For first time visitors to Spencer, this is your ride!”
— Philip Smith
Featured Race Apr 3, 2016
No closures. In the winter, the gate is closed to the campground and dam, but trails are still open. Park at the gate winter parking area and ride up. Hunting is permitted at Charles Fork Lake so be aware during hunting season.
The loop that made Spencer famous for mountain biking. This is the general race course that has been used since 1994, but with some variations over the years. The race course may change in 2017 and beyond, but this is the featured lap of trails and the flow of how to ride it. The best downhill isn't featured in this and if you really love super fast downhills you'll want to include a lap around the Fire Road
and drop down Point Pass as it is so fun, but generally, you'll want to ride this lap.
Need to Know
Campground is available right at the lake. Electric hookups or primitive camping. Lots of folks love to kayak here, too. Run into town and tell the folks at Church Street Deli that SpencerTrails and MTBProject sent you (lunch hours only). Run up to Chestnut Ridge Winery and do some laps at Ben's Run after sampling some wine.
Starting at the parking area, ascend Lakeview
and enjoy over five miles of wonderful singletrack designed specifically for mountain biking before it drops down to the back side of the lake and enters a meadow. The trail comes out of the meadow across an old busted up low water bridge onto the old dirt road that goes to the back of the lake. Take a left on this road and then hang a right onto Steve's Hill
trail. Don't worry about getting lost, there are trail junction signs, YOU ARE HERE signs, and arrows everywhere.
Take Steve's Hill
to Charlie's Challenge (Back)
and ride a short piece up to Trevor's Trail
where you'll bust some speed out on this super-duper, holy-mackerel, fun trail. Connect with Charlie's Challenge (Front)
and then Boy Scout Trail
before finishing your lap.
Left with more in the tank? Try heading back out Charlie's Challenge (Front)
to try out Low Gap Spur or if you really want some more, ride Charlie's Challenge (Front)
and out Charlie's Challenge (Back)
all toward the back of the lake and ride Trevor's Trail
back again the way you did on the first lap.
Charlie's Challenge (Back)
can be really fun, but in mid summer it sometimes gets a little weedy in some places. We try to keep it cut, but just fair warning. It is a very fun trail though.
History & Background
Prior to the creation of Charles Fork Lake, this was all farming country. You'll pass lots of relics including overgrown cellar houses, old fence sections in the forest, stones from old house sites, and more.