Dark Mountain is the oldest of all the trail systems at the lake, and was designated a National Recreation Trail in 2005.
There are several numbered and named small loops at Dark Mountain, all intersecting with the 2-track Core Trail
which goes through the whole system. Follow the BLUE arrows for the all-encompassing route (mapped here on this featured ride), including the The Snake (#2)
and Lake Loop (#5)
trails that each contain a solid climb and descent.
From the trailhead, the climb up the Entrance Trail (#1)
takes you through the first-built trails at the lake. After about a mile, you'll get through a very rooty section and begin a descent that winds down The Snake (#2)
to another section of Fish Dam Creek waterway. Enjoy it, because as soon as you see the stream, you'll be begin a sustained 1-mile climb out.
Follow the Crossover Trail (#3)
, Dogtown (#4)
, and sections of the Core Trail
to to get to the Lake Loop (#5)
after about 3-4 miles in, where the ride begins the 200 foot newly rebuilt descent. A fantastic finale awaits after the climb back to the top of Dark Mountain, the exit trail. This section has hosted Downhill and Super-D events, and contains optional lines with big banked turns and jumps.