This trail has great flow and is very well maintained. There is not a lot of elevation but it is laid out for maximum fun and speed. The trail is well-marked all the way through and is one directional for bikes, so follow the signs. Every black section (well-marked with signs) has a green option if you don't feel up for a more difficult ride.
There are no outhouse or bathrooms, but there is a coffee shop in Winona Village down the road.
From the trailhead parking lot, enter on the pavement and you'll see to the right a red gate at the trail entrance. If the gate is closed then the trail is closed and may not be used. If the gate is open head in and after a quick section you have to take a left and ride another short pavement section that veers right and you'll see a green arrow left turn back on dirt.
The first of many short black options is to the right; Race Field
is a downhill run with three fun jumps. Continue with some switchback climbs and descents and then cross the pavement and take the next black option for a nice drop jump. The next black option is Sweet Darlin' Trail
with a cool lifted wood trail over a swampy area. A switchback climb brings you up to the top of a downhill with a few concrete drops that can be ridden around if you're not wanting to drop off. A fast corner wraps you around to a bridge crossing over the creek and then another flowy section of short climbs and descents.
Follow the signs and take a right into "The Pines
". This section keeps up the fast flow and quick climb nature of Winona Lake. You'll approach "The Chutes" a quick black option to the right that basically plows straight down over some concrete and rocks and then climbs straight back up. Another small concrete drop off takes you to a climb and into the meadow. You'll twist and turn and climb out of the woods into the open field section of berms, double jumps, table tops and lots of flow. After climbing out of the meadow you have an optional jump back into the woods or take the left side to bypass.
A huge left hand berm takes you around "The Goat Trail", a tough, steep, and switchbacking climb. Like most of Winona, the climb will reward you with a descent, this one with a tough optional wooden drop jump that you'll have to whip just right and land while turning. If you like to jump and land downhill off a drop, this one is a blast... if you're up for the challenge. Beware though as you land and come down the hill, you approach a four-way trail crossing with lots of hiking traffic and general congestion, so SLOW DOWN before getting to it. You'll also cross a bridge after the trail crossing with bike crossing traffic and congestion.
Follow the signs, taking the left to the backside of the trail and flow along the river bank before approaching Puke Point
- a rooty straight up climb. The real work will be on the Caution Trail
, a black option that comes next. These are some tough back and forth technical climbs with rocks, ruts, and very tight 180 corners. This leads into Purple Haze
which is fast, mostly flat, and very technical. Purple Haze
ends with some nice downhill to climb and leads into "Dead Mans Curve". This lives up to its name as a steep switchback downhill corner that you could very easily end up off the side of.
Catch your breath as you enjoy the descent that follows, as the toughest climbs at Winona fast approach on Black and Blue
. Stay straight on the trail till you see the Black and Black and Blue
sign after a sharp right corner. The first climb will make or break you and its only the beginning. Once at the top, you ride a rim trail and take a right downhill corner that makes "Dead Mans Curve" not even seem deadly. Once at the bottom, you wrap around and have another climb followed by a goat trail, and then an even tougher rooted switchbacking climb. By this point you'll be gassed but the good news is the Black and Blue
climbs are over.
You get a switchback descent with some fast banked corners, cross the large bridge that led you into the backside, and take the first right to ride the other side of the creek on the home stretch. Another river bank trail to the rock garden, a final rooted climb, and final descent. When you hit the paved trail, go right and you'll head back to the parking lot. You'll pass the trailhead gate on the way for a chance at a second lap!