If you ever wondered what it would be like to ride straight up the side of a steep mountain, then you've come to the right place! This trail is mostly a rocky fire road that was made long before mountain biking became popular, and they clearly weren't concerned about making switchbacks to maintain a climbable grade.
This description follows a clockwise direction (as mapped) and the advanced difficulty rating is mostly for the steep climbs, but the descent also has some very fast and difficult singletrack.
Start at the intersection with the Blue Ledge Trail
and head south along a moderate climb to reach the Blackwell's Trail
. Although it's a black diamond trail, taking the Blackwell's Trail
cuts off the steepest and most relentless part of climbing on the Little Flat Mountain Loop.
I recommend riders bypass this section unless you're looking for the physical challenge. There isn't anything technical, but the grade is incredibly steep. If you clean this section, then you may bask in the glory of being a mountain biking god. Otherwise, riding up Blackwell's Trail
is a much better option for the rest of us.
From the upper intersection with the Blackwell's Trail
to the top of the park's highest point is a fun challenge. It's uphill the whole time, but there are three major climbs. The first one is 100% rideable but very steep. I believe the second once can be ridden, but there is a 40-foot stretch in the middle that I have not been able to conquer yet. The third is about the same grade as the first, but a little shorter. At the top of the third climb you'll find yourself at the very top of the park!
Just as you start downhill you'll find a beautiful overlook. There's a bench and an amazing view of the mountainous terrain in this area. This is a great place to stop and eat as you're about to experience some amazing downhill singletrack worthy of any lift-served bike park.
This is where all of the climbing you just endured truly pays off. Continuing clockwise on the Little Flat Mountain Loop, you'll be served some true singletrack trail that requires laser-like precision to navigate the rocks successfully at speed.
Riders will soon come to the picnic area and the first of three descent options. The first option is to hang a left on the gnarly rocky singletrack of the Crooked Tree Trail
. Or, continue straight through the picnic area and start on a new section of wide flowing machine cut trail which then returns to rocky steep fire road. Further down, riders can engage the third option by splitting off onto the Blue Ledge Trail