There are a number of excellent singletrack trails in the Station Flats area but they don't make obvious loops. This ride brings some of them together with only about 1km of road riding to complete the loop. For a longer version of this ride (6km extra), replace Bobcat
with Snakes & Ladders
and ride counter-clockwise instead.
You can park at either Station Flats or Fullerton trailhead (opposite Allen Bill). If you're riding clockwise, (which is easier) Fullerton is the best option. This gets the boring road section out of the way at the start - treat it as a warm-up! There is parking on both sides of the highway at Fullerton/Allen Bill.
From Fullerton trailhead, ride west on Highway 66 (there's a decent shoulder and the road is generally not too busy) to the Station Flats recreation area/trailhead. Head left at the fork (signed for equestrians) toward the signboard where all the trails begin. At the fork immediately after the start of the trail, turn right onto Tom Snow (South)
(aka Diamond-T loop at this point).
After leaving the Recreation Area via the gate, the trail is wide and often wet for a few hundred meters before it climbs up a short, steep hill to the left. It then swings right & down to the creek where a bridge should let you cross easily. After a short rocky climb out of the creek valley into a small meadow, you'll reach the fork where Ridgeback
starts and Tom Snow (South)
continues to the right (Diamond-T continues to the left).
begins with a long section of wooden boardwalk (avoiding the always muddy Tom Snow (South)
which drops off to the right. After a short climb the trail rejoins Tom Snow for a few metres. Keep left and rejoin Ridgeback
rather than climbing the hill on Tom Snow to the right.
The second section ('R2') of Ridgeback
twists and turns as it climbs over a small hill and then drops back on to flatter sections near Ranger Creek. When the trail rejoins Tom Snow, turn left and cross the creek via the wooden bridge. Across the creek you skirt the edge of a meadow (watch out for evidence of grazing cattle!) and before you start climbing take the right turn on to the Bobcat
starts by crossing Ranger Creek on a sturdy-looking bridge and then climbs steadily at a fairly easy grade, twisting back and forth across the hillside. Around half-way up the trail traverses a meadow on the side of the hill with good views to the mountains in the west. Pass the link trail on the right to Fullerton Loop (bikes are not allowed) and keep an eye out for the Sugar Mama
trail which is the next right. If you reach the summit of Ranger Ridge you've gone 500m too far!
Right from the start, Sugar Mama
descends at a fairly consistent 10% grade for the first 2.2km. As it follows the ridge line down, it alternates between flowing turns and tighter switchbacks. After the final set of tight turns, it sweeps around the contour of the hillside for 0.5km before suddenly turning right on to an old cut-line for a short speedy section. The final 0.5km is a more mellow 5% grade and after the final pair of turns, it drops you out opposite the start of the Snagmore
Turn right here, down the hill on the doubletrack Elbow
and keep left at the Fullerton junction, across the bridge and up the hill. After a long flat, easy section, the trail drops down a big bench-cut, over a wooden bridge and pops out at the Fullerton parking area on the north side of the highway at Allen Bill.