The Backyard Trail is the original, old school single track in Charlotte. Unlike other well-manicured, well-mannered trails around the Queen City, Backyard is a skill riders dream. Long skinnies, log hops, wicked jumps, super tight turns, and some bounding uphill sections absolutely cram the thirteen-mile single track with action. There’s no fan fair or happy welcome signs at the trail head. There is a sign, however, that warns inexperienced riders that this may not be the trail for them.
What Makes It Great
“Intermediate, Beginner, and/or Sissy pants riders beware: these trails are rough and tough. Turn Back Now”. – Trail sign on the Back Yard Trails
Welcome to the Backyard Trail. Only recently legitimized by the Tarheel Trailblazers, the Backyard Trail was the original underground mountain bike trail system in Charlotte. Even now, for the rider more accustomed to the pristine trails of Lake Norman State Park or the USNWC, BYT doesn’t fit in. Downed branches and debris are less of a maintenance issue and more of an added twist on the already interesting trail. Even the smell, the BYT is tucked in next to a waste water treatment plant, reminds you that this trail is not for the weak.
Getting to the trail is the first challenge. Riders park across the street at the Marion Diehl sports complex and cross a busy road. A quarter of a mile down a quiet street and, with no notification, take a left to the end of a short cul-de-sac.
Trail signs now show the direction of travel. Soon you’re confronted with an optional log run and a crazy jump. Like most features on the BYT, these are optional. But newer bikers will find themselves hike-a-biking a lot. Tight turns and narrow trails keep the pace moderate at best and the technical features keep on coming. These trails are an absolute bear, but a blast to ride when you have the skills.
Who is Going to Love It
The Back Yard Trail is the place to take newbies for their first ride. If you want to make sure they never mountain bike again. For experienced riders, there isn’t a more technically challenging trail in or around town. Nowadays the trail sees a lot of use but they are long enough that you can spend some time practicing certain features without too much interruption.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Park at the Marion Diehl Sports Complex. Ride across tyvola Rd and onto Farmbrook Lane. Turn left about a quarter mile down Farmbrook and you’ll see the trail head at the end of the short, dead end street. There are no facilities at the trail head but there are at Marion Diehl. These trails are maintained by the Tarheel Trailblazers. For your safety and the protection of the trail, wait 24 hours after rainfall to ride the BYT. Helmets are a must.