This route is nothing but grueling climbs, both technical and high speed descents and three super fast flats. The first few miles don't have any long climbs or descents as it stays close to the lake but there are plenty of short punchy climbs and no shortage of slippery roots.
From the parking lot head north on Entrance/Jingle Trail
and take a left onto Luke's Loop
. You'll quickly reach the junction with Wilkin's Way
; stay left on Wilkin's Way
. The first few miles of this ride don't have any sustained climbs as you keep near the lake but there is no shortage of steep hills and slippery roots. These short hills will get your legs ready for the grueling climbs further along Wilkin's Way
. These climbs are still relatively short but pack tons of punch with steep grades, rocky terrain and roots that are all to willing the suck the life out of your legs and lungs.
After you crest over the first major climb, you'll be welcomed to a steep downhill featuring a mixture of high speeds, large roots, tight switchbacks, one rock garden and an off camber trail. None of which give your heart rate the opportunity to recover. Just as you start taking in how awesome that downhill was you'll be pointed straight back up one of the most technical climbs on Wilkin's Way
From the beginning of this climb, you're forced to power through roots and navigate chunky rock gardens. As you climb further, the technical difficulty lowers allowing you to focus on grinding up hill. After topping out this second peak there is some excellent flowing trail at a mild downhill grade. Just shallow enough that you need to pedal most of it but allowing you to carry speed with little effort. There are some tight corners and rocks mixed in forcing you to pedal hard to get back up to speed. This flows into the last major downhill on Wilkin's Way
At first, it winds tightly through the trees and mountain laurels. Near the bottom it gets steep with super chunky rocks and roots just before you reach a rocky creek crossing. From this creek crossing you begin climbing back up a fairly mundane climb compared to what you just experienced as you approach the Bike Factory Trail
Once you complete the short Bike Factory Trail
you are now at the top of the road that enters the park. Here you begin riding down Just Climb It. The trail starts out fast and rocky with flowing turns. As you dive deeper into the woods you'll find fairly smooth trail that meanders through the trees and a few short climbs mixed in. Getting further down the trail you'll find steep rocky descents and some brutal rooted climbs. Line choice is critical if you intend to stay on your bike!
Finally you'll reach a flat open field where you can choose to hammer down and make up time or take a break to rest your legs. This open field is short lived but as you roll back into the woods you'll be greeted with flowing singletrack of varying grades and difficulty until you reach a creek. This creek is the lowest point in the park below the dam creating Walnut Creek's Lake. It's only a short ride to get up onto the dam from here before starting the last section of this nine mile loop.
Finishing Just Climb It, you end up on top of the dam overlooking the beautiful lake in the center of the park. Now its time to cross the dam and start the easiest loop at Walnut named Blue Wheel. The beginning of Blue Wheel has a fast but tight downhill back to the creek below the dam. There is a large slab of rock with only a single optimal line to get through clean. The easiest line choice is diagonally across this rock and shoot for a tiny wheel width gap to roll through. From here you have about 0.5 miles of mostly easy climbing before turning back toward the lake. The rest of Blue Wheel is composed of sharp rolling hills with a long fire road descent back to the lake.