This is a tight singletrack loop built specifically for mountain biking. RNP offers unique terrain that is not typical of the local area.
There are many obstacles along the trail, but everything is rideable with a bit of practice and patience. A few the most difficult features have an easier option, but at the cost of lap time. Each route-around is slower and longer than the difficult line.
This is a ONE WAY loop. DO NOT RIDE BACKWARDS FOR ANY REASON. Follow the arrows. The trailhead is at the message board on the west end of the parking lot. Look for the arrows on white posts there and follow them. You'll not need a map, GPS, or any guiding device. The trail is well-marked all the way around. You can ride with no worry of getting lost.
This Feature Trail is for the Expert Loop. It shares trail with the Novice/Main Loop
and Intermediate Loop
at the start and a few other areas. The following are the markings for all three just for FYI:
Green Circle = Novice/Main Loop
Blue Square = Intermediate Loop
Black Diamond = Expert Loop 6.4 miles
Follow any arrows regardless of shape or color and you'll end up back at the parking lot. If at any time you feel like you need to get back to the parking lot quickly from the Expert Loop, simply follow the blue Intermediate Loop
arrows instead of the black diamonds when the trails merge.
The Expert Loop starts from the same location as the Novice/Main Loop
& Intermediate Loop
and shares trail for the first 1.5 miles. This is a good warm-up before the trail splits and the going gets noticeably tighter and slower.
The first Expert section offers one of the best features of the park, The Pier
. It's a 4~8 foot drop depending on your speed when you leave it.
The next 0.2mi is the toughest section of the whole trail system. It's very tight with short but steep climbs. If you make it through there clean, the rest will be cake for ya.
You'll then get a short rest when you merge with the Intermediate Loop
. It's well-marked and the direction is obvious. Take advantage of the break because the longest Expert section is coming up.
The next Expert section contains many obstacles that will make you work. There is a log drop immediately followed by a gap jump. Many log crossings soon follow along with Teeter Totter Bridge, Ewok Village
, suspension bridge, and more. This section will eventually merge with the Intermediate Loop
for another break.
The next Expert section, called Land Bridge
, has the most climbing but no major obstacles. Everything is 100% rideable and just good, old XC riding. The end of this section merges with the Intermediate Loop
the same as the others.
The final Expert jaunt is the most fun. Once you climb a steep but very short hill, you'll bounce over a few roots on the descent and begin the flow (comparatively speaking). This section is the oldest expert segment so the turns have been rounded out over time resulting in smoother cornering. There is a small log pile and a couple of bridges that may slow you down a bit, but nothing more difficult than you already rode. Near the end you'll cross a gravel road. Go straight across for the last piece of the Expert Loop.
It's tempting to turn on the gravel road because you can see the parking lot, but you'll not get credit for a lap in your tacking app. This last piece ends in the skills area adjacent to the parking lot with a log skinny and double teeter totter.
Refill your water bottle and take another lap.