Your source for Mountain Biking in the Triangle
Current Trail Status
|Status||When Updated||Who Updated||More Info||Help keep this info accurate by clicking the red bicycle|
|Airport Side||open||03/26 12:35 pm||Thor|
|School Side||open||03/26 12:35 pm||Thor|
|Overall :||4.0 / 5.0 based on 46 votes|
|Technical :||3.3 / 5.0 based on 46 votes|
|Climbing :||2.9 / 5.0 based on 46 votes|
|Freeride :||1.9 / 5.0 based on 46 votes|
|Scenery/Wildlife :||3.8 / 5.0 based on 46 votes|
|Flow :||3.3 / 5.0 based on 37 votes|
Location: Chapel Hill, near Seawell Elementary School
Miles: 20 miles
Skill Level: Singletrack is intermediate, Doubletrack is beginner
Special Note on Airport and School Side designations
Carolina North may now be opened and closed based on two distinct sections. These sections will simply be called Airport side and School side for the time being and their boundaries should be obvious if you take a look at a map. Seawell School road is the main dividing line between the two sections, the trails to the left of the road are the "school side" and the trails to the right are the "airport side"
Please respect the Carolina North land managers decisions on the open/closed status of each section as a rule even if you may personally disagree with the status.
Park Hours and Fees
Rules of the Trail
The Chapel Hill trails comprise of two area: Adams Preserve and Williams Tract.
Williams Tract is also known as Carolina North Forest. These trails comprise of a mix
doubletrack and singletrack. You can ride the doubletrack without riding much singletrack
and vise versa. I recommend printing out the map and take it with you. The singletrack is
designed to be technical in nature. The doubletrack is predominately smooth.
More info on Adam Preserve
More info on Carolina North Forest
The school side usually dries a few days after rain. The airport side, particularly the inner and outer loops, take significantly longer to dry. Please take this into consideration when planning a ride.
The trails are open dawn until dusk, 365 days a year.
Please see the Trail Status at the top of the page for closures due to trail conditions.
There are no fees to ride here
There are several places to access the trails. The most popular parking area is Seawell Elementary School. Parking is not allowed here during school hours. To get here from MLK Blvd, turn on Homestead. Go 3/4 miles to Seawell School Rd. Turn left. Go 1.5 miles. The Parking area is the third one on the right.
Rules of the Trail
1. Be aware and considerate of other users.
2. Leave No Trace. Please don�t litter. Preserve what�s here for the benefit of future users! Trees, brush & grasses are not to be cut, painted, scarred, harvested or otherwise damaged.
3. No New Trails are to be blazed, cut or otherwise established. Unapproved structures & stunt features will be removed.
4. Signs, Advertisements or Notices will be removed. Unauthorized material can be claimed at the Land Management & Trail Information Office.
5. Don�t Block The Gates - The Forest Road network is for emergency use & land management operations.
6. No Motorized Vehicles - Motor vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, all-terrain, off-road & utility vehicles) are not allowed in the Forest.
7. Trail Courtesies - Bikers must be aware of hikers & joggers. Hikers & joggers using bike trails must yield right-of-way to bikers.
8. Pets MUST be leashed. It's the law! Please clean up after your pet.
9. No Alcohol - Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is not allowed in the Forest.
10. This Area Is An Ecological & Wildlife Preserve. Hunting, trapping, fishing & gathering activities are not allowed. The removal or destruction of any object (animal, rock or artifact) is prohibited and is considered vandalism.
11. Camping is not permitted in the Forest.
12. No Fires or fireworks are allowed in the Forest.
13. Firearms are prohibited in the Forest, including air rifles & paint guns.
Rules, guidelines, and definitions for our TriangleMTB.com trail reviews
Man, I sure wish people wouldn't ride it when wet and also that the trail hadn't been repaired with gravel! Not good, very bad. A few places, it's the gravel is so bedded down it's like a sidewalk. No longer MTB riding. On the flip side, one steep "crux" type climb was such loose, large gravel that I spun out and crashed. I know it was eroded before but it was at least rideable.
