Here's the trail ride that Jordan and I did the last day I was in the WI area! A great trail system that is fast and flowy, but with some technical sections that are fun and improve on mountain bike skills. There are a variety of loops that range from first time mountain bikers to more advanced riders on the farther out loops. Check out Jordan's edit below!
Getting more into it, Jordan creates another short trail video from Greenbush. Greenbush trail is just west of Sheboygan, WI and offers some rocky, technical single tracks that flows around the ski trail valleys. There are four loops out there that all connect and each one goes out just a bit further so you can create the route or milage that best suites your riding.
Jordan has created a another video from his ride yesterday at Ryan's Park in Kewaunee, WI. The trail has three sections that are connected using country roads. There is a loop at Ryan's Park, another at the Ski hill and then another one that loops around the four wheeler/dirt bike course. All three loops offer something different and are definitely an under rated trail system. Check out the video to get a feel on the course and check out N.E.W. Kranks facebook page for trail updates.
Our buddy Jordan is putting together some short videos of the local trails. Here is the first one that he launched at Maribel Caves in Maribel, WI.
Betasso Preserve is just outside of Boulder West Canyon Road/119. Betasso has two main trail loops, Canyon and Benjamin, with one connector in the middle from the main parking lot. There is also two trail connector trail links. One connector is right off Canyon Road(right before the tunnel) which lead to Canyon Loop. The other Connector is off 4 Mile Canyon Road which leads to Benjamin Loop. If you ride both connectors and the main loops you will end up riding 11 miles with about 2000 ft of climbing. Betasso is closed to bikers on Wednesdays and Saturdays. To get to the main parking lot, go up Canyon Rd (119), Right onto Sugarloaf Rd and a Right onto Betasso Rd.
Betasso is mostly tree covered making the snow stay longer in the winter along with a nice shaded ride on hot summer days. The trail flows along the mountain side with several berms, fast down hill sections and some harder steep climbs. The trail isn't very technical, there are a few rock garden sections and a couple hard obstacles. The hardest trail is the connector trail that is right off Canyon Road. This trail is a very steep climb with several rock paths and tight switch backs. I parked at this trail head, you can also take the bike path up from Boulder which is only about 4 miles, then you you'll have the great downhill run to look forward to when your done. The trail going down is a lot of fun with large berms, a few jumps and the rock gardens to fly through.
The trail surface is dry, hard-packed dirt most of the way with softer sandy sections as well. There are some nice views along the way which looks out over the hilly terrain of the foothills. Canyon and Benjamin Loop are directional, watch for the signs to show which way bikes much go. The three connectors have two way traffic and with this trailing be so close to Boulder I can get busy. Make sure you slow down and watch out on blind turns for dogs, hikers/runners and other bikers.
Click here for a Trail Map. There is quite a bit of wild life when going through the trail. Use caution and your best judgements. Respect the trail, please keep of trails when there too wet.
Walker Ranch is just west of Boulder if you follow up one of the most popular roads to bike up, Flagstaff Road. The trail offers a great 8 mile loop at a intermediate difficulty. The trail at Walker Ranch has a few technical areas, but for the most part is flows really well with a lot of climbing and descending. The trail is mostly single track with a great scenery. Starting at the top of the mountain you hit the open land scape, work your way into the lower level pines, follow the creak for a while and then come back out into the open landscape to see miles around you.
This was the first snow fall of the year, which ranged from no snow to 3 inches in places.
There is a few different ways you can ride this trail since there a pretty tough hike a bike section in the middle of the loop. You can either ride the full loop either clockwise or counter clockwise, or you can ride to the hike a bike part of the trail and then head back or you can do the ultimate ride of Super Walker, which consists of riding from Boulder, up Flagstaff road and to Walker Ranch Loop. We ended up doing Super Walker that day plus a little more. We got a great 40 miles in with 5,400 feet of climbing.
West side of Walker Ranch Trail coming up towards the trail head.
After we made the climb up Flagstaff and did the full Walker Ranch clockwise we started to head back down. We started going back down Flagstaff road and instead of going down the road, we turned left onto a gravel path right before Realization Point. This was a old washed out fire road that went down the backside of the mountain. The trail was fun to bomb down and there were parts of the road that was washed out in the middle. There gullies went down about 3 ft and you could pop in and out of them which made it even more fun. This gravel road leads down to Canyon Rd or Hwy 119. Our plan was to connect over to Betasso Trail which was right up the road, but we called it a day since we still had quite a few miles back home and the sun was coming down quick.
Walker Ranch is free to park at the trail head and is great for Hiking, Biking or Horse back riding. And your sure to some some wild life when out on the trail.
Buttermilk Tail is located near downtown Richmond, VA and it part of the James River Park System. This is only one of several trails that are all connected within the Park System. Other trails include: Forest Hill Trails, North Bank, Bell's Isle and Dogwood Dell. Buttermilk is on the South side of the River and goes from Boulevard Bridge to 22nd street. With several entrances on Riverside Drive and at both ends of the trail heads.
