This ride has a fair bit of the good stuff from the Powderface Short Loop
, but with some really crappy climbing, narrow eroded singletrack and a gravel road section.
On the plus side, very few people ride or hike west of the Prairie Link Trail
turnoffs, so there's lots of peace and quiet if you want it.
Cell phone coverage is spotty.
The start of this ride is the same as the Powderface Short Loop
. Once you arrive at the Prairie Link Trail
turnoff, keep going straight on the Powderface Creek Trail
. It gets steep and loose, and stays that way. For the vast majority of people, it will be hike-a-bike time, as the eroded slope exceeds 20%. Reaching the high point of the trail gives you access to Powderface Ridge, a challenging but fun ride that can be done as an out-and-back to increase the amount of climbing on the ride.
The descent down to the road is rough and loose, and has become quite eroded in spots over the years. No flow here, but fans of olde-school tech XC will be happy. There will be a junction with a hiking trail, but stay left on the main route and continue down to the road.
Turn right onto Powderface Trail
, a gravel road, and ride it for ~2.8km. It's usually pretty quick, with a general downhill grade and hopefully no big washouts. The turnoff to the Prairie Creek Trail
is in the middle of a big clearing on the right, and should be pretty hard to miss. There's a wooden boardwalk you can ride to stay out of the swampy bits.
Once on the singletrack again, it's a pretty mellow ride all the way back to Hwy 66. Keep a sharp eye out for trees across the trail, at least until you get to Prairie Link Trail
junction. The trail runs quite close to the creek, and there are often some very wet sections to contend with.
At the Prairie Link junction, stay left and keep going. For details on this section, check the Powderface Short Loop