Carvins Cove

Carvins Cove – 20+ miles of trail – Beginner to advanced single track.  This place has a little bit of everything.

You will need a day use pass or a yearly pass to use these trails.  Both trailheads have drop boxes to pay for this permit.

Bennett Springs Trailhead Location:  Just north of Salem on route 311.  From the traffic light at the intersection of Thompson Memorial and route 419 (landmarks – Apple Market and BP stations).  Go north on 311 for approximately 1.8 miles to Carvins Cove road on the right.  Take Carvins Cove Road for 1.3 miles to a stop sign, go right, and take this about 2.1 miles until you get to the big gravel parking lot on the right.

Timberview Road Trailhead Location:  Just north of Salem.  Turn off of route 419 (Electric Road) onto route 863.  In 400ft take a right onto Timberview Road.  Go approximately 4.6 miles  to the end and park in the gravel lot.

Hospital:  Head back to route 311 and take a left.  At the light take a left onto route 419.  You will take 419 a couple of miles to Lewis Gale Hospital.  The hospital will be on your left.

MAP

MAP #2 – Here is another map of the Cove.  It’s laid out a little differently.

The 11 mile Lower loop is a great medium ride.  This will keep you from the big climbs but will also keep you from some great downhills.  Clockwise or counterclockwise it is a good ride.  I’d say I ride it clockwise more often and then take the road back to the parking lot.

Lower Loop – 11.08 Miles – Bennett Springs Parking lot to 4 Gorge Trail, down the Brushy Mountain Fire road for .48 mile, a right at the bottom onto Happy Valley Road for .19 miles, Songbird will be on the left (at 1.83 miles Songbird intersects with a gravel road and the continues on for another .26 miles), at the end you will take another left onto Happy Valley Road for .11 miles and then take Arrowhead on your left, at the end of Arrowhead you will take another left onto Happy Valley Road for 1.03 miles, a right onto Schoolhouse, at the road you will continue on to Little Bell for .3 miles, at the gravel road you will take a right and then a quick left onto Enchanted Forest Trail (at .4 miles this will lead you back to Happy Valley Road, head left for .13 miles and the entrance back onto Enchanted Forest Trail will be on your left, this will take you to a 4 way intersection, go right onto Comet for .76 miles and you are back to Happy Valley Road.  I usually take a left and head back out on the asphalt road to compete the loop and 11.08 miles at the parking lot.

Below are the mileages and links for the elevation profiles of the trails on this loop.

2.37 miles  Green Trail now 4 Gorge Trail From intersection with Hi-Dee-Ho

2.09 miles  Songbird

1.63 miles  Arrowhead

1.82 miles  Schoolhouse

0.30 miles  Little Bell

1.03 miles  Enchanted Forest

0.76 miles  Comet

Extended Lower Loop – 12.6 Miles

You can now do this loop with the addition of the newest trail 4 Gorge Extension.  Follow the trail description above but at the intersection of 4 Gorge and Brushy Mountain Fire road you’ll continue straight across BMF onto 4 gorge extension which will put you on the lower loop for a counter clockwise direction.

2.37 miles  Green Trail now 4 Gorge Trail From intersection with Hi-Dee-Ho

0.96 miles  4 Gorge Extension

0.82 miles  Tuck-a-Way

1.03 miles  Enchanted Forest

0.30 miles  Little Bell

1.82 miles  Schoolhouse

1.63 miles  Arrowhead

2.09 miles  Songbird

Trails on the way to the ridge:

Jacob’s Drop – this is a steep downhill that will take you to a few more options.  Either way; the comet or Jacob’s drop, both have fun downhills.

Hemlock Tunnel – This trail has one of the steepest drops at the cove.  The downhill is usually covered in leaves, sticks, loose rock, and roots.  It can be fun and exhilarating, but travel at your own risk.  This trail probably has the highest risk of carnage of any trail at the Cove.

Trails to the ridge:

Hi-dee Hoe – 1.61 miles from the Parking lot to the top of the climb – Elevation Profile

Downhill – One of my all time favorites.  This sucker is fast.  It is all rideable.  The switchbacks are always a good challenge and There are a couple of water bars where you can catch some good air.

