This ride features lots of tight turns, switchbacks and very short but steep climbs in a couple of sections. There are tons of technical features in the intermediate and advanced sections. Part of the intermediate section takes you through some wetlands which have a lot of bridges, some of them narrow.
This one can be pretty muddy during spring thaw or after a heavy rain.
Family Friendly: The beginner section is by far one of the more fun, kid-friendly trails in the area. Worth a trip with the family just to do a loop (or six).
Need to Know
This trail is easily connected with Shearer Road via a 3-mile paved bike path. Allow some extra time to combine them for a longer ride. Edwards Creek is also connected with a city park that has baseball diamonds, the Danish Kingdom park for younger kids, and a frisbee golf course. If you have family members that don't ride, they'll have plenty to do while you're riding.
Edwards Creek has three distinct sections including a beginner, intermediate and advanced loop. They are well-marked and appropriately rated.
The trail starts with the beginner loop which has enough features to make it a really fun loop, especially for kids. It's primarily wooded and rolling. If you were to continue with just this loop, it would be about 1.5 miles.
About half way through the loop, you have the option to follow on to the intermediate section which gets a little more rocky with some more roots. About one-half mile in, there appears to be a short closed section that had some bridges (in need of repair) over a marshy area.
The advanced section branches off not far after the intermediate turn-off and primarily features short ascents and descents with some tight turns and switchbacks. The climbs aren't long or hard but there's not room to gain any momentum. There's an ascent down some concrete slabs, a couple of log piles, and some rocks. Once you cross the creek again, you're back to the intermediate section. This takes you back to the wetland area with lots of narrow bridges that if you miss, might lose a shoe in the black mud.
After the lowland section, the trail takes you into a mature wooded area. There are some really fun features here for the advanced beginner or intermediate to practice technical skills often with low injury risk. There are some narrow bridges, a wide teeter-totter, and a steep bridge-crossing. They all have a 'go around' so you're not locked into anything. There are a couple of higher bridges that are wide and this is just a really fun section overall.
This will connect back into the beginner section and finish out the trail with a couple of short downhills, one dug under a low branch that looks deceivingly like you might bump your head.