Currently the longest loop of singletrack in Blue Mound State Park, this ride will test your skills and endurance. Combining the fast and flowy Over Lode
with the more technically challenging Mound Loop (long)
, this route may very well have you thinking about taking a dip in the pool or busting open the cooler that's in the trunk of your car well before you arrive back at the parking lot.
The Over Lode
portion is fast, flowy, and less technical but also has some steep climbs that can wear you out for the Mound Loop (long)
Starting out on Gneiss & Smooth
, you get a nice warmup for Over Lode
. Take a right at the first gravel crossing, cross the road on the ski trail, then a left at the fork. You'll fly down the ski hill a little ways until you see another turn to the left. Slow down, stay right, and Over Lode
begins on the left.
contains several ravine crossings, and not surprisingly, an equal number of challenging, steep, but relatively short climbs. There is also quite a bit of sustained descent that follows the contours of the terrain and allows you to go as fast as your wits will let you. After a few rides you get a sense where you can really open the throttle, or rather, let off the brakes.
After two road crossings you join back up with Gneiss & Smooth
by hanging a right. Continue onward into Chert Dip
, Serpentine Climb
, and if you've had enough, Basalty Bail
will bring you back to the trailhead. Otherwise you can continue onto Holy Schist
which will put you onto the Mound Loop (long)
This ride is basically identical to Over Lode
Loop (short), but tacks on another 4 miles of difficult trail, includes the infamous Holy Schist
, and slow but steady climb and quick descent on Home Stretch
. The Mound Loop (long)
is difficult enough, but riding Over Lode
first can be energy-depleting and make things more interesting by the time you reach the halfway point.