“A very fun downhill on singletrack, exiting to an abandoned ski hill.”
— Jon Sundquist
This is the one section of the Art Roscoe Trail network not used in winter by the groomed XC ski network. As such, it is singletrack and much steeper. It ups the fun factor compared to the rest of the network, which although extremely scenic and enjoyable due to its speed, is otherwise non-technical.
The Bova downhill starts on Ridge Run
at the site of the newly rebuilt lean-to cabin. The singletrack starts just to the north side of the leanto and starts downhill right away. The grade increases as you bear left and then make a sharp right turn. Some large boulders here make some interesting alternate lines if you feel you are up to it. Watch out for the occasional muddy section here.
Soon the trail smoothes out but continues more steeply until it dumps you out at the top of old abandoned Bova ski hill. This ski hill was one of the original western New York ski hill, popular back in the 30's and 40's, but no longer has a lift.
When WNYMBA ran the Raccoon Rally MTB race back in the 1990's, the hill was still a grassy field. Because it was too steep to run the racers straight down the hill, WNYMBA flagged a bunch of switchbacks down the slope.
Fast forward 20 years. Although the race is now run by a local private promoter (a strong WNYMBA supporter), the race still finishes on this downhill. However, the switchbacks no longer need to be defined by flagging tape. Natually seeded white pines have taken root on the slope, and the singletrack snaking down the hill in between remains as a corridor through the young pine forest.
Since the trail has essentially just been "ridden in", the switchbacks aren't quite to IMBA standards. However, they remain a lot of fun and require a lot of skill to navigate, earning this trail a black diamond.