“A popular flow trail with optional routes.”
— Eric Ashley
The Capitol State Forest is a multi-use trail network and an ongoing logging area. Expect traffic in both directions and yield to hikers and equestrian riders some trails are also open to motor vehicles. This is a large forest with many trails and roads. Cell service is poor and navigation can be difficult.
Little Larch is the newest, and easily the most ridden trail at Capitol State Forest. This purpose-built trail features lots of flow with fun pumps and berms, and the occasional jump.
Starting off of the Road C-6000 Spur
, Little Larch winds its way up to a small kiosk before beginning on a flowy descent. Little Larch has a few optional routes spread throughout the trail, the first of which is an optional left onto a long log ride for a more challenging and faster bypass. A few turns later there is a road crossing marking the transition into the middle section of the trail.
A stump-pinch-point directly after the road crossing can be a bit unsettling. Fortunately the next few turns are level and will help you regain your composure before feeding into a steeper section. There is a less difficult route to the left, but most riders will opt for the steeps here. Either way, both routes come back together for a series of tight berms that give way to a winding path through the woods. The last optional route comes up quick with a steep roll to the left or a milder path to the right.
The bottom section of the trail gets noticeably level as it enters the clear cut. It can be difficult to keep up good speed, especially if you pushed your fitness higher up on the trail. The flatter grade is particularly noticeable on a few small tabletops which are under-appreciated because of the lack of speed. After the clearcut, Little Larch heads back into the woods for some rolling elevation and a few mild roots. This pedally section comes to an end on an eroded chute that ends near the road below.
History & Background
Little Larch was completed in 2013 by the Friends of Capitol Forest (FOCF) as the first purpose-built mountain bike trail in Capitol Forest. FOCF is in the process of building a singletrack climbing route to the top of Little Larch to avoid having to climb on the C-6000 road.