Climb – lung busting ascent with 4 challenging switchbacks.  The swichbacks are rideable but watch that root on the 2nd switchback.

Buck – 1.50 miles to the road or 1.24 mile downhill to the Hotel trail which will connect you to the parking lot – Elevation Profile

Downhill – this is a fast downhill with 2 switchbacks, many tight corners, and a couple of big drops.

Climb – This climb is a good workout but not too bad.  The two tight corners and switchbacks are tough, but if you grunt in the right place and stick your tongue out the right way, their doable.

Hotel – 1.22 miles from Buck to Parking Lot – Elevation Profile

From the parking lot – this is a good warm up with two smaller steep climbs.

To the parking lot – mostly downhill and flat.  A good way to end your ride.

Gauntlet – 3.35 milesElevation Profile

Downhill –  This is a tough downhill.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun, but it will work your forearms and mind all the way down.  Be ready for a screaming bumpy ride.

Climb – 1 mile slight downhill and then one of the toughest 2.35 mile uphill climbs you will ever try to clean.  You will be begging for a switchback at the top, but there will be none to save your sorry butt.  That’s when you may want to try the power of prayer.

Trough – 1.15 milesElevation Profile

Downhill – This is a very fast downhill with no switchbacks.  There has been quite a bit of work on this trail.  It is now much cleaner and has a number of jumps placed throughout.

Climb – This is another tough climb.  Again, get ready to pray, because you will want a switchback at some point during this one.

Other Trails:

Tuck-a-Way – .82 miles – between the 4-way and Jacob’s Drop – Elevation Profile

Downhill – This is a nice fast and flowy trail with one nice 15″ ledge toward the top.

Climb – This is a moderate climb up to the top.  Nothing too difficult.

Jacob’s Drop – 1.14 miles – between the Brushy Mtn. Fireroad and Tuck-a-Way or Comet.

Downhill – This is the 2nd steepest trail at the Cove.  It can get out of hand quickly.  Very fast .55 mile downhill at the start.  The trail is an old access road.  The start will take you over some loose shale and then a sharp left hander that has lots of loose rock and shale.  From here it is crazy fast and straight, but as soon as the trail starts to veer left be on the lookout for some washout and then the pedal grabbing troughs.  Take a moment at the bottom to get your forearms back on track.

Climb – This is about as steep as it gets.  It will take skill to make it up to the top clean and without coming unclipped.  Don’t forget, there are easier ways to get to the top of this one.

Hemlock Tunnel – 1.95 miles – You will find this off of the Brushy Mtn Fireroad (1.66 miles from 4 Gorgeor 2.14 miles from the Gate) or off of Jacob’s Drop

Downhill – This is the steepest descent at the Cove.  For this reason some people love it and others hate it.  In the fall this downhill attracts a lot of debris and leaves.  Be careful, you never know what’s under those 6-12″ of leaves.  Once you are past the steep descent the trail is great.

Climb – Not recommended unless you need to put hike a bike on your cross training list.  Before the steep climb you can access Araminta which, if maintained, is a nice option.

Araminta – .78 miles – Trail accessed between Comet and Hemlock Tunnel.  I haven’t been down on this trail for some time.  I always liked it even though it was loaded with blowdowns and low hanging branches.  Since then the trail has been cleaned up a time or two but you never know.  On one side you have to climb up a shale covered fireroad called Kerncliff.  It’s short but it will put a hurtin’ on you.

Comet – 2.28 miles – This is a trail accessed between Tuck-a-Way, Hemlock Tunnel, and Jacob’s Drop.

Downhill – This starts out as a very fast downhill with some twists and turns.  At the bottom the trail is rutted out and covered in loose shale.  Once at the bottom the trail winds over a creek a couple times and then hits you with some moderate climbs.  The trail finishes heading to the 4-way.  This section is fast and twisty with a few downed trees that make for some small ledge launch pads.

Climb – Nothing too bad until you get to the bottom and have to climb.  The climb starts with a sharp right hand turn into a steep shale covered rutted trail.  You’ll need skill, aerobic capacity, and a touch of luck to clean this one.  But kudos to you if you can.

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