In 2000 the Bobcat Gulch fire burned much of what is now the Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. The land is now managed by The City of Fort Collins who have built some excellent trails. Ginny Trail
is one of the best kept secrets on The Northern Colorado Front Range.
The climb up Powerline Trail
is a doubletrack/fire road through the remnants of the trees left by the Bobcat Gulch fire. At some point during the climb, most people have doubts on whether the effort will be worth it. Fear not, the view looking into Rocky Mountain National Park at the top will affirm that it has all been worth it.
The Views from the top are still just a bonus to the roughly 1700' of technical descent that will get you back to the parking lot. There is an excellent balance between being challenging enough for the veteran riders while not so discouraging to the intermediate riders that they will only remember the parts they walked. The City of Fort Collins has built some skinny logs, bridges, and some fine singletrack overall.
Like most of Colorado, mid-afternoon summers see frequent isolated thunderstorms. Instead of taking Powerline Trail
up do Ginny Trail
as an out-and-back for an extra challenge.
Head west (toward the mountains) out of the parking lot. When you reach dirt, turn right and ride until you hit the dirt road that should be labelled "Powerline Trail". Go west on Powerline Trail
, it will get steep. Go past the sign warning you that the trail is uphill only (for bikes) and that there are "Hazardous sections ahead".
Once things begin to flatten out, you'll reach a T in the trail with singletrack heading in both directions. Don't go right - it is a hiking trail only. To the left is the beginning of Ginny Trail
. After a short flat section, you'll begin the final ascent. While this climb is far less steep then Powerline Trail
, it is more technical.
When you reach the top you'll traverse across the back side of the mountain and be treated to some great views of Rocky Mountain National Park to the west. When the trail begins to turn back to the east, stop and take a picture.
Now the fun begins, 99.5% of the ride from here is downhill. Watch for alternate lines, skinnys, and rock drops, for added fun. The trail is usually not busy and it's generally wide open so it's easy to see approaching hikers and uphill riders. The trail takes you straight back to the parking lot as long as you keep you bike pointed downhill.