nutrition. Still a great, very fun trail. It was probably a fast trail, I wouldn't know. I rode the outer loop, and the south loop. 10 miles in I bonked pretty hard. Lots of nice trails out there though. Hopefully I'll get out there and actually have some fun next time... and eat beforehand and during the ride.
Reviewed by:bigballstick
Reviewed on:08/07/2013
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I rode the outer loop and west loop. I felt the trail was great, however the exposed roots did kill a lot of momentum...especially going uphill...I felt the roots kept the flow of the trail away from its maximum potential...Down hill portions were fun even with the roots...
As I am new to the sport I will reassess as I get better.
I did not feel the climbs were not overly tough even with the roots.

Keep calm and ride on
Reviewed by:Aquajern
Reviewed on:06/30/2013
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Very long trail system when looking for a long ride. First time out I keep wondering when it would end. Drop zone is fun, lots of long climbs, some quick whoops, and fast descents. Some great views of the lake, makes you pine for a dip in the mid ride... Maintained well, clean, and well marked, maps on location. Only disappointment is the rather ridiculous amounts of times this pace remains closed, 1 rain drop equals 1week closed. Well seriously though we want to ride so give a little. Oh staff very friendly and helpful too. "New light next door if you want more"! Some trick spots like the downed tree you can attempt to ride long ways, like I said fun trail, but loooong.

Ps; there is a separate smaller loop, never rid it though.
Reviewed by:btex
Reviewed on:03/03/2013
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A good well maintained trail for riding a long distance and getting a good workout, but it leaves much to be desired for technical terrain. I found it to have some enjoyable sections, but overall is a little boring.
Reviewed by:bryanfo
Reviewed on:11/24/2012
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I am visiting from MD and this is all I have ridden in NC. This website is awesome and really helped me figure out where to ride. Thank you for that. I had a great time. I rode the West loop to the South loop, hitting the drop zone in the middle. I only saw one other person on the trails. It all was a lot of fun!! A truly great ride. The trails are one way loops that you cannot get lost on. I rode solo and had not concerns. It was pretty technical with a lot of big dips to definitely be careful of b/c they just pop up. There are just a few obstacles but good single track with a lot of switchbacks, thin edges, a few places to get airborne and some fun sketchy areas. People talk about there being a lot of roots but I did not notice any more than I am used to seeing at any other trails that surround lakes/reservoirs. The drop zone was fun with a couple nice drops - nothing super special or scary though. Trails were pretty well covered with leaves and pine needles which kept the speed down some; but this is probably good b/c I most likely would have crashed if I was going faster into the unexpected dips and turns. This is a fast trail which surely is a ton of fun with more experience on the trail (so you know what is coming up) and in the spring and summer. I highly recommend this trail to anyone else coming in town and looking for something to ride in the Triangle region. the whole ride took me one and one half hours with a lot of breaks (I"m not in the best shape right now.) I'll be back next year.
Reviewed by:Doughnutz
Reviewed on:08/29/2012
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This is the kind of trail that will make any hardtail rider lean towards buying a full suspension bike. The roots at Beaverdam beat me up. Even in the faster flowy sections, it's one exposed root after another. Every climb is covered in exposed roots as well, which is especially difficult if the ground is damp (morning dew). The Drop Zone should be renamed the Gully Roller. I think they feed these spiders steroids! The webs in the morning are amazing! These trails were probably better long before erosion exposed so many roots. For me, the roots are a deal breaker, momentum killer, etc.
Reviewed by:Csmith1353
Reviewed on:08/13/2012
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This is my first review..... Best trail in the Raleigh area! Throw in drop zone and it's a 4 on the technical level. Be well rested before you decide to ride beaver dam. Once your half way done with south loop it's all up hill until you get back to the road. It's just enough climbing to give you a good work out but not hate the trail. The climbs are a lot of fun. The down hill sections are a lot of fun and the scenery is amazing. If you have not ridden beaver dam... Do it!
Reviewed by:btr1230
Reviewed on:12/06/2011
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This trail is by far my favorite trail that I have ridden in the Raleigh area; other trails I have ridden are Harris Lake, Crabtree, Legend, and New Light. I rated the trail in respect to the other trails in the area. I wouldn't give Beaverdam perfect scores on nearly all categories if this was a national website. However, Beaverdam is a great place to go to get a solid workout in. Unlike Crabtree you won't run into large amounts of people; unlike New Light you won't get lost; and unlike all the other previously mentioned trails you'll be able to easily put in 15 miles without backtracking. Best trail in the area hands down.
Reviewed by:BearBait
Reviewed on:11/10/2011
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I must be the only person that doesn't like this trail. Perhaps its because I ride a ss hardtail (rigid these days). There are just too many sections that are fast AND rooty at the same time that makes for an uncomfortable ride. I would probably like it more with a 4 or 5 inch full suspension. Perhaps as I get better I will enjoy it more. I dont know. Maybe its just not for everyone. I like New Light a whole lot better. Similar terrain but without as much beat up.

