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A relatively easy ride that is half road and half trail with numberous river crossings.”
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Open Year Around
The North River Gorge Trail is a flat and wide trail, mostly doubletrack. If you are doing this ride as a loop the first half will be on pavement which has several climbs before getting to the North River Campground.
Need to Know
This ride can be done as a loop or you can shuttle this ride which is good for kids. If you are shuttling the ride leave one vehicle at the Wildoak Parking Lot and the other at the North River Campground. There are 10 river crossing with only the last river crossing having a bridge. During the summer months the river is only about a foot deep but you'll get wet because the crossings are 20-50' wide. I would only recommend this ride in the summer months when the water level is low. 1/2 mile after you cross the large suspension bridge you'll come to an unmarked intersection, take a left (going straight will take you to a the Girl Scouts Camp). This is a great swimming hole about 100 yards down stream of the big wood bridge.
If you start at the Wildoak parking lot your first 4 miles will be on pavement. You'll immediately begin with a 1/2 mile climb which is pretty steep and twisty with blind turns, so stay to the right of the road due to vechicle traffic. You'll then enjoy a fast 1/4 mile pavement downill before you start your 2 miles gentle climb towards the Todd Lake Recreational Area. At the entrance of Todd Lake lake you'll continue straight on pavement towards the North River Campground and Elkhorn Lake. At this point you'll have another steep 1/2 mile climb similar to the one at the start of the ride. You'll top at the top of the pavement climb and enjoy another steep 1/4 pavement descent, this time it will be straight but keep your eyes open for vehicle traffic. At the bottom of the descent take a left at the stop sign onto a grave road and follow signs to the North River Campground. Pass the campground and go over a small bridge which crosses the North River. After the bridge immediately take a left on singletrack which is the start of the North River Gorge Trail. The beginning of this trial is singletrack and you'll soon be greeted by the first of 10 river crossings. After the first river crossing the trail immediatley gets wider which is what you'll experience the rest of the ride. The trail is flat for the remaining 6 miles. You'll come to the intersection of the Wild Oak Trail and then will immediately see a large wood suspension bridge which you'll use for your final river crossing. After you get off the bridge you'll enjoy a 1/2 mile of singletrack which will provide beautiful views of the North River Gorge. The trail will bring your back to the pavement road, at this point you'll have the option of taking the pavement back or crossing the road, both will lead you back to the Wild Oak Parking Lot.