“A wide open trail with some moderate climbs/descents.”
— Russ Mathers
Riders must have military base access or be sponsored by someone who does.
Good singletrack, although it does get muddy after a rain, so it's best to wait a day after any measurable rainfall. It can be a little "rooty" in parts. Trail maintenance is done strictly by volunteers and the trail doesn't get a lot of traffic, so conditions vary. Monitor Barksdale Cycling
on Facebook for updates.
Park near the Flag Lake Gate on the East Reservation and ride around the gate. About 1/4 mile down the gravel road, the trail begins on the right. Follow the trail counterclockwise. There is a cut off to make the trail 3 miles at the top of the first hill by the picnic bench.
If you are a Strava user, you'll notice segments named after the base's B-52 nose art. In order from the start, "Cajun Fear." After the bridge, you'll come to a big hill to test you called "Judgement Day" then a small climb up "Renegade." This is followed by a big downhill section known as "Warbird." The next segment ends with south point bluff overlook "Die Laughin."
This is followed by "Diabolical Angel" then a segment that ends at an oil drilling pad, where there are always downed trees, known as "The Devil's Own." Then there is a stretch that starts at the oil pad, is muddy after a rain, and includes a hill to the big bridge "Mud Buff." Then a very short segment that cuts a corner called "War Hog." "Bombs Away!" has a steep downhill that ends where short/long trails rejoin. From the point where the trails rejoin the main road crossing is called "Ol' Crow Express" and the ride finishes up with "The Last Laugh." Trail signs to identify these segments are coming in the future.
History & Background
Barksdale AFB's East Reservation was a bombing range for training missions in the 30's and 40's. The trail is marked with Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) signs to warn you not to touch any bombs you may find. Don't let the signs frighten you, people have run/ridden/hiked this trail for years and not found anything. The trail has been swept and is clear of ordnance. But on the off chance you see something suspicious call the phone numbers listed on the signs and report it.
There are historic sites along the trail including bomb craters (did I mention the practice range?), a Model T chassis, an underground cistern, and old wagon trail and a cattle dipping vat.