This is a compilation of
our Trail Running and Mountain
Biking Trips - See the details below to see where we went
and the trails we played on. When we travel we try to
hit as many trail locations as we can.
2010 Gatlinburg TN
2010 Chattanooga TN
2010 Asheville NC
2009 Denver CO
2008 Asheville NC and
2008 Harrisburg PA
2007 Asheville NC, Greenville
SC, Atlanta GA, and Chattanooga TN
2006 Ohio and West Virginia
- I strongly recommend having the National
Geographic Trails Illustrated Map 229 for hiking in the Smokies.
13.7 miles -
We went for a hike/run from Newfound Gap. Newfound Gap is
right at the top of the mtn with great views of the mtns to the
south. We headed north on the AT. We took the AT
1.7 miles to Sweat Heifer Creek Trail. At this junction we
headed down the SHCT. As soon as we started we got a great
view of the mtns, a wall of clouds, and a terrific view off to the
south and toward the Fontana Lake area. This trail was 3.7
miles downhill to the Kephart shelter. From here we uphill on
the Grassy Branch Trail for 2.5 miles to the intersection with
Sluice Gap trail. Here we headed up again for 1.3 mile to the
intersection with the AT. This time we headed south for a 4.4
mile trek back to the parking lot. Along the way there
was Charlie's Bunion and the Jumpoff. This was a great hike on
tough terrain. Total elevation gain was 4700ft.
11 miles - This hike/run was in the Cosby area east of
Gatlinburg. We had hoped to do a longer hike but our legs
weren't up for it. Instead we did an out and back from the far
end of the campground. We headed up the Low Gap Trail for 2.5
miles. Much of this trail was pretty steep. This
intersected the AT and we headed north for 2.1 miles to the Mt.
Cammerer trail, which was a .6 mile trail to an old lookout with
great views of the mtns and I-40 below. From here we just
retraced our steps for the return trip.
We've been out to Boulder two times before and have been really
impressed with the area and trail options. Our first day we
have always headed to Chatauqua Park to do an easy hike to get
acclimated to the elevation and what we'll be in for during the
week. It's a very nice park with a number of scenic options
that won't hurt you to bad. This time we hiked up to Royal
Arch. Cool natural arch and great view of Boulder.
6/25/11 - Heil Ranch -
We rented bikes from the Trek
Bicycle Store off of Baseline. We rode a 12.65 mile figure 8 loop at Heil Ranch. This place has a great rocky technical start as
you climb up the mountain. Then you get a chance to take a little
break for a couple of miles in the loop. Great place just north of boulder
off of Left Hand Canyon Road.
- We rode our bikes at Bobcat Ridge
(14.2 miles). Due to not knowing about bikes not being allowed
on some of the trails we ended up riding an out and back on the
Ginny Trail. That climb was a tough technical workout.
The turnaround provided a very fast descent to finish the ride.
6/27/11 - Hall Ranch
- Today we ran to give our biking legs
a break (15.6 miles). We did the foot and horse travel only
Nighthawk Trail to where it met up with the Button Rock Trail (the
end of the Nighthawt Trail had some great views of Longs Peak).
We took this 2 mile trail out to an overlook of one of the areas
reservoirs. It was a great place to check out the mtn views,
have a snack, and watch the birds soar overhead. We took the
Button Rock Trail back 2 miles and then finished up by running the
right hand side of the Nelson loop and the Bitterbrush Trail.
- Valmont Bike Park - This is a cutting
edge bike park that just opened in Boulder. This place had it
all. We tried a little of everything and watch the more
experienced rider hit the Large and XL jumps and stunts (rode 9.25
miles of circles).
6/29/11 - Longs Peak -
13.2 miles - We hiked from the
Longs Peak trailhead off of HWY 7. This trail starts out at
over 9400ft and can take you to the peak at 14,259 approximately 8
miles later. The trail is a nice climb through the forest and
then quickly takes you above tree line where at the 5.9 mile mark
you hit the boulder field (which is just that, no trail marking,
just a bunch of boulders at the base of the peak). I should
note we were in hiking gear and had some extra layers. The
people we saw towards the top had climbing gear (crampons and ice
axes) to deal with the weather and slushy footing at the peak.
