This ride is a must-do if you're in the Morehead/Cave Run area. This loop includes three miles of the Sheltowee Trace and a new section of singletrack built after "The Decision" (see history). Clack Mountain Road is a fantastic gravel doubletrack that can suck you in and cause you trouble real quick.
The USFS has put out a good map showing allowed uses in the whole area with planned trails as well: fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DO...
You can bail out and skip Lakeview by continuing on the paved road back to the visitors center, but why would you want to? Lakeview Ridge Trail #122
is worthy of whatever hurt you've subjected yourself to.
Begin from the visitors center parking area near the Cave Run Lake dam. Follow the Sheltowee Trace NRT: Section 8
north up a long steady climb with a couple of distinct cruxes to gain "The Ridge." Once on the ridge enjoy fun rollers for a couple of miles to the Big Limestone Trail #109
. Once on Big Limestone Trail #109
, the nature of the trail changes to doubletrack, but keep your eyes peeled on the right for a new singletrack detour that is a lot of fun.
After returning to the doubletrack, look again for a singletrack detour on the left. This is part of the new alignment of the Sheltowee Trace and if you follow it left (and down), you can go into Morehead for a bite to eat.
Continue out to Clack Mountain West Road
, turn right, and enjoy a nice long race back to the paved road.
Keep your eyes peeled as you head north on the pavement on the right side for the easy to miss Lakeview Ridge Trail #122
. Once on Lakeview, you'll shortly cross a wooden bridge and find yourself on the final singletrack push back to the trailhead. But never fear, there is a stout climb to keep things interesting.
After the grunt work, enjoy the final contouring and rolling old doubletrack overlooking the lake back to the intersection with the Sheltowee. If you're still upright on the bike you'll be rewarded with a fantastic descent back to your car.
Twenty years ago, Cave Run Lake was the crowning jewel of Kentucky mountain biking. But after years of conflict between bikers and equestrians, years of overuse by horse people and under maintenance all around, the trails were in terrible shape.
Not so long ago those user conflicts came to a head. The Forest Service was forced to intervene and the result was a decision (THE Decision fs.usda.gov/detail/dbnf/new...
) which separated user groups and designated hike/bike and hike/horse areas with one small section of shared horse/bike trail.
The major upside of this decision was the allowance of some new trail development for horseback riding and mountain biking. Slowly but surely, Cave Run is once again becoming a mountain biking destination in the Bluegrass state.