What makes this ride special? Its the best I have seen yet! Connector Trail
coming off of the Foresthill Divide
is just a blast to ride with narrow flowing singletrack that just keeps you pushing for more. Culvert Trail
is a downhill racetrack with high berms and jumps and pitch black riding (that frankly freaked me out). Confluence just adds more fun with narrow and sometimes rocky singletrack along the American River.
One ride gives you all you want (except a ride back to the top, for another run!).
If you're familiar with Foresthill Divide
Trail, the Connector Trail
is well marked just before mile 10 on the trail breaking off to the right. Head down this trail for nice gradual downhill singletrack in a heavily canopied area. You're going to ride this down for a ways before you have a moderate climb out and some fairly flat riding to a road crossing (Lower Clementine Rd) and the Culvert trailhead is clearly marked on the far side of the ride.
Note the shortcut trail goes off to your left, Culvert is to the right (YOU DONT WANT TO MISS CULVERT). Head up a fire road for about 1/2 mile of fairly steep climbing before the trail drops off downhill and you'll see Culvert turning off to your left.
Once on Culvert Trail
, you immediately enter the racetrack. You'll pick up speed very fast and the trail has some major jumps and rocky areas. Make sure you pick your line carefully and watch for some sharp switchback turns (all with very nice big berms to keep your speed up). Flying down this trail, you'll come up on the darkness (a giant culvert) that you must ride through. Be careful when the area is wet - this area can get sketchy. Passing through the culvert you have more winding fast and rocky singletrack leading you down to Old Foresthill Road. When you reach the road, cross over and head down the entrance to the off-road park (towards the river).
Heading down the off-road park road you'll see the Confluence Trail
turn off to your right starting as a short fire road section and immediately turning into a narrow exposed, sometimes rocky trail starting high above the river and dropping fast. The area is dangerous and narrow - watch your speed as runners, hikers and riders will be coming in the opposite direction and in some areas there is no safe place to pass. Continue down this trail until you eventually come out at one of many parking areas in the Confluence area.
If you're heading back uphill to your car parked somewhere along Foresthill Divide
road: Across Old Foresthill Rd you'll see the Old Clementine Rd Trail / Confluence. You can ride this fire road all the way back up to Lower Clementine Rd. and back to the Connector Trail
or where you parked along Foresthill Rd.