This is a nice 11-mile ride without back-tracking anywhere.
$5.00 to get in the reserve and park but it's worth it, someone is keeping this trail set up nicely for Mountain Bikes Only.
Riding in on Wednesday from the trailhead, you start on Tortoise Trail
one way, take it to White Tail Trail
and follow that to Confusion Corner. This was my first time so I was confused but wanted to run about 10 miles not the 20-mile intermediate route and not back track.
From here, I took Flying Squirrel
for the full loop; it was very flowy and as much fun as many say. Do not take the Dam Trail or White Tail Trail
when you see them, continue on the Flying Squirrel
. Some nice long downhills but what goes down also goes up so there's a few uphills, some longish. Following this back avoiding going on Copperhead anything brings you back to Confusion Corner. Signs direct you, just don't take the Copperhead Trails.
Stay on the trail and it will get back to the Confusion Corner, at one point it says Copperhead Connector (something confusing like that) but it is taking you to the corner.
At Confusion Corner, continue down on the White Tail Trail
, which heads downhill from the corner where you haven't been yet. It starts fast and fun, first sharp corner I almost missed and it would be straight down into the creek, but it's a fun downhill, just be aware and keep your eyes panning ahead. You'll pass the site of the 90's plane crash and a cross memorial on it, then head uphill to Champagne Hills sign. The trail then flows along until after a longish uphill portion it eventually brings you back to where the Flying Squirrel
meets up with White Tail Trail
upper and lower (can't take lower from there). There is a sign ahead to "Dam Trail one way" (you also pass this sign when doing the Flying Squirrel
loop but hopefully didn't take it then) and under that sign an arrow says "To Parking." This is the trail you want to take to get back to the Tortoise Trail
You'll cross the dam and then go up Granny's Hill. That is the longest up hill I had and when you are possibly tired. You'll reach the Tortoise Trail
and can complete it to where you started and continue it to the parking.
I was careful and stopped lots to find my way but with this description I hope to help others that don't want to do an excessively long ride but also don't want to back track.
11 miles, 2 hours without stops at a casual pace which was still a workout for me, spent most of my ride in cardio zone and had a nice ride. A young experienced rider would do it in less time, I'm a fairly experienced rider but I'm 55.