We had already encountered some snowy sections on the way up so once
we got to the boulder field we had to be very careful to find a
route that wouldn't have us falling through the snow and onto the
jagged boulders. We decided to try to get as high as we could
so we climbed the boulders until we made it close to the Keyhole.
Just to the right of the Keyhole there was a ledge that we climbed
out onto for some of the best views of the trip. It was here
that we were hit with high, 40+ mph winds coming over the range.
We took in the sites and then started to head back. Although
we didn't get to the top we were able to hit another elevation high
6/30/11 - Sourdough Trail
15.7 miles - Today we headed to
Nederland and then come back into town to check out the quaint
little town known for Frozen Ned. We headed north on
route 72 to the dirt road 116 that heads to the University of
Colorado Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. Just up this
road is the Trailhead for Sourdough. This trail was in good
shape, was scenic, and more uphill on the way out. We ended by
intersecting with dirt road 232, we took a left and headed up to
Left Hand Reservoir. This is a reservoir at 10,000 ft at the
base of many mtn peaks. Once we had a little break we headed
back on a mostly downhill ride back to the car.
7/1/11 - Valmont Bike Park
- we had to take our bikes back today so we
decided to head back to the bike park and ride it again. We
were a little more adventurous but didn't do many of the jumps.
We mainly stayed on the XS - Medium sections.
7/1/11 - Betasso Preserve
This is just outside of Boulder heading
out on Canyon which turns into Boulder Canyon Drive. We
decided to get in a little more trail time before we had to head out
so we came here for a hike. Since we were out here in 2009
they have added the Benjamin Loop for 9 miles figure 8 Loop.
This makes for 2 loops connected by a common trail. Both loops
have direction of travel. This direction changes every so
often to keep things interesting. This is a nice park with
some well made trails. We saw a lot of bikers while out there.
2010 Christmas Trip -
For trail info I use the National
Geographic Trails Illustrated Map #229 of the Great Smokey Mountains. It will give you more than enough trail options to
keep you busy on any trip to G'burg.
12/24/10 - Warriors Path State Park
On our way down to G'burg we decided to run at this park.
Outside of the park proper they have some designated mountain bike
trails. We opted for a 6 mile loop consisting on Darwin's
Revenge, Boneyard, Rock City, and then headed back on Lake Valley
Road (access road). This would be a really nice trail system for both
running and biking with rolling to mild hilly terrain with rocks,
rock drop offs, and views of the river. Total trail mileage is
in the 10 mile range.
12/25/10 - Old Sugarlands Trail
- There was quite a bit of snow that
came down overnight causing the closure of the National Park and HWY 441
leading up and over the mountains so we opted for this trail system
behind the horse stables.
12/26/10 - The Cove Mountain Trail
- It continued to snow non stop since
yesterday so we opted to climb up this trail due to it's easy access
behind the Visitors Center. The ground was covered by 5-8
inches of snow so this was a slow go up the mountain. The
trail starts out on the nature trail behind the VC. Head left
behind the VC on the nature trail, cross the creek and then go
towards Cataract Falls. After you go under the road and then
climb the stairs you are on the Cove Mtn
Trail. This trail climbs up the mountain, hugs the park
boundary and continues onto Cove Mtn and Laurel Falls. We went
for about 4 miles and then turned around. This was a wide well
maintained trail with numerous waterbars. The trails was
bordered and canopied by rhodedendrons.
2010 Labor Day Trip - Chattanooga TN
We decided to head to Chattanooga again. There are a lot of
different trail options around the area, some of which
are only open to foot travel only along or near the Cumberland
Trail. We talked with some guys at the running
store Fast Break to get some inside info on where we should go to run.
You can get a lot of mtb info at
www.sorbachattanooga.org and other trail info at
9/7/10 - Raccoon Mountain
This is a
SORBA built gem. There has been a ton of work
done on the trails
around this reservoir. Lots of great rolling single track.
