About a half hour drive from Fort Collins near the Wyoming Border, this ride is part of a large network of hiking, biking and horseback trails within the Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. This ride is 100% singletrack from the paved parking lot to the top of the ridge and back again.
The ride as described (11 miles) takes you up to the Mahogany
Loop and then through it counter-clockwise; then back through the loop in the opposite direction for more elevation gain and miles if you want them. The ride back down is fast and flowy singletrack but use caution as the trail is loose gravel/sand in some places.
Admission to the Natural Area is free of charge through the City of Fort Collins.
The ride starts out of the paved upper or north parking lot after you pass through the entrance station. Take the Mahogany
Trail from the lot and begin climbing up through various washes and across some ridges. At about the 2 mile mark, the trail will split into the Mahogany
Loop. You can go either direction but taking the trail to the right (counter-clockwise) will give you a longer and less steep climb to the top. The trail to the left is a bit steeper and has a few rocky obstacles.
Once you get to the top of the loop, you are treated to some magnificent views to the south as you ride along an exposed ridge for about a mile.
The best option is to ride the loop counter clockwise first and then repeat it in the opposite direction for some extra distance and climbing. Riding the loop clockwise from the top back down to the parking lot exposes you to some fun extended downhill singletrack. One note, however, is that the trail surface is narrow and sandy in spots, so some caution should be used on the downhill portions, especially approaching corners. All in all this is a fun trail with some magnificent views from the top of the loop. It is not all that difficult and is a nice diversion from the crowded trails further south.