This is a great introductory loop to the area's technical riding. This trail is one of the quickest to dry out in the area. Several good overlooks along the trail. Except for the far northern part, most of the trail is close to the road providing an easy bail out if you are in over your head or experience a mechanical.
Expect relentless rock riding and occasional steep climbs.
The ride starts with a gut punch grunt up a rocky bit of singletrack for just under a half mile. You'll cross the road to continue north on the yellow blazed trail. At the intersection with the black trail, cross back over to the east side of the road to continue riding the yellow trail in the counterclockwise direction. Take a brief stop at the North Frederick overlook, then continue on the dual blazed yellow and black trail. Stay left at the split and continue on yellow as the trail points down and the number of rocks increase.
will hit a gravel a driveway, turn left and continue to follow the yellow blaze for a few dozen yards, then bear right back onto singletrack. Take your choice of optional lines to the top of the rocky knob and continue through thick mountain laurel and rock choked downhill.
After a short climb, you'll briefly exit the hardwood forest and swing left to climb a loose utility cut. This is the crossover point of the figure-8. Continue climbing and take a right on the second yellow blazed trail. You are now on the extended yellow loop riding in the clockwise direction. Climb the twisty loam (referred to as Drunken Sailor) and top out on a rocky spine before descending a series of rocky turns ending with a challenging rock garden.
Continue on yellow (note: there is a new spit for the Headless Hollow trail, bear right to stay on Yellow
) and begin the longest descent of the loop, the fast and fun section known as Jedi. Tight mountain laurel and trees, chunky rocks and small hit options will keep you on your toes. At the bottom of the descent gear down and prepare for a long climb out of the hollow.
After the trail levels out you have a minute of recovery before intersecting the utility cut you were on earlier. Hang a right, climb to the intersection and make a left to begin the return south on the next rocky challenge. Cross the road and continue south on the west side of the ridge. You'll be rewarded with large boulders such as the Beached Whale that offer plenty of optional lines. The western side of the ridge generally flows slightly downhill and you'll be able to keep a good pace through this section as you bob and weave through the tight singletrack.
The rocky climb of Stegosaurus Rocks offers a chance to test your technically climbing skills. At the top, you'll intersect the black trail, turn right to stay on yellow and continue south working your way back to the parking lot with a variety of roots rocks and loose descents. Cross the road a final time and you'll be in the parking lot you started.