1000's of hours have been put into this area. SORBA plans to
add another 7.5 miles of trail up here. We
an 18 mile loop. We parked at the East Overlook and rode in a
counter clockwise direction. The entire loop had 1250ft of
About a mile into the ride we came to the "Chunky" advanced
technical section. There were a lot of jumps and rock drop offs in
this area. It
was a little beyond our ability so we headed back out to complete the
loop. This place is recommended if you are in the area.
- Prentice Cooper State Forest and Wildlife Management Area
- Foot Travel Only - this area hosts a 9.75 mile loop of the Stump
50k and a 22 mile figure eight loop as part of the 3 day stage race that
is scheduled in June. This is a scenic primitive trail. Not a lot
of foot traffic out
here. We parked at the first Cumberland Trail Parking Lot off of
Tower Road. From here we took the trail that starts in the parking
did the loop clockwise (Mullens Cove Loop). At about the 6 mile point
we came up to the Mullens Branch Campground.
Shortly after the Campground we came to a trail intersection. We
took a left to continue on the short loop Taking a right would
put you on a longer 20 or so mile loop. Just about .25 miles from
here we came to Tower Road. Here is a Trailhead sign of the loop
Due to time and water supply we took Tower Rd back to the parking lot,
another 3 miles. Total loop
mileage was 9.6 miles.
MAP - We came to the University of the South to
bike the 20 mile perimeter trail. We parked at the Cross and mistakenly
took the Morgan's Steep trail. This is a hiker only trail,
probably due to all the rocks, rock tunnel, and the 10' ledge coming out
of the rock tunnel. Well we hiked our bikes through and got some
pretty cool pics. From here the perimeter trail meandered around
perimeter, on the edge of rock cliffs, the occasional overlook,
sometimes smooth trail, and sometimes rocky trail. I really
enjoyed the look and
feel of the trail but there were a lot of places where we got off our
bikes to get over or through an obstacle (usually rock(s)). This
place was really scenic and had a feel of Montreat outside of Asheville, NC.
I'd love to come back when I'm better prepared for the terrain.
There are a
lot of side trails and service roads. You could be here all day.
Afterwards we hit the Blue Chair Coffee House for a coffee and
Booker T Washington State Park
MAP - This was a 5.4 mile loop.
It was a well maintained, well worn trail that turn and twisted
through the park and around the lake. They have a number of trail
running and mtn biking races here throughout the year. We ran in a
clockwise direction (The mountain bike races travel clockwise). It
was a nice loop and a nice choice for an easier low mileage day.
- Oak Ridge north of Knoxville -
2 - It started to pour rain on us as we left Chattanooga but
continued on to Haw Ridge to get in a run (it is posted to not ride on
the trails if wet). We parked at the pull off/boat launch just
entrance to Haw Ridge Park off of Route 170. This place was really
rocky and rooty. Most of the trails were short and you could piece
together a lot of different loops here. We did a 5.5 mile run.
We choose some of the trails around the shore line and then headed up
the ridge to end the run.
2010 Memorial Trip -
5/28/10 - Lake Eden
- This was our first time running the Rock2Rock 10k.
The race was headquartered at Camp Rockmont.
This was a
nice place for a race headquarters. Rustic facilities, wooded
setting, nice place to sit or walk by a lake, and the ability to jump in
the lake after the race. The race boasted 2000ft of climbing in
the first 3.5 miles. It took me 40 minutes to hit the high point
of the course and 18 minutes to get back down. It was a very rugged, steep,
technical course, and a lot of fun.
5/29/10 - Turkey Pen Gap
- This is
listed as one of the popular trailheads south of Asheville. It was
a crazy rough drive in on the Forest Service road. We did a loop hike.
We started on Vineyard Gap Trail and finished on Riverside Trail.
Riverside wandered back and forth across the
south fork of the mills river 6 or 7 times. This was a fun
challenge and a nice way to cool off.
5/30/10 - Mount Pisgah
- Due to some
nasty weather a few days before the Blue Ridge Parkway was closed
heading south. So we had to
take the back way to get to the BRP. We parked where route 151
intersected with the BRP and hike up to Pisgah from here on the Shut-in
Trail. This was a nice section that was all climbing. It
ended up being a 6.2 mile hike with about 1800ft of elevation gain.
5/31/10 - Montreat
- This was our 2nd
Trip to Montreat. It is a place I think everyone has to see.
