Nearly 25 years after the publication of his first mountain bike trail guidebooks, Jim Parham is replacing them—with the most comprehensive and current off-road cycling guides yet for the Southeast. Here’s a quick preview of his latest project, due out in April.
Mountain Bike Trails: North Carolina Mountains & South Carolina Upstate includes over 100 routes in more than 30 trail networks. DuPont State Forest, Panthertown, Hanging Dog, Issaqueena, Paris Mountain State Park, and Jackrabbit Recreation Area are all included, along with Tsali, Bent Creek, Pisgah, and Fants Grove. The new guide incorporates full-color photos and topo maps, with directions to each trailhead, general difficulty ratings, trail amenities, seasonal regulations, and use fees. As always, the maps are drawn by Jim himself, with all the clear, concise information you need to have a great experience on the trail.
“Mountain biking has changed pretty dramatically in the last quarter-century,” says Parham. “Of course the technology has evolved; bike design has improved, and gear is so much handier. Weight, suspension, hydration packs are all so much better—no one would want to go back to the old days.” But he also notes that the way cyclists choose their rides has changed. “As public land managers have created and maintained their trail systems to serve and attract cyclists, they have built more urban cycling destinations and more complex and interesting backcountry trailheads. Rather than seeking out single remote routes for mountain biking, off-road bikers are heading to a single venue, often in a city or state park, and riding miles and miles of trail there. I felt it was time to completely replace my original guidebooks to reflect these changes and help riders find the most suitable trails for their location and challenge level.” As the title indicates, he will also add trails in South Carolina to his newest mountain bike guidebook.
Parham is replacing the first two volumes of Off The Beaten Track in 2016, with plans to replace the second two volumes, which cover north Georgia and east Tennessee, in 2017.
Mountain Bike Trails: NC Mountains & SC Upstate by Jim Parham will replace and supersede Off the Beaten Track, Volumes I & II on April 1, 2016.
216 pages • $24.95 • April 1, 2016 • ISBN 978-1-889596-32-7 • paperback original