The climbing is great compared to the other trails in the Triangle (hence the 4). It is also without a doubt the most scenic.
Reviewed by:andjava65
Reviewed on:10/24/2011
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This was my first time riding Beaver Dam. It's a great trail. Much more technical then Crabtree. The Drop Zone is awesome with some nice technical areas. It's going to replace my Crabtree rides.
Reviewed by:B Prophet
Reviewed on:05/04/2011
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I love these trails. The south loop and drop zone kicks a** (literally). Intermediate riders need their A game for these sections. Its great exercise and test of skills. At over 8 miles (over 10 including the west loop)and substantial climbs your cardio will be tested. But you can crauise down to the beach afterwards and cool off w/ a dip in the lake.:)
Reviewed by:RickyE
Reviewed on:03/10/2011
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One of the best trails in this area. This trail is very well maintained and broken in which gives it really good flow. The climbing is some of the best around this area.
Reviewed by:RAR
Reviewed on:01/29/2011
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I love beaver dam, I rode the south & west loops 3 to 4 times per week from june to sept. of 2010. It has a great mix of climbing and flowing downhill. I'd say about 80% of the uphill can be run with a previous downhills momentum if you don't brake, which makes it much more bearable than what you'd expect from a trail you might consider hilly for the RTP area. There is plenty of pleasant scenery along the way to view, most notably being about 1/3 into the trail along the banks of the lake. I've routinely seen deer and other animals on my rides.

If you get a good pace up the south loop will take about 50 or so min to complete, which for me was perfect for a workout after work. The trails are very well maintained, only real negative is if you're there early and happen to hit it before another rider you will be covered in spider webs.
Reviewed by:jpbova
Reviewed on:10/31/2010
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more climbing than expected for Raleigh, NC. We have ridden Crabtree, harris, some "umstead trails", and wilkesboro, and I think beaverdam is more on par with wilkesboro than the trails in raleigh. It is tougher and more tecnical than harris and crabtree and more climbing than "umstead trails". Overall a good trail experience. I would ride it more often if there was no gate fee during the summer
Reviewed by:B Man
Reviewed on:10/11/2010
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Good place to ride, flow is especially good. Layout makes the most of the location & terrain. Trails are well built and reasonably well maintained. Great for a workout. Not as technical as New Light, that's neither good nor bad, just different. There is one root drop on Drop Zone that needs some work, everything else is fine. Kudos to the trail builder(s).
Reviewed by:dayveez
Reviewed on:09/19/2010
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Reviewed by:jairnc
Reviewed on:07/11/2010
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I am a newcomer to mountain biking. As of the writing of this review I have been riding Crabtree two times a week on average for the last couple of months. There are still parts of Crabtree where I ride the breaks going downhill and a few hills that I still come off the bike due to roots/steepness while climbing.

With that in mind I went with a group to Beaverdam this past weekend where we did the inner and outer loops only. I would consider those loops to be more difficult than 80% of what I have experienced at Crabtree. The climbs are steeper/longer and some of the downhill stretches are much bumpier than Crabtree. The trails are narrower than Crabtree but with them signed for one way only that was a non issue.

The scenery is quite enjoyable and there are several places where you're going flat or downhill for a good distance at a decent pace. I felt like there were fewer switchbacks than Crabtree and those that were there were less severe than Crabtree. These two loops also seemed to have fewer people on them than Crabtree as well.