We decided to hike the Greybeard Trail
to Walker Knob. This was a 3.1 mile hike up with about 2250ft of
climbing. Walker Knob has a better view than Greybeard so we
the out and back Greybeard summit trail. From here we headed back
on the West Ridge Trail. This was a nice trail, overgrown (not
traffic) with lots of big rocks and places to look out at the view.
We came down Big Piney Ridge trail and then back to the car for a 7.1
2009 Memorial Trip - Denver CO
5/23/09 - Heil Ranch -
We rode a 10 mile loop at Heil Ranch. This place has a great rocky technical start as
you climb up the mountain. Then you get a chance to take a little
break for a couple of miles in the loop. We rode it clockwise.
Great place just north of boulder.
5/24/09 - Hall Ranch
- Today we did a loop at
Hall Ranch. They've done some work
here since we were here in 2005. We did a big loop counterclockwise. They
added a trail, the Picture Rock trail, that can connect this system to Heil Ranch if you want a epic ride. This place has a little bit of
everything; rocks, mud, twisty, and scenic (look out for the black big
- Bolder Boulder 10k (48,000+ runners) -
Gina and I ran in the Bolder Boulder
10k. What a crazy environment. This race
finishes in the Colorado University
Stadium. You run a portion of the track and get to see yourself on
the JumboTron. I hit this race pretty
hard. I wanted to run it at a 7:00 minute pace and just missed it
with a finish of 44:21. I blew a tire and had to tie my shoe at
the 6 mile point.
5/26/09 - Chatauqua Park -
We hiked the (the
Flatirons). This park is just off of
Baseline Road in Boulder. It was a nice hike and a break
for our legs.
5/27/09 - We headed to Estes Park and
Rocky Mountain National Park today in search of a moose.
We spent the day going from 5600ft to
13,200ft, from sun to snow, and 40 degrees to 80 degrees. We drove
across Trail Ridge Road, hiked some of the Ute Trail and
headed down into the west side of the park, for better moose viewing.
The drive through Granby and Winter Park took forever but
5/28/09 - Bobcat Ridge
- We rode our bikes at Bobcat Ridge. This was a great loop. of about 12 miles.
We hit a new trail on the way back down the
mountain for a fast, rocky, technical in places descent.
5/29/09 - Walker Ranch -
We rode our bikes here. This
was just up the mountain from Boulder on
Flagstaff Road. That has to be one of the steepest paved
roads in the Boulder area. I want to attack that on a road bike
sometime. Walker ranch ended up being a very scenic loop.
We rode Clockwise. We ascended a short while and then were led
into a multi-switchback sweet downhill. This took us
down into the canyon and to the river. From here you take a bridge
across the river and have to hike a bike up, what seemed like a thousand
steps (not that bad but carrying a bike at 8000ft made for some tough
work). From here you climb back up, hit another
nice downhill, and end with a moderate climb back to the parking lot.
5/30/09 - Betasso Canyon
- Today we did a great 5.5 mile trail run on the
Betasso Canyon Connector and Loop Trail.
We parked alongside 119 at the Betasson
Connector Trail. This trail starts out as a very rocky and steep
trail and then eases up a bit and
starts to switch back toward the top. At the top you join up with
the Loop Trail. We ran counter clockwise for the 3.5 mile loop.
Quite a bit
of rolling terrain, but the loop was runable.
2008 Christmas Trip - Asheville NC &
Montreat NC just north of Black Mountain and
15 miles east of Asheville. This place is a must see. What a
beautiful community. This is
home of Montreat College est. 1897. The scenery here is amazing.
Old growth forest with houses and trails nestled throughout. When
were here there was no-one around due to the Christmas holiday. I
would have liked to do the Greybeard trails up to Greybeard mtn. had we
had enough time before nightfall. We ran around a couple of the
trails and walked around the Convention Center and Lake.
