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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. 

2014 Tahoe/Yosemite Trip

2014 Smokey Mountain traverse

2013 Colorado Trip

2013 Smokey Mountain Traverse

2012 Whistler BC

2011 Gatlinburg TN

2011 Boulder CO

2010 Gatlinburg TN

2010 Chattanooga TN

2010 Asheville NC

2009 Boulder/Denver CO

2008 Asheville NC and Gatlinburg TN

2008 Harrisburg PA

2007 Asheville NC, Greenville SC, Atlanta GA, and Chattanooga TN

2006 Ohio and West Virginia



2014 Tahoe/Yosemite Trip - This year's trip was centered around the Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Races in which we were doing the 50 miler.  The race was on 7/19 so we headed out on Thursday so that we'd have a day of preparation and get situated before the big event. 

7/19/14 - TRT 50 Miler - This was a great race put on by the Tahoe Mountain Milers Running Club.  The scenery did not disappoint.  See all the good an bad here - Mountain Junkies L.L.C. Blog

7/21/14 - Echo Lake - This was a great spot for a hike.  Nice setting with lots of trail options.  The TRT/JMT are joined up in this area. 

7/22/14 - Fallen Leaf Lake/Glen Allen Springs - you can probably take this off your list unless you are interested in getting onto the water of Fallen Leaf Lake or hiking up to Mount Tallac.

7/23/14 - Yosemite Half Dome Cables - a must do if you are lucky and get a permit.  No permit, well it shouldn't be to hard too find something else to do.

7/24/15 - Yosemite Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias - If you haven't seen these trees in person, this is another must.  You won't believe it.

7/25/14 - Calaveras Big Trees State Park - If you want to see more big trees in a less popular setting this California Park is the place to go.

2014 Smoky Mountain Traverse - This is a S to N retake from last year's N to S almost finish of the SMT.  Not only did we finish, this year, but we did almost 11 extra miles in the process (endorphins and too much time looking at the ground were the culprits).  You can get all the facts on this trip and the two 40 mile days from my blog - http://mountainjunkies.blogspot.com/2014_05_01_archive.html

2013 Colorado Trip - We headed out to Lake City CO for the San Juan Solstice 50 miler to start off this trip.  We stayed in a small cabin at the Matterhorn and it was the perfect place to chill out and unwind while we prepared for and recovered from the race.  The rest of the week we stayed in Westminster CO which is easy access to Boulder and all the places we decided to play.

6/25/13 - Betasso Preserve - 7 miles of rolling singletrack with views of Boulder Reservoir.  This is a great place just outside of town off of Canyon Road.  It is a two loop configuration with a connector trail.  There is also a way to add more mileage by coming in off of Four Mile Canyon Road but we didn't explore that. 

We took off from there and decided to go back to the Valmont Bike Park.  We were there a week or so after they opened the park up in 2011.  Very little has changed at the park, just a few updates.  It is a great bike park with about all you'd want whether it is big air or technical trail features.

6/26/13 - Buffalo Creek - 21 miles of mountain biking.  There are many more miles but we did a "short" loop.  Much of this area is wide open due to some fires so be prepared for full sun.  We had been told to come here on our last trip.  We parked at the Buffalo Creek Trailhead and rode in on the dirt road to Shinglemill.  Took this mostly uphill to road 550.  Crossed the road and got on the Colorado Trail heading west.  We took this to a rocky sandy descent down Tramway, then back up road 550 to Shinglemill.  This time we took Shinglemill to Morrison Creek and out on the dirt road we started on.  Morrison Creek was a great trail to end on.  It was downhill and flowy the whole way. 

6/27/13 - Centennial Cone - 17 miles of mountain biking this loop.  We went Clockwise.  This was a fairly non-technical loop.  It had about 2700ft of climbing and one area with a technical rock step downhill.  We started off of HWY 6 at Mayhem Gulch.  This was a tough start with a 1.5 mile uphill.  Once to the top it wasn't too bad.  Expect more full sun exposure for most of this loop.  Gina stopped a lot to take pictures of the endless wild flowers.  There were some nice views of the snow capped mountains in the distance. 

