“A switchbacking grind or weaving descent leads through the trees.”
— Eric Ashley
Down South isn't overwhelmingly steep, but the steady grade, repeated switchbacks, and intermittent, sharp climbs do make it the most fitness-intensive climb at Little Mountain Park.
From the start, riders get a quick taste of the climb before the trail levels out for a long, flat straightaway. On the outside of the first turn after the straight is the hiker-only Taylor's Trail. After this rooty corner, settle in for a constant pedal as the narrow singletrack winds away. Just ahead is a tight pinch-point formed by a protruding rock and an impending tree. The squeeze can either be a pleasant challenge or a frustrating dismount.
The climb keeps going through several series of switchbacks that are separated by the occasional straightaway. At the top, the trail intersects with Upper Surfer's Way
and Lower Surfer's Way
. Head right on Lower Surfer's Way
for the easiest option into the heart of the park.
As a descent, Down South drops away from the intersection as it weaves through the forest on shallow berms. Keep your speed in check, as it's pretty easy to overcook the corners. Once you're out of the switchbacks, it's inviting to let your speed run away. Just remember the pinch-point ahead, as it's a real pedal-grabber on the way down.
The rooty turn past Taylor's Trail will slow your pace, so the last straightaway ends up being a casual pedal till you reach the final descent that ends across from the South Connector