Trace Ridge Trail - 8-9 mile loop with 1550ft of
I took along the Trails
Illustrated Map #780. This is billed as one of the best rides in
Asheville on the
Bike NC website and also check out the
Hike NC website
This was a
9 mile or so loop. We hike/ran up Trace Ridge and came down on
Branch to the intersection with the Fletcher Creek Trail and then took a
left on Fletcher Creek (we could have stayed straight on Spencer
Branch but wasn't sure where it was going to come out. It ends up coming
out at the reservoir where we were headed anyway). At the road
we took a right to check out the old reservoir (good place for a
picture). From the reservoir it was about a 1.25 mile run back to
Hiking or running in either direction to make a loop would
Biking - I'd prefer to go counter clockwise and end by
going down Trace Ridge. The top of the Spencer Branch trail
is hike-a-bike whether you are going up or down. The last 1/3-1/2
mile gains 400ft of elevation and is full of
stairs/waterbars. The Trace Ridge Trail looses elevation more
gradually but has some steeps that would be a blast
Smokemont Loop Trail to Chasteen Creek Cascades (Hiking
Only)- 6.5 mile loop with 1660ft
was on the way from Asheville to Gatlinburg off of 441N at the Smokemont
Campground. We parked at the exit of the campgound in front of the
gate where there is an old bridge over the creek. The first 3
miles, of the 4.9 mile Smokemont Loop Trail starts with a pretty good climb. From
here the trail drops just as fast as it rose. After you cross the log bridge the trail splits
will want to head to the right
on the Bradley Fork Trail. You will be on this for .5 miles to the
intersection with the Chasteen Creek Trail.
From here you will want to head to the left for .7 miles on the trail to
view the Chasteen Creek Cascades. This trail (a rocky old road)
gently climbs. At the .7 mile mark there will be a trail heading
off to the left. There is a hitching area for horses and at the
back there is a small trail that continues to the cascades. Once
you've had your fill of cascading water you will want to head back down
to the Smokemont Campground (1.9 miles from the cascades;
.7 miles on the Chasteen Creek Trail and 1.2 miles on the Bradley Fork
2008 4th of July Trip - Harrisburg PA
- outside of Staunton VA - 34 mile
IMBA Epic Ride on the Shenendoah
Mtn. Trail. This was an interesting ride. It was a 4 mile
climb to the Shenandoah Trail. Once on the trail I was surprised
at how well it was taken care of considering how off the beaten path it
was. There were two sections of rock gardens surrounded by
stinging nettle (be careful not to touch). Once you hit the
clearing at the Jerkemtight Road option you have an almost all downhill
ride to the next road that intersects the Shenandoah trail (great downhill that would be great in a group ride. I'm sure there would be
countless hoots and hollers. We hit the road at mile 20, took a
left onto the dirt road, and then started the 12 mile slog back to the
car. It seemed like we would never get back to the car.
Visit the Susquehanna Area Mountain Bike
for info on the following places.
Swatara State Park - Nicely groomed trails. A good 6.5-7
mile ride. Not too challenging. It would be a fast mtb. xc
course. Similar to
Weiser State Park - Rocky single track, jeep roads, and
snowmobile trails. Would be a good place to ride if you had a
suggested route. Reminded me of the Dragon's back minus the lung busting climbs.
Govenor Dick - We ran and biked here. These are some rocky
trails. Trail 15 is one crazy ride. Lots of big rocks to
I really like the ride on trail 15. It was pretty technical.
Lots of black raspberries here for a mid
Michaux - Supposed to have some of the toughest trails in the
east. Lots of rocks here. Reminded me of the Glenwood Horse
Roanoke. We stopped by the Pine Grove Furnace Park office to get
some maps and recommendations. We ended up riding off of Ridge
Road. We also had some old race maps from
I would suggest getting a local to give you a suggested route.
We spent a lot of time looking at our map.
This place was loaded with blueberries. They
were everywhere. Nice treat.
Rocky Ridge County Park - For a county park this place has it all
from beginner to advanced trail. Lots of fun.
2007 4th of July Trip - Asheville,
Greenville SC, Atlanta, and Chattanooga
Kitsuma - If you are headed to Asheville, I would hit this trail on
the way. It is in Ridgecrest just outside of Asheville. This
is one crazy trail.
