From rocky technical trail to smooth flowing ones, this ride is completely under the canopy of a tall ponderosa forest.
There is room for only three to four cars to park at the trailhead for the Old Hatchery Trail
. These trails are all very well marked with diamonds on the trees and signs at the junctions. Look for white diamonds on the Old Hatchery Trail
and blue diamonds on all the others. The blue diamonds have green circles on them when it's a connector trail, red circles when it's a vista trail (like Pat Mullen Trail), and yellow circles when it's a shortcut trail (none on this ride).
The Old Hatchery Trail
kicks off this tour through the forest of the White Mountains. From the trailhead, you can follow the trail either left or right. To the right, you'll see a wooden bridge crossing a creek. While it is tempting to go that way, the trail doesn't go very far in that direction before you'll encounter a "Hikers Only" sign.
This ride starts by following the trail to the left. The trail is short, but pretty technical and rocky. Right off the bat you'll have some pretty big rocks to get up and over or around. There are a couple of gates to pass through that interrupt your flow, and they are very close to each other, so don't get too comfortable on your saddle after you pass through the first one.
Before long, you'll come to a trail intersection with the Springs Trail #633
. You can choose to go either left or right, this ride takes you to the right. Either direction is equidistant to the trailhead at the other end of the trail.
The Springs Trail #633
is a continuation of the rockiness you encountered on the Old Hatchery Trail
. The trail is somewhat technical as it is littered with small to medium sized rocks and boulders. It's nothing too tough, but it definitely will keep you on your toes.
From the trailhead for the Springs Trail #633
, you can pick up the beginning of Iron Horse Connector #623A
by crossing over the street and going north about 30 yards. You'll notice a small sign and a gate that signifies the start of the trail. You've now left the technical rocks behind and the beginning of this trail is smooth singletrack. But, before too long, it evolves into an old dirt road. The remainder of this trail is just dirt road running along the edge of the forest.
The intersection with Country Club #632
trail is well marked with signage. Again, you can choose to go either left or right. This ride takes you left. The trail is smooth and flowing, zipping you in and out and around the tall ponderosas. You'll come to the trailhead where the trail continues on the other side of the gravel road. Continue following this fun trail through the woods and before long you'll see a trail splitting off to your left.
Take the trail to the left to climb up Pat Mullen Mountain on the Pat Mullen Spur
. This trail is short, but is worth adding for the elevation change. Most of the other trails have very little elevation change, so you're gonna want to get your heart pumping on this trail. Plus, it's a lot of fun on the way back down.
Once down Pat Mullen Spur
, take a left back onto Country Club #632
and follow it all the way back around to the intersection with the Iron Horse Connector #623A
. On your way around, you'll pass another intersection with the Chipmunk Springs
trail, which you can choose to follow to lengthen your ride.
After following Iron Horse Connector #623A
, cross the road and arrive back at the Springs Trail #633
trailhead. Where the trail forks, take the Springs Trail #633
to the right and complete the loop of this trail.
This half of the loop probably has more rocks than the other, some more challenging than others. On your way around, you'll pass the Little Bear Connector
which is very short but connects to the Blue Ridge Trail #107A
, which adds another option for lengthening your ride. You'll eventually return to the intersection with the Old Hatchery Trail
which you can now follow back to your car.