Buttermilk trail is the most technical trail of the James River Park System. It combines tight, twisty, fast descents and steep climbs with lots of rocks and roots. There are also several creek crossing which are pretty hard to get across due to slippery rocks and roots. There are more rock gardens then you can count, which steps up the amount of technical riding this trail has to offer. Buttermilk also has several nicely maintained bridges, rock steps/paths and build in obstacles for bikers, hikers and runners to enjoy.
Connected to Buttermilk is the Forest Hill Park Trails. Forest Hill intersects the Buttermilk Trail at Hill Crest Rd (Reedy Creek). The easiest way when you get there is when you hit Hill Crest Rd (which you will cross while on Buttermilk) you go across the street away from the parking lot, and you will see a large trail map sign. From there you can either go up to the left, which makes the loop counter clockwise, otherwise I recommend doing it counter clockwise. If you go right at the trail map and go down about 100 feet you will see a concrete bridge that is about 2 ft wide on your right hand side. Cross the bridge and you will begin your way on the trail.
Forest Hill Trail has a great cross country feel. It mostly runs along the edge of the cliff and offers some great scenery. There isn't much technical ridding in there besides a couple smaller rock gardens, root sections and a few steep inclines. Forest Hill offers 3 miles of flow trails with some nice switch backs, fast descends and berm sections. Once you're done with the loop it will bring you back to the road trail sign, and you can cross the street to get back onto the Buttermilk Trail.
The Buttermilk Trail also connects to Bell's Isle via the 22nd street pedestrian bridge. Cross the bridge, go down the spiral stair case and at the bottom follow the fence line path to another bridge which leads right onto Bell's Isle. At the bottom of the hill once you go over the bridge there is an opening on the right side with two trail heads. Take the left trail for the some single track trails. This will take across to the other side of the park to another pedestrian bridge that crosses the James River, or stop off at the Bell's Isle Skills Section. The Skills park offers a pump track and several balance logs, rock gardens and other obstacles. Once you get the the pedestrian bridge you can either follow the gravel path to another single track loop, or cross the bridge to get to the North Bank Trail.
For more information with maps, trail conditions or any other information about the James River Trail system visit rva-more.org.
Powhite Park is located in Virginia and has about 8 miles of single track that is easily accessible with parking. Powhite Park is located South of Downtown Richmond, right off Hwy 150 and Jahnke Road. The trail design meets the needs for everyone, with trails for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders. Most of the trails are pretty with smooth with tight turns and berms that make the trail flow nicely.
The trail design is pretty simple, there is a an outer loop, which is the easiest trail for beginners that connects all the interior trails. On the interior trails there are some more intermediate climbs/descends and some short expert downhill sections. There are also some intermediate rock drops, obstacles, rock gardens and tree root sections throughout the whole park. It will take a few laps to figure out how all the trails connect, flow and lead out, but since it is a shorter trail it is easier to explore without getting to tired.
One of the best parts of this trail system is the flow section that is built into a dried up creek. The trails flows in, out and all around the creek bed. Dropping into it like a half pipe, this trail offers large berms, rollers and flow sections that is super fun to ride. Aside from this trail the outer trail is the best maintained trail that offers a little bit of everything and at the end of the outer trail comes the fun creek bed.
Powhite Park is great for family rides, learning to ride mountain bikes, and just a great training ride to work on bike handling skills. There are local organizations that teaches mountain bike skills to children. You can find more information with trail map, directions and trail conditions at: richmond-more.org.
Fort Ebey State park is looked just north of Coupville, WA on Whidbey Island, just off State Hwy 20. This is a great trail system with about 35 miles of mostly single track with some connector trails that are double. These trails have all levels of riding from easy beginner gravel trails to difficult single track runs. The difficult trails include steep climbs, fast downhills and technical obstacles with tight switch backs. The trail system is shared with hikers throughout and horses on the east side of the park that is not state property. If your riding on the West side of the park, you will need a discover pass.
I got the chance to ride all the trails within the system over a few months. I highly recommend bringing a map of the trail system on the first couple rides, until you get familiar with the trails. Click here for a trail map to print out. I found that parking right off Hwy 20 is free and much easier. Headed North on 20, about 3 miles out of Coupeville, the first gate parking is at the Kettles trail head on the left side of the street. From there I really found a really good loop that I liked to ride. Here is the list of trails by order that made a really nice flow.
Humpty Dumpty - Hot UMSC - Hot Navy - Humpty Dumpty - Whippersnapper - Escape - Kettles - Cedar Ridge - Cedar Hollow - Bluff - Hokey Ko Dodo - Kettles - Forest Run - Campground - Woodpecker Haven - Brave Heart - Raider Creek - Full Loop of Shepherds Crook - Princess Run - Pigeon Ridge - Main Line - The Tunnel - Emily's Ridge - Fisher Ridge - Hugh's Delight and with the high amount of trails that are packed toward the end you can pick and choose what you want to ride on your way back to the Kettles Trail Head. My three favorite trails in this system are all the Hot UMSC/Navy trails, Cedar Ridge/Hollow, and whipper snapper trail.
If you have the opportunity I would highly recommend this trail if your in the area. It was really nicely marked unlike some of the other trail systems in Washington. It is easy to get to, the eastside is free to ride and offers several trails that are not on the map. Before I left, they put in several new large maps throughout the park with all the new trails.