6/28/13 - Forest Lake - 7 mile hike.  This started at the trailhead at the East Portal of the Moffat Tunnel.  Here you hop of the Boulder Canyon Trail which gives you a number of options of where to go.  We chose the trail intersecting it and headed up hill to the snow covered area around Forest Lake.  We hiked around the lake and hung out a little bit before heading back down and going off to Nederland to coffee. 

2013 Smokey Mountain Traverse - This was a last big training effort in preparation for the San Juan Solstice 50 miler.  I had wanted to do the Appalachian Trail across the Smoky Mountains for quite some time.  This was the perfect reason to do it.  See all the details here - http://mountainjunkies.blogspot.com/2013_05_01_archive.html  

2012 Whistler Trip - Last year we went to Whistler British Columbia.  It was a trip that exceeded expectations.  If you are looking for a place to relax, have beautiful scenery, have miles upon miles of running and biking trails at your doorstep, look no further.  As we typically do, we rented an SUV so that we could rent bikes and head out for the trail and keep our bikes secured when we were done.  We ended up only getting in the vehicle once to head down to mtn bike near the Olympic Village. 

     Whistler is a resort community so they've thought of everything for you and it is all at your fingertips.  The only regret was that we didn't spend any time mtn biking in Squamish which we were told as we headed back to Vancouver is whole other wonderland.

2011 Gatlinburg TN - I strongly recommend having the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map 229 for hiking in the Smokies.

12/24/11 - Newfound Gap - 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.

12/25/11 - Mt. Cammerer - 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. 

2011 Boulder CO

6/24/11 - Chatauqua Park - 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.

6/26/11 - Bobcat Ridge - 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. 

6/28/11 - 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 - 13.259ft. 

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 - Gatlinburg TN

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 - MAP - 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 www.wildtrails.org   

9/7/10 - Raccoon Mountain - MAP - 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 biked an 18 mile loop.  We parked at the East Overlook and rode in a counter clockwise direction.  The entire loop had 1250ft of elevation gain. 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. 

9/8/10 - Prentice Cooper State Forest and Wildlife Management Area - Foot Travel Only - this area hosts a 9.75 mile loop of the Stump Jump 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 lot and 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 trails.  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. 

9/9/10 - Sewanee Domain - 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 the property 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 muffin/scone. 

9/10/10 - 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 counter clockwise direction (The mountain bike races travel clockwise).  It was a nice loop and a nice choice for an easier low mileage day.  

9/11/10 - Haw Ridge - Oak Ridge north of Knoxville - MAP 1 - MAP 2 - It started to pour rain on us as we left Chattanooga but we

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 before the

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 and over the ridge to end the run. 

2010 Memorial Trip - Asheville NC

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 skipped the out and back Greybeard summit trail.  From here we headed back on the West Ridge Trail.  This was a nice trail, overgrown (not much 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 mile hike. 

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 eared squirrels).

5/25/09 - 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 was scenic.

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 & Gatlinburg TN

Ran in:

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 we 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 elevation gain/loss.  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 Spencer 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 the car. 

Hiking or running in either direction to make a loop would be fine.

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

going down. 

Smokemont Loop Trail to Chasteen Creek Cascades (Hiking Only)- 6.5 mile loop with 1660ft of elevation

gain/loss.  This 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 where you 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 Trail). 

2008 4th of July Trip - Harrisburg PA

Biked at:

Southern Traverse - 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 Association (SAMBA) 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 Explore Park.

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 maneuver over.  I really like the ride on trail 15.  It was pretty technical.   Lots of black raspberries here for a mid ride snack!

Michaux - Supposed to have some of the toughest trails in the east.  Lots of rocks here.  Reminded me of the Glenwood Horse Trail near 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 http://www.racemichaux.com  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.  In the 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 www.mtbr.com

Dupont State Forest - South of Asheville between Brevard and Hendersonville.  I took the info off the IMBA epic rides link.  We hooked 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 trails.

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 steeps.

Tanasi - Ocoee Whitewater Center outside of Chattanooga TN.  I took the info off the 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 sprawled out 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 done  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 Virginia

Visit 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 with ladder 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 out on 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 planned out.  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.

Vulture's Knob - THIS PLACE IS A MUST.  There aren't many places that are as unique as Vulture's Knob.  Recently I tried to visit their 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 attempt to go here.  Check out some of the reviews on www.mtbr.com or do a Google search.  Also there are a few www.youtube.com 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 old

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 require 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 this 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 even 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.