Great trails, though.... I would gladly participate in a work day out here. Happy to wheelbarrow some gravel outtta there and some dirt back in.
Had a lot of fun out here last night but navigation is a bit tricky. Trails markings are spotty at best.
Great map here:
Between the markings that are on the trails and this map you should find your way around much easier.
I'm biased, particularly because these trails are where I learned to ride mountain bikes, but they offer some of the best (IMO), riding in the area. They aren't wide open, smooth flow trails like Crabtree, Brumley, or Harris, but rather are undulating rooty and rocky trails which, if ridden with someone who knows them fairly well, can have a good bit of flow.
There are a few punchy climbs on both the airport and school sides, and they tend to be very rooty and rocky, which requires a little bit of body English and bike maneuvering to climb successfully. The descents are fun, winding, tight, obstacle laden (large root balls, rocks, etc) routes that you can go fast on and really have some fun hopping and bump jumping.
If riding the airport side, I prefer counter clockwise (although I do ride both ways pretty often) starting on wormhole near seawell school, and connecting to either the inner or outer never land loops. I then hit the crow branch overlook and take it back to the never land loop, and then back to wormhole to finish the ride. This usually nets about 6-7 miles and incorporates a good amount of the trails, but you could spend an entire afternoon out there and rack up some good mileage while riding some new stuff all day.
The school side is also great fun, and has more things like log overs and similar obstacles, and even a really fun downhill with two single track trails running side by side if you've got a buddy with you and are feeling like a little friendly competition. The school side isn't as flowy as the airport side overall, but I still enjoy it for its technical terrain. It can be a little more difficult to navigate on this side, though, and the trail markers are... Well, non-existent. Take a map!
Great set of trails for the beginner/intermediate rider. Not to crowded, good signage and variety throughout this side.
Wormhole starting from the south side is technical and knobby and gets progressively more flowey as you ride it. Cow branch offers a lot of flow and some good short climbs and technical batches that popup and remind you to always check your line! Never Land lives up to its name and utilizes the train well!
|It is great to have so many miles of trail within the city limits. However, there is very little flow, climbs, and, aside from roots, nothing very technical. These are multi-use trails, so watch for hikers/trial runners, especially on the airport side. Easy to get temporarily lost if you are not well familiar with the trials.|
|Trail has fire roads for easy rides. Harder technical sections on single track. Please be considerate of other trail users. The trail system is used by many. Climbs are short with a few steep climbs. Lots of roots and rocks are fun for intermediate riders but may frustrate beginners.|
This is a review of Wormhole, on the airport side; more to come as I get to know other trails at Carolina North Forest.
Overall, I liked Wormhole a lot more than my numbers suggest. It's tight, twisty singletrack--watch out or you'll catch a bar on a tree--with lots of roots and rocks, enough big log and stream crossings to keep you alert and a few (though not v. many) chances to get some air off of obstacles. As some other folks have pointed out, the trail's so tight and twisty in places that it's hard to get much flow. But I got my heart rate up and felt like I got a decent workout, in addition to having a lot of fun. This place will polish your bike-handling skills.
It's nearly impossible to get turned around on Wormhole because it mostly runs between a RR track and one of the main CNF dirt roads; if you hit the RR bed or the road, you know you've accidentally taken one of the side trails. And if, for whatever reason, you need to bail, you can just zip back on the dirt road at a lot of points.
I live in Carrboro, so part of what I loved about the trail and CNF generally was the convenience. It's a 10-minute ride, max, from my house--being able to ride out the door is a big bonus.
All in all, I probably wouldn't drive to the Hole from Durham or Raleigh. But for locals, Wormhole--and I'm assuming CNF--offer a great fun-to-hassle ratio.
|Had alot of fun on this trail. The map is hard to read but after figuring out where I was had alot of high speed fun|
|Amazing! My favorite single track in the area. Good combination of flow, obstacles, and scenery.|
|Lots of tight spots (i.e. trees)to maneuver, but the trails still have a good flow. A good amount of trials to ride. There were quite a number of joggers sharing the trails. The trails are not well marked and since I am not familiar with the trails on the airport side I did lose my bearings. I recommend taking UNCs map.|