“Not for the faint of heart or body, this loop will challenge even the more experienced riders.”
— Gary Schweisthal on Oct 21, 2013
OverviewCurrently 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.
DescriptionThe 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) that follows.
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.
Over Lode 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 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.
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