It has 12+ rideable switchbacks in the first 1.25 miles. This
leads into some ridge riding and then a nice fast downhill into a park.
back of the park there is an old abandoned road leading back up to the
top of the mountain and where you parked. Got directions from
the trail reviews on
Dupont State Forest - South of Asheville between Brevard and
Hendersonville. I took the info off the
IMBA epic rides link. We
up with some locals for a great ride.
Paris Mountain - Greenville SC - This is a pretty decent park just
north of Greenville. Started at the mtn. and then rode all the
Dahlonega - North of Atlanta GA - I took the info off the
IMBA epic rides link. We hit
this place after a hard rain. The terrain held up
pretty well wet, but the overcast skies took a lot of the end of the day
riding away. We'd like to get back here for some more riding.
Bottom Creek - Different trails that gradually increase in
difficulty. Nice easy riding. Well maintained park.
Carter Lake - Nice 5-6 mile loop. This loop is part of a local
mtn. bike race. It was a really fast and loop with some short
Ocoee Whitewater Center outside of Chattanooga TN. I took the info
IMBA epic rides
link. This is a network of 3 single
track loops joined together by jeep roads. Fun ride. We saw
a black bear from about 15 feet away (we waved, took a picture, and were
on our way). Ran into a couple at the parking lot that ran into
two bears eating blackberries. One was laying on it's back
pulling the berries down toward it's mouth and the other was laying down
on it's stomach.
Racoon Mountain - Chattanooga TN - Man were we tired by the time
we got here. This is a gem. There has been a ton of work
around this reservoir. Lots of great rolling single track.
1000's of hours have been put into this area. They are constantly
adding trail here.
Highly recommended. This place has been mentioned quite a few
times on the IMBA site and in their quarterly publications.
2006 4th of July Trip - Ohio and West
www.spokejunkies.com for more
information on these places. This site has a lot of information on
Ohio, West Virginia, and Michigan trails. This site is what
started my desire to make a site with Roanoke area trail information.
Mountwood - Parkersburg WV - this is a nice park with 15 miles of
trail of intermediate trail. They have an interesting trials area
bridges and a teeter totter. I wasn't brave enough to try it all,
but I played around for a little while.
Lake Hope -
This place could have used some trail work. There
was a lot of new growth that smacked us in the face. Once we got
some of the more well used trails, things were better. I enjoyed
the ride. It was similar to the cove.
Alum Creek Phase I and II -
This place was located just north of
Columbus OH. I really enjoyed this trail. It was very well
Throughout the ride there were places where the trail split, with an
advanced option one way and an easy option the other. There were a
bunch of ladder bridges and log climbs. Not much elevation gain
either. Easy on the aerobic system unless you ride it super fast.
- THIS PLACE IS A MUST. There aren't many
places that are as unique as Vulture's Knob. Recently I tried to
webpage and nothing came up. I can't imagine that this placed has
closed. I'd do a search or talk to a local before I made an
go here. Check out some of the reviews on
or do a Google search. Also there are a few
videos of the
park. You have to see it to believe it. FUN, FUN, FUN.
Great place for taking pictures. I do give a poison ivy alert!
Mohican State Park -
One of the only places I've ridden in OH with
real climbs. This area has some nice trails that travel through
growth forest. As of 2006 they were working on some new trail in
the area. Locals talked about a potential 30+ miles.
West Branch -
This is one of my favorite places to ride.
There are a couple different types of terrain in this park. One
section hugs the lake
and meanders back and forth around the water and in out of coves.
Then there are the moderate and advanced trails. These trails
some real skill. There are tons of rocks in this area and they
will keep you on your toes. You have to have balance and the
ability to put
your bike where you want it. There are logs to ride and some small
planks to ride across. If your in the area, you have to stop by
place. It is well mapped and marked.
Tomlinson Run State Park -
We got to this place and it was raining
hard, so we decided to run instead of bike. The park had a nice
selection of trails and from what I remember it had some hills.
Cooper's Rock State Park
- Guess what, when we got to this park it
was raining like crazy. The trails held up really well to the rain
when they started to look like creek beds. Man the water was
flowing. We liked this park even with the rain. Lots of
rocks though. I
thought it was a really scenic park. Lots of cascading creeks and
boulders that made us feel really small.