“A combination of singletrack, doubletrack, and FS road adjacent to the FS Lake Russell Rec area.”
— Keith Owen
Family Friendly: A portion of the trail is fairly flat and may be suitable as an out-and-back for beginners.
Take the Nancytown Connector from the Nancytown parking lot. At the end of the connector the trail begins at a gated bridge. Riding the trail clockwise, look for the trail to your left. The trail here begins as a singletrack. After about 100 yards the trail will cross a metal bridge over a creek. The trail will continue to meander through a pine forest paralleling the creek for several hundred yards. The trail will then curve right to begin a very steep climb. The first portion of the climb is rutted, then curves to the right up through the pines.
After a couple hundred yards of this steep climb the trail flattens for a short distance as you ride out of the pine canopy. Soon the trail climbs steeply, again up a rutted section of trail, for another 50 yards. At the top of the climb, the trail becomes more of a doubletrack and re-enters the pine forest. This section is rolling with no terribly steep grades. After about a 1/4 mile of this you'll encounter a gravel FS road. The trail continues directly across the road.
From the FS road, the trail makes a short climb then begins downhill. You have now transitioned into an area of hardwoods. The first corner is a 90-degree left that will sneak up on you. The trail winds downhill in a somewhat rutted segment. At the bottom of the hill, you'll take a hard left onto a single-railed wooden bridge. A short, steep climb and quick downhill will have you crossing a second small wooden bridge. Continue on this tight singletrack until you begin a steep downhill section. At the bottom the trail goes hard right. A spur trail to the left takes you 100 yards to the Nancytown Falls - worth the short sidetrip.
Continue on the trail and cross a very short footbridge. In about 20-30 yards there is a quick little downhill. You'll then begin paralleling Nancytown Creek. The trail winds through a tight segment of mountain laurel as you continue along the creek. Next, cross the creek on another metal bridge (caution - the bridge leans and is slick when wet).
The final segment of singletrack takes you through another pine stand and along a noisy section of the creek. Finally, the trail runs into another FS gravel road which is part of the trail - turn right on this road and immediately cross a bridge over the creek. Continue on this road. You'll intersect another FS road to your right - stay straight. You'll go down this road and at the bottom is a gate. You are back to your starting point.