“A loop incorporating most of the easy trails in the park.”
— David Duke
This ride stays to the easier trail sections of the park and builds from easier to harder with bailout options along the way.
This ride is a wide and relatively smooth course; however, there are some areas that are rocky and hilly with roots. This loop does try to limit these aspects, however, kids could find the loop overwhelming if not prepared.
Use the Bluebell Trail
as a gauge to see if they are ready, and gears are going to help out on the loop portion. Culler's Trail
and River Trail
are good bailout options if the loop is too hilly.
Clockwise on the loop offers a steadier climb in with some short, quick downhill sections on the return leg. Reverse the loop for some shorter, harder climbs in with a more flowing, gradual return back.
Need to Know
The trails are short so marker posts tend to have a lot of info on them. They often list the trail you are on twice with one marking the trail and the other offering distance to the trail you are already on again. It can get confusing.
Take Bluebell Trail
until the trail opens to fields and turn left onto Campground Bypass
. Turn right on Culler's Trail
and veer left at the Big Oak Trail
. Here, you climb up to Tulip Poplar Trail
. This will be a quick gauge of suitability for the loop portion.
Next, turn left onto Tulip Poplar Trail
. At this point, the trail will be relatively wide and undulating with a climbing trend towards the southernmost point of the loop. At the end of Tulip Poplar Trail
, turn left, onto Big Oak Trail
. There is a bailout if you turn right on Big Oak Trail
that will shave about a mile and half off the loop.
At about 3.5 miles, go on through, slightly veering to the right toward Shale Barrens Trail
, being sure you do not turn left continuing on Big Oak Trail
. Take an immediate right onto Redtail Ridge Trail
. Shale Barrens Trail
could be a fast (steep, intermediate trail) and fun option down to the river, but you'll lose some riding in the woods.
Continue to follow Redtail Ridge Trail
back to Big Oak Trail
once again (4.5 mile). Turn left on Big Oak Trail
and take it down to Culler's Trail
and find yourself back where you started. There is a mowed section of field that cuts over. Take Cabin to River Access
to River Trail
. There are benches right on the river to take a break and soak up the scenery. From here, you just follow the river home.