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Killer Three Loop Professional Review and Guide
"Mountain bikers have been racing in Manchester State Forest for ten years. After Hurricane Hugo in 1989, the current loop was built and is maintained by the Sumter Chain Gang Cycling Club. The club, along with Buddy’s Schwinn Cycling and Fitness, sponsors a series of races—the Killer Three—during the first three months of every year. The hilly terrain of the Killer Three Loop, seemingly out of place for this part of the state, creates a gentle, rolling ride. While Manchester is not quite a climber’s trail, the semi-tight singletrack is fairly technical with some sharp diagonal turns that will challenge the novice rider. Several straight-aways deliver a string of whoop-dee-do’s, produced by motorcyclists that used to ride through the trail as part of the Sumter County Enduro Race. Tread: Singletrack with 0.2 mile on pavement and 0.5 mile on gravel road."
--Nicole Blouin, Mountain Biking South Carolina (Falcon Guides).
Nice ride on well-maked and maintained trails. The three current loops are about 10.5 (K-3), 9.9 (Campbells's), and 5.1 (Red aka "Hardcore") miles. K-3 and Red loops can be mostly combined into one big loop, but Campbells takes off by itself and is really more of an out-and-back than a loop. Nothing too technical or really that challenging if you are a serious rider, just roots, ruts, and a few tight turns. The longest "climbs" are only about 80' elevation gain, but there are enough of them to make you notice. Even with a significant amount of rain recently, the trails were not muddy at all and there were already a few sandy spots that were dry enough to be tricky. Someone obvious put some time and effort into developing and maintaining this nice little trail system, well worth a ride.
The review for this trail is way out of date. K3 is now 10 miles long with an extension called Hard Core that adds another 3 miles. The trail is no longer maintained by Buddy's Bikes, but by the guys that ride it, mainly Steve and Tony.
Steve and Tony have also added a whole new trail at Manchester called Campbell's Pond Loop. It runs through a hard woods section and is completely different from K3. It is an intermediate skill level trail & I rate it 4 stars for fun. There's a map at the K3 trail head.
Tim Schmitz 6/23/04
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