“The best way to access the Ellicottville Trail System. The most fun you can have in the woods.”
— Jon Sundquist
The trail so good they named a beer after it
. This is one of the best trails in Ellicottville and the best way to access the trail system.
It is a 100% singletrack 2-mile climb that gains 550 feet. The best thing is that if you park at the lot at the bottom, you do this all in the reverse on the way back, leaving you with a huge smile to end the day.
The very start actually is not singletrack (it's a 2-track snowmobile trail) but that doesn't last long. Soon after the creek crossing, you'll see the singletrack veer off to the left and the fun begins. The trail curves back around and after it crosses that very same creek again, it points uphill. Don't worry, this is the steepest part of the trail - it gets easier.
For the next 2 miles, it is nothing but classic textbook bench cut as the trail climbs higher and higher up the ridge, switching back every so often. You get a short break about a third of the way up as it traverses a particularly scenic section of open woods (ending in a switchback at a dramatic steep creek). But climb on it does. It uses a very short section of an old log road about two-thirds up, but then the singletrack starts again swooping back and forth. The mesa trail leaves and rejoins the Eagle trail near the top, so make sure you add that to your ride in both directions. Eventually, the trail ends at sidewinder where you can continue on to the rest of the trails on East McCarty Hill.