Family Friendly: Short distance, combined with smooth terrain and a lack of any steep drops, roots, or rocks, makes this loop very family/beginner friendly.
From the 214 Trailhead parking lot, cross the gravel road and proceed down the 214 Trail
a short distance to the Newt Loop entrance on the right. This trail can be traveled in either direction, but is best when ridden counter-clockwise (as mapped).
The trail itself is mostly smooth hardpack dirt, with a few sections of gravel. The grade is never steep, and the terrain is never technical. The mellow tread combined with a short distance make this a great family/beginner friendly trail.
About 0.5 miles into the trail, you'll come to an opening and cross a fire road. Shortly after this, you'll come to the bottom of the Catamount Trail
on your right. Staying left to continue on Newt Loop, you'll cross the fire road again shortly, and will then proceed up a small hill.
At the top, Newt Loop continues left and 29 Turns
heads off to the right. This optional line serves up a multitude of very tight switchbacks, made more challenging by the loose soil. At the bottom of the switchbacks, you'll exit onto the same fire road you have crossed twice already. A short climb up the road puts you back at the second crossing, and you head right to return to where you started the switchbacks. Or turn around, and ride up the switchbacks for some additional training. This trail is multi-directional. However, you choose to return, riding 29 Turns
adds about 0.6 miles of riding.
Continuing on from here, you get a nice, fast-flowing downhill section with some fun kickers. Watch your speed though, as a tight right-hand hairpin turn comes up quickly! Just after this the trail splits. Heading right is preferable, as it leads you to a short but very fun and easy section of flowing berms, then pops back out onto the main trail. Turn left here to head back up and run a few laps on the berms!
Once you've had your fill of flow, head right for a few more short climbs and descents before finding yourself back at the start of the trail. Head left, back up the 214 Trail
, to your vehicle, or maybe ride another round to get in some extra practice and exercise... or why not head on up Catamount Trail
for miles more fun!
Side Note: This trail proceeds through some lovely areas, and is a great place to take out-of-town visitors for a stroll in the woods if you are looking to get away from the crowds at the nearby waterfalls.