Overall I enjoyed these two loops quite a bit though I'll still be going to Crabtree as my "go to" trail and going to Beaverdam less frequently until I get stronger and my biking skills improve. I would suggest that if you're not comfortable at Crabtree yet then don't bother with these loops at Beaverdam but if you're getting the hang of Crabtree and feeling like it's getting old or easy then head out to Beaverdam and give it a try.
Reviewed by:pj
Reviewed on:06/07/2010
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All of the trails are in pretty good shape right now. Note a very big tree down in the middle of the South Loop.
Reviewed by:jwest
Reviewed on:05/16/2010
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It had been about 3 yrs since I rode here last so yesterday was really nice. I rode every bit of trail there is with the two beginner northeast loops last. The drop zone isn't really "all that", meaning no real difficult sections, but it is fun and might as well be included on any trip through the south trail section.

My snazzy gps enabled polar hrm says it's only about 13.7 miles. Climbing total about 1100 ft. It's too bad it isn't routed to make a couple of the climbs longer as there isn't much in the triangle area for sustained hills practice.

I've ridden the entire 14 mi system in 90 minutes but 1:45 is about right for cruising/tempo and just not using the brakes much/maintaining flow. RE other post here, I don't recall any log jumps that slow the flow, in fact, the ones that are actual "jumps" are fun to just get a little air and get comfortable with the tires off the ground here and there. I suppose a person should be able to ride 100% of Lake Crabtree in 45-60 minutes and still be wanting a lot more before they go do south Beaver Dam. Although the trail across I40 from LCCP would prepare a person better for Beaver Dam's little "climbs".

I don't see how people here can be listing Beaver Dam as 4 or 5 for climbing!!!

It's a nice trail for music in your ears because there's no worry about on-coming riders due to the "one way" rules.
Reviewed by:Boudreaux
Reviewed on:04/28/2010
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I love monkey butter
Reviewed by:BigginStampede
Reviewed on:04/08/2010
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I am a beginner to mountain biking. Have only been riding for about 2 months. This trail kicked my a**. I dont consider myself in the best of shape but not the worst either. I can usually hang on most trails but the south trail uphills will have you begging for a break. It will really make you question if you really enjoy mountain biking. LOL The drop zone can be pretty scary. I had a good teacher with me and if not for that I doubt I would have gone down the things I did.
Reviewed by:scrappydoo
Reviewed on:03/21/2010
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Fun trail. Inner (1.1mi), Outer (2.2mi), and West(2.3mi) are good beginner trails with some descents and climbs with a few roots along the way. All 3 loop back to parking lot.

If you cross the road after the west loop, you venture into the more advanced South Loop (7.3mi) South is more of an intermediate trail in terms of elevation change and distance (no bailouts). Most who ride it seem to think it usually feels longer than 7.3mi due to number of elevation changes.. But, it's not too technical (except for Advanced Drop Zone (0.9mi). Some fun drop action here, but best to avoid if you are a beginner and are not comfortable with sudden bike body position changes on technical drops). South Loop provides a nice climbing workout (for Triangle area) with elevation changes as it meanders down into several mostly dry stream runoffs that feed Falls Lake before climbing up the next hill. Regular stream areas have bridges to traverse. In some spots there are some bumpy decents, half a dozen 2"-6" logs and several 2-3ft log pyramids (pyramids have ride arounds). Overall a very fun trail, and a good workout with nice views along the lake, and sometimes reasonable chances of wildlife scenery.

