This trail is a side trail to the long distance Pinhoti trail, an IMBA epic. Parts of this loop actually include a portion of the Pinhoti known locally as P1. The rest of Pinhoti 1
is presented separately.
The trail starts at the top, although it can also be accessed from the Bear Creek forest road at its bottom.
To get to the top, travel (by bike of course) up Potato Patch Road until you get to the scenic overlook (you'll know it when you see it). Just another few hundred yards uphill further there is a small parking lot that is the start of the trail.
It starts out as downhill singletrack, paralleling the road. After a few really tight switchbacks, it crosses a creek and joins an old doubletrack (no motorized vehicles). Although "just" doubletrack, this downhill section has lots of bends and turns and is a blast to take at speed. Just don't miss the turn off this doubletrack for the really fun downhill. This turn is actually at the endpoint of this trail as uploaded here. You'll notice it as the burned in track heads off to the right rather than turning back along the contour.
After a short doubletrack section, a great downhill singletrack starts. This is really fun.
After a large stream crossing, you'll technically be joining up with Pinhoti 1
. P1 actually heads uphill to the left. Bear Creek/P1 continues on downhill paralleling (and sometimes crossing) the creek. You'll pass the huge poplar tree on your right that is worth a stop to marvel at.
Soon, P1 veers off uphill to the right, but Bear Creek continues downhill to Bear Creek Road, where there is also access to this trail.
The rest of this description describes the rest of Bear Creek Trail. however, this section usually isn't ridden as it is steep, less interesting doubletrack until it meets back with P1.
This section climbs up the east side of the valley and heads uphill north for about a mile and a half until it meets up with the uphill part of the P1 segment mentioned earlier. Bear Creek and P1 again follow the same tread (doubletrack) for a while until P1 exits to the right on a section not (yet) open to bikes. Bear Creek continues uphill along the contour back to where you left it earlier to get to the singletrack downhill.