“A signature trail of the Back 40 and a "must ride" for experienced riders.”
— Charles Williams
This route is a black diamond trail requiring advanced skill. I want to get that out there up front. The expert rating is mainly earned by a stretch where riders will experience exposure to a potential fall of 20 feet or so from some narrow rock ledges that are on ~ 1/3rd of the trail. Those areas can be walked if people are intimidated by exposure to heights, but just be aware that there's very little room to walk and push your bike. For those who are deathly afraid of heights, it may not be your cup of tea even with getting off your bike to walk a few sections that are only about 50 yards in length where the "straight down" fall exposure is present. It has so many great parts besides the narrow rock ledges, that if you're OK with hike-a-bike for a total of about 150 yards, it's still a GREAT trail!
Now that we have that out of the way, let's get on to the good stuff! This trail is incredible. It incorporates some of every required skill for the avid mountain biker. Jumps (no gaps), berms, technical rocks, bike handling in narrow spaces, and some killer flow in several places.
I recommend riding this counter clockwise. Climbing it is a different challenge altogether, but going counter clockwise gives you the benefit of the flow to go with the narrow technical ledges.
Drop in off Commonwealth, going counter clockwise (northwest). Right out of the gate, you have some berms and good flow. You descend into a valley, and then climb up the opposite side, which leads you to the short table top jump section. This is big time fun! Be a little leery just after you pass through a quick power-line opening, because there are some drops that have some quick corners after them. Don't "air them out" too much, or you won't have enough braking time and you'll "exit stage left."
Next are some flowing rollers along the edge of a big ravine with a few very small creek crossings. Cross the low wooden bridge and get ready for the rock ledges!
Once you've negotiated them, you are into the final section, which is flowing with good berms, some rock kickers to get the wheels off the ground, and one alternate technical line to the right.
After some rock-lined berms, you'll end in a field, and wish you could teleport yourself back to the top to ride the whole thing again. Did I mention this trail is a BLAST? If you are at least a high level intermediate rider, DO NOT MISS descending this trail if you are in this area. It has something for every rider!