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Time Outside: Clemson bike routes

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A map of the four routes described in the article, including highlights and points of interest.

Spring is here, and there’s nothing that I look forward to more than getting back out on two wheels. The sun on your back, the wind rushing over you, flowers and bright green buds of trees and the gentle chirping of birds. Nothing is better.
Clemson is one of South Carolina’s better spots for cycling, especially now that the electric bike renaissance has made the hills a little less of an issue. The University even has a bike share program, providing both traditional and electric bikes to students who may have left their ride at home.

Here are some of my favorite routes to get out there.

  1. Walker Course

After taking a ride down Cherry Road, turn towards the Madren Center and the Walker Course. After passing by the driving range, ride out onto the southernmost dike, which is paved to allow access to the sewage treatment plant. The mountain and lakeside views are always some of the most spectacular on campus—a perfect route for stretching your legs between classes.

Distance: 5 miles

Time: 40 minutes

  1. Y Beach

Going at the same speed as cars on a bike is always fun, and that’s how this route starts, going down state Highway 93 from TD’s to Esso. After the stoplight, a bike shoulder allows you to grind up the hill to the bridge and lakeside ride. At the end, you arrive at the marvelous Y Beach. Returning to campus, I recommend winding your way past Littlejohn, Fike and Core to avoid the most brutal hills. It’s a great afternoon trip, especially if you tie it in with swimming, kayaking or relaxing at Y Beach.

Distance: 5 miles

Time: 40 minutes

  1. Central/SWU

Riding from one town to another is always a fun achievement, and Clemson has made it relatively easy. A bike lane extends 5 miles from campus to beautiful downtown Central, along state Highway 93. From there, backroads take you to the lovely campus of Southern Wesleyan University. This is a great route when you want to take a longer journey without too many hills. It is easily accomplished at night, as well (with lights).

Distance: 12 miles

Time: 80 minutes

  1. North Experimental Forest

The hills on this route make it more of a challenge, but the lovely woods are a nice reward. After going out of town on College Avenue, a wonderful ride along the lake ensues, going past 12 Mile Recreation Park. After riding over a popular fishing bridge, take a left to climb up into the Clemson Experimental Forest. This road will take you to the main trailhead for the Issaqueena area and its mountain bike trails, which is not far from Daniel High School.

Distance: 10 miles

Time: 80 minutes
There are also many excellent spots to bike if you’re willing to drive, including the famous Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville and the less crowded Doodle Trail between Pickens and Easley. There are also bike lanes on state Highway 11 if you want to ride with mountain views.
Bike rentals are available all week for the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Travelers Rest and Greenville and on the weekends in Easley.

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Corey Glenn
Corey Glenn, Asst. News Editor
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