Shown in general downhill direction from junction with the Tuteur Loop, the trail follows Marie Creek as it flows towards Marie Lake.
The double-black diamond designation refers to the final 0.75 mi. to the junction with Lake Marie Road
at the northwest end near the park entrance. Few riders will choose to ride uphill on this trail section as it climbs more than 600 ft at 15% grade with steeper, rockier sections. Heading downhill isn't much easier.
The upper southeast section is an intermediate ride and the only way to reach it is an out-and-back from Lake Marie to the Tuteur Loop ( Napa Solano Ridge Trail
). See the Lake Marie Road to Tuteur Trail Loop
ride. This section is well-shaded along Marie Creek with technical sections at several creek and gully crossings which you get to do twice.
It's an easy, wide trail as it passes along the shore of Lake Marie, passing the lone chimney, to the junction with the Buckeye Trail
. Most riders opt for the Buckeye Trail
at this point but stay left to continue on Skyline up a short, steep hill to a ridgetop viewpoint with a rest bench.
The descent from the viewpoint gets steep and rocky with some black-diamond sections until it joins again with the Buckeye Trail
and Passini Road
, which offer another bailout option. Continuing left (west) on Skyline, it's a gradual climb to the park boundary where the trail follows the fence line on easier trails. Watch for the interesting stone fences and avoid the barbed wire.
A couple connector trails rejoin Buckeye Trail
but keep an eye out for the Bayleaf Trail
and the Lower Skyline Trail
as these are the last detours before the final descent. Bayleaf Trail
returns to Lake Marie Road
and Lower Skyline Trail
offers a somewhat easier gradient. Continuing on Skyline is some of the steepest and rockiest trail sections in the area.