Starting from the picnic area trailhead at Jakes Rocks, stay to the right and head out on Tuttletown
for a gradual climb along the edge of the plateau. There a few opportunities to catch a glimpse of the valley and the Kinzua Reservoir through the trees, which will get better in the fall. The trail crosses the road couple of times, before turning east and heading downhill. Tuttletown
eventually becomes Coal Knob
Continue on Longhouse Trail
where Coal Knob
meets Elijah. Get ready for the longest sustained downhill in this phase, dropping for over a mile and a half. There are multiple optional lines that include hips, rock gardens, and drops. There are also several wooden puncheons and cool armored sections to deal with wet areas.
eventually levels out and after crossing several drainage areas the trail starts to climb, crossing FR 492 where it becomes Vulpes
. After a short climb, take a right on Cornplanter
and descend again for a short bit, passing through some large boulders. Now make a left on to Three Sisters
is the only trail (so far) that is built by hand by local volunteers, and the difference is readily apparent. The surface is looser and then proceeds through some very tight rock chasms that no machine could fit through. There are several cool rock features in this section that make for cool photos, if you want to document your ride!
At the end of Three Sisters
, turn left on to Seneca
for a short, fast downhill, including a natural wall ride. There are multiple, very cool wooden puncheons as well as rock features that flow really nicely in the other direction if you have some energy left at the end of this loop.
Once you get to the top of the plateau, take a left on Coal Knob
. Coal Knob
starts out climbing slightly. Once on top, you cross a broad piece of exposed sandstone, reminiscent of Dupont or even Moab slick rock. On the far side of the knob, the trail drops into some of the best flow in this phase.
At the intersection with Elijah and Longhouse Trail
turn right and connect to Tuttletown
to continue flowing back to the parking lot.