If Hard Money
isn't your bag, this loop combines the easiest climb with a fun, flowy descent. Just know if you attempt this on a weekend or other busy time, your descent on Millsite Trail
will be interrupted with lots uphill traffic - please remember to yield!
Start with a gentle warm-up on the Historic Gilpin Tramway
. The old railway bed makes for a great grade to spin the legs, see mining artifacts and great views.
At two miles, you'll turn on Easy Money
. Now you are climbing, but the grade is still reasonable with lots of switchbacks. When you get to the Paymaster Trail
intersection, make sure you keep left to stay on Easy Money
. You'll be climbing Easy Money
for almost a mile to access Millsite Trail
. Take a left on Millsite Trail
- it looks like you are still climbing but just around the corner the fun descent starts.
Be mindful of uphill traffic, this is a preferred way to climb to Hard Money
. Millsite Trail
is flowy and fast with some downhill optimized b-lines.
If you wanted to extend your ride, continuing on Easy Money
as an out-and-back to the summit of Maryland Mountain is the same intermediate level of riding and adds three miles total to the ride.
History & Background
Maryland Mountain has played a vital role in the history of Black Hawk since the City was founded in 1864. Located directly northwest of the Black Hawk central business district, it is bounded on the north and east by Hwy 119, Chase Gulch to the south, with private ranch lands to the west.
Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, this area was a bustling industrial site filled with mines, mills, roads, and tramway railroads. The mining scars have since transformed into a re-forested mountain landscape and in 2020 became home to a world class trail system.
Shared By: Wendy Sweet