“Fun downhill through flower meadows and aspen forests.
— Thomas Lane
Not recommended until mid-summer due to mud from the snow melt.
A nice shuttle (or optional loop) featuring smooth-rolling singletrack through meadows, aspen groves and pine forest.
Head up Payson Canyon and park a car at the Bennie Creek Trail #071
, about 2.5 miles past the Maple Dell Scout camp. Ride, shuttle, or hitchhike another 6.5 miles up the road to the Blackhawk campground turnoff and turn left. Go about 200 yards to a dirt pullout on the right by a fence. The ride begins across the road where the trail drops into the trees. This is actually the middle of a longer trail, but I find this is a great place to start if you don't want too much uphill.
The trail is 100% singletrack. Watch out for hikers and horses (and sometimes cattle). The trail alternates between aspen and evergreen forests and grassy meadows. In early summer, the meadows are blooming and the scenery is incredible, but there are some stream crossings and spots where a careful portage will be required to avoid some mud. The ride is mostly dry in the fall, though not quite as scenic. There are a couple of small climbs, but the ride is mostly downhill.
Stay on the well-used path. There are a few forks in the trail. The first is marked with a sign about 1.5 miles in. Take the right fork (left takes you back to the road). The next is at 3.5 miles. You'll cross a raised cattle guard and merge onto the Loafer Mountain Trail #098
. Again, go right. The last fork is at 4.3 miles by an old horse corral. Go left this time, onto Bennie Creek Trail #071
. The entire trail is smooth, flowing singletrack. Unlike some of the other trails around here, you don't have to worry about rocks, though there may be some bumpy sections if horses have damaged the trail.