This ride is probably best done clockwise so that you climb Reconnect
and descend Long Distance
. The ride begins on Braggin' Rights
, which starts near the northwest corner of the West Bragg Creek parking area. The first section of Braggin' Rights
to the Long Distance
junction is best saved for the final descent, so immediately after the first bend, turn right on Whitetail
At the Long Distance
junction, go straight ahead to rejoin Braggin' Rights
, which winds gently around the south-facing hillside, drops down and crosses the old Telephone trail and finally climbs gently to the junction with Reconnect
and Merlin View
. A very popular option is to add the Merlin View
loop to extend your ride into a 15km (9 mile) figure-eight: turn left and then immediately right to start the climb on Merlin View
, which will return you to the same spot; after that you can continue the original loop or simply return via Braggin' Rights
Otherwise, turn right on to Reconnect
and after a short stretch of singletrack to a small bridge and a very brief climb you'll reach the old Telephone Loop trail (again). Turn left on to the loose, rocky trail and almost immediately leave it again, turning right and starting the climb.
From here the trail climbs steadily up an old forest 'road', first to the north and then, after reaching an old junction, back south again. This final section climbs a bench along the hillside with views to the west. This trail wasn't built specifically as an all-season trail and sometimes it shows; it can be very wet and muddy early in the summer and after heavy rain, especially if equestrians decide to chew it up!
At the top of the hill you'll join the Long Distance
trail. You can extend this ride by turning left and riding up Long Distance
as far you like before returning here. Otherwise continue ahead and about 30m later turn right to stay on Long Distance
continues ahead/left). From this junction there's a fairly short climb to a viewpoint on the final ridge.
From the viewpoint you then descend rapidly through a series of switchbacks to the junction with Braggin' Rights
. It's always a shame this section is over so quickly!
Keep straight ahead through the junction and swing left on to the busy part of Braggin' Rights
for the final descent. Give climbing riders the right of way and take it slow when passing hikers. If you're lucky enough (or patient enough to wait) and get a clear run down then it makes fantastic finish to the ride.