Due to proximity to lake and numerous streambeds, this trail often stays closed longer than other area trails after a rain. Check Beaverdam park office and Triangle MTB for latest status.
Reviewed by:slirty
Reviewed on:03/08/2010
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Reviewed by:solarman
Reviewed on:11/27/2009
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Great fun trail, Would flow better without the log jumps.
Reviewed by:Adrian
Reviewed on:11/06/2009
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I really enjoyed the trail today. The wet leaves on roots definitely kept the hair up on the neck. I was looking to just do the outer or inner loop, but of course I read the sign the wrong way and ended up doing the West loop. It was fun, and I enjoyed it. More challenging than Crabtree. But both trails are a lot of fun. I am glad that some group has done all this work. I recommend it.
Reviewed by:Forkliftdaddy
Reviewed on:09/28/2009
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Reviewed by:ifmanis5
Reviewed on:07/29/2009
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I've ridden most all of the trails in the Triangle and the South Loop of Beaver Dam is incredible! After a short ride - 10 minutes or so - I entered into the Drop Zone and it really kicked my a##. The descents were fast and technical and there were plenty of roots, rocks/crags to make me work that uch harder. The up side of the Drop Zone was relentless. Just when I thought I could rest after a hard, root/rock filled curvy climb...there came another one. And anoter one. And another one. I'm in good shape but found myself wondering if the climbs were ever going to end! By far my favorite trail around and well worth the $5 to get in to the park.
Reviewed by:Like2ride
Reviewed on:07/12/2009
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After riding the majority of places in the Triangle, I would say that Beaver is the second best that you get. The trails are well maintained, but not super technical. There of course is the drop zone, which is just insanely fun. There are just enough hills and snake backs to give you a great workout. I wouldn’t recommend it for the complete newbie, but after a couple rides a newbie would be fine at Beaver.
Reviewed by:ShotgunSLooP
Reviewed on:06/07/2009
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South loop is tough workout for average rider, especially after the drop zone area a couple miles in. *Beginners Beware* South loop can be brutal 1st time out, or if you're not in pretty good shape. Lots of roots and low flow make climbs tougher & can really take it out of you fast if you're not prepared.
Reviewed by:Trialsin1
Reviewed on:06/02/2009
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Reviewed by:edoiron
Reviewed on:05/30/2009
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Reviewed by:parksro
Reviewed on:05/12/2009
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Nice trails. You can link together a the loops to make a continuous loop of 12 miles or so.

Several short steep climbs. Some loops are flowing and fast, toward the last half of the south loop is slower and less flowing (rocky/rooty and tighter).

Good place to train for cross country.

All water crossings have bridges so you don't get wet when training in the colder weather.

Trails are closed a little too much when wet (crabtree open more often).

A big plus over crabtree is that there are generally never hikers on the trails, they are almost exclusively used by mountain bikers.
Reviewed by:vulcangreen
Reviewed on:04/27/2009
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Most of my experience is on the West and South loops. I have ridden the Inner and Outer loop several times and they just did not do much for me. Inner and Outer are pretty unremarkable, especially in comparison to the West and South loops. If you start with the West loop you will find a fun section of whoop de doos and some fun little drops. There are also some decent climbs and sections with some good flow. The West loop is a great warm up for the south loop.

The South Loop combined with the West loop is about 11 miles long and has some significant climbing. Once you cross over onto the South loop, there are no ride outs. The first time I rode it, I was pretty new to mountain biking and had a pretty miserable experience. My suggestion is not to jump into the South loop if you are out of shape. If you are in shape, it is an excellent ride. It is probably my overall favorite in the Triangle area.
Reviewed by:jcw5002
Reviewed on:04/18/2009
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OMG! Just rode the South loop for the first time this afternoon. It's probably one of my favorite trails in the Triangle. The trail is FAST. It almost seems like it's all downhill!! There were plenty of fun drops and jumps and other dangerous features to play on. It's not too technical but would be pretty hateful on a hardtail.
Reviewed by:bmxronl
Reviewed on:04/16/2009
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Reviewed by:Trialsin1
Reviewed on:03/18/2009
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Reviewed by:slirty
Reviewed on:03/18/2009
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Reviewed by:chexem
Reviewed on:03/15/2009
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Reviewed by:SMAK
Reviewed on:03/06/2009
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Reviewed by:Jack
Reviewed on:03/03/2009
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Reviewed by:edoiron
Reviewed on:03/03/2009
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Reviewed by:MarkMTB
Reviewed on:03/01/2009
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Doing a couple of laps on the West/South loops is a great workout. The Drop Zone is definitely worth including in there - just watch out for some eroded lips into some of the drops - keeping your body weight back is always a good idea!
Reviewed by:TANK
Reviewed on:02/28/2009
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Fun trail, get a good work out here. A few areas to test yourself on some log stacks. Great opportunity for wildlife, lake ect.

The Drop Zone is a lot of fun.
Reviewed by:trianglemtb
Reviewed on:01/24/2009
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Sometimes people use the word FAST to describe a trail. Well if you buy into that, Beaver Dam is a fast trail. Nice smooth turns for the most part allow riders to maintain their speed easier. The climbs are not bad and the downhills allow plenty of speed. There's a couple of spots to catch a bit of air, but not many.

Don't overlook Inner and Outer loops, they are every bit as fun as West and South.

Beaver Dam makes an excellent night ride too!

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