“The best example of technical chunk riding in the Colorado Front Range.”
— Jim Mapes
This South Saint Vrain (SSV) trail can be ridden both ways, but is best downhill starting from Brainard Lake and finishing at the Peak to Peak Highway (from West to East). There is large parking lot off of Brainard Lake Road that is a reasonable place to park. Pedal up Brainard Lake Road and make the second right onto Mitchell Lake Road (1122C) after passing the lake. Several interesting and challenging loops can be created, or if time is short, the road (Peak to Peak Highway and Brainard Lake Road) offers a reasonable, if not inglorious way to get you back to your starting point.
The South Saint Vrain Trail is a perfect example of chunky, technical, non-flow mountain riding. The trail is nearly continuously littered with large embedded rocks, water bars, and steeper eroded sections. There is nothing that can't be ridden clean by a moderately skilled rider, but the continuous nature of the trail makes it a substantial challenge.
From Brainard Lake Road head North at a meadow with a trail sign. The first 1/4 mile should be ridden on South Saint Vrain Spur, which is an alternative of the South Saint Vrain Trail and avoids Wilderness and therefor is open to bikes. The first trail junction is actually with the South Saint Vrain Trail proper. Turn right and you are now on the main trail. Follow the South Saint Vrain through several well marked intersection (North Soughdough, Waldrop). At around 3.4 miles the trail heads downhill on a dirt road. After several hundred yards turn left at chain gate with a pile of rocks stacked around it. The final miles are in close proximity to the South Saint Vrain Creek and will bring you to CR96 within sight of the Peak to Peak Highway.