This trail is short but fun sampling of the park. It can be ridden in both directions but counter-clockwise seems to be the preferred direction.
Start near the off-leash dog park, proceed south as the trail leaves the paved path. At the end of the clearing the trail--blazed with red patches with a white dot-- becomes singletrack at the point where the trail enters the woods. There are numerous gopher holes in a small area that can be obscured by leaves--foot traffic should watch their step in this small area.
As you pass through the lower woods, there will be several intersections with the green and yellow trails, as well as numerous side paths; it is an an easy park to become diverted but it is difficult to get truly lost. After a brief uphill climb the forest opens up into to some grassy fields, enjoy the scenery!
The field leads to the Hartwood stables, near the barn it will head uphill across the road--look for the blazes on a large tree by the upper road and point your wheels uphill, or meander along the roads.
At this forest entrance, you meet the largest, longest climb on this hill. While not much more than a hundred meters, it can be tricky to manage through leaf litter or in wet trail conditions. Once you top out, the Red Trail
will turn left at a 4 way intersection. The upper flats here are playful with some small-medium obstacles as options on the sides. This is a feature about most trails here that makes Hartwood a very beginner-friendly park--you can enjoy a smooth trail or pop over some medium sized rocks and logs at your discretion.
There are a couple of forks where the Red Trail
gives an alternate option on the Red/Black dot trail, they will lead the same place and offer similar difficulty but somewhat different challenges.
When the trails meet again (just past the giant rock on the red/white branch) all of the climbing begins to pay off. This begins a fun flowy descent through the forest. Zig-zag your way down and avoid the shortcuts that are closed for revegetation (after all, you came here to ride, didn't you?)
You'll exit onto the paved path at a junction for the blue loop just uphill of the dog park.