Starts out flowing and fast through the first quarter of the ride, then gets moderately technical with small up and down sections. The second quarter of the ride is an 800-foot hill climb up to the orchard. The third quarter of the the ride continues much the same as the beginning of ride, being a bit more technical with rolling terrain. The last part of the ride is all high-speed fun downhill.
Start at Bradley Rd parking lot. Follow the Fire Road
around the cable gate, to your 1st first left onto a fun short singletrack. When you get back on the Fire Road
go left. Pass the first uphill trail on the right then take the second right (Green Trail
) through a field of tall grass, through a stream, up a small hill back on the Fire Road
, go right on the Orange / White trail.
After 100' take 1st right onto the Orange Trail
. Things start to get fun now. NEMBA recently rerouted the trail, flowing and winding. Built some fun rock approaches to bridges and through stone walls. After a short hill climb, you have a fun downhill to the last bridge on the orange. It's pretty rocky at both ends but not impossible. If you have trouble, it's definitely worth your time to practice it from both sides. Head downhill taking your 1st left on the Blue Trail
up to the orchard. Try to keep your speed up going across a small rocky stream at the bottom. You'll want all the momentum you can get for the climb.
This is definitely a character-building climb but well worth it. It's split into three sections on the way to the orchard. The majority of the ascent starts as soon as you take your left off the Orange Trail
. After leveling out to a slight climb, there's one last short steep section before a fun little winding technical section. When you get to the end, go left up a small hill on Magenta Trail
. When you start to descend, pick up all the speed you can get. If you go fast enough it will be easy pedaling over a small log up hill to the orchard. This is a a really pretty part of the ride. You're in the open, skirting around the side of the orchard with all the major climbing behind you. The last half of the ride is flowing fast fun.
When you re-enter the woods, beware of the rocks on your descent. Lower the dropper and keep your weight back. There's a hairpin right then left immediately afterward. Keep as much speed as you can though here to make it up a small rooty section. The next bit is pretty flat, sprinkled with manageable rocks. You'll end at a short, steep, winding technical section.
At the bottom go left, following Blue Trail
. Follow to gravel road and cross back onto the singletrack. You'll come around a corner going left. There are some good-sized flat rocks across a small stream. Try to keep some decent speed over these. It will make the small rocky climb much easier.
After this section, after you head downhill again, ignore the trail on the right, keep going straight. After winding around a bit, the trail will split, down hill to the right, or up a small hill to the left. Go left. This first section starts out a bit rocky but is very rideable. You'll come to a rocky stream with the choice of a low or high bridge. I find the high bridge more of a fun challenge but the low bridge let's me carry more speed up the slight hill. After winding to the left, you'll come to the last significant climb. It winds across the hill so it's not too taxing.
At the top of the hill, cross the road and go through the hole in the stone wall. After you wind to the left, take the right down hill. After you go though another stone wall, head to the next intersection and go right. After a small hill, things flatten out, half way through to the next intersection is a winding plank ride. At the intersection head right.
This is my favorite part of the ride, downhill and winding. As the trail starts to rise slightly uphill, stay straight ignoring the right. Head down a short, steep section, ignore the next right and go straight through the stone wall. You'll come to a pretty technical rocky section, very rideable. If you've never ridden it before you might want to walk it 1st. You don't want to bomb it, yet you want to keep decent momentum.
You'll come to four hairpin turns, right- left- right- left - right. Stay right and take a left at the bottom of the trail. You're now on the Fire Road
you started on. Follow it back to Bradley Rd parking lot. Don't miss the fun little sidecut on your left ;)