Mountain Biking Brown County State Park

Had the opportunity to try out the mountain bike trails in Brown County State Park over the weekend.  Headed down with my friend Nick early on a Saturday.  Thinking the weather would be nice, the sun shining, and a decent winter day to give it my first try.  Turned out they actually had snow the night before, and we were in for an interesting surprise. 

Snow or not, we didn't make the 1 ½ hour trip for nothing.  We arrived at the West Gate of the park, and headed to Hesitation Point for the trail head.  From here the trail takes you generally downhill toward the North Gate Entrance.   The trick is the first two miles are the “advanced” rated trail which then turns into mostly intermediate following.  Starting on the advanced with some snow on the ground was a bit intimidating.  However, it started well until the first hairpin turn maybe ½ mile in.  Having just switched to a 29er Trek Superfly 8, it gets a bit interesting making sharp turns with those bigger wheels.  This is leading into the obvious I didn't quite make the full turn, got into the snow and preceded a slow motion fall on by rear end.  Yo like Nick wait up J   Took me a while to catch back up.  Not too much longer he slipped in the snow and went down himself.  Yells out first crash, but no brother, I already beat you to it.

Before leaving the advanced section to the intermediate the trail got so narrow I passed between two trees on either side of the trail and my handlebars scrapped both of them at the same time.  Now that is a tight section of trail.  Even with all the tight twisty turning stuff, it still has a nice flow to it.  I may have been near my limit of mountain bike skill here, but it was off the charts fun.  Just to make it a bit safer, I left one foot clipped out in several sections and only had both clipped in for shorter sections.

Even into the intermediate section I slipped off the narrow trail in a few different places followed by more slow falls.  I may not be the best rider, but I've got that falling thing down to a science.  Whenever we came to a section where the trail split, we stayed to the left continuing toward the North Gate.  While the total length was less than 10 miles, it felt much more like 20.  We probably crossed 2 or 3 creek beds, but probably no more than a foot of water in each.  Those might be really interesting in the spring, but not so bad this time of year.  Downright fun really. 

The last section of trail we rode was the Pine Loop which is beginner rated.  While it was not very tricky, what they rate as beginner is no place to take your eyes of the trail either.  We also got into some mud here as the snow was mostly melting, and turning the two of us in to rather brown splotches. 

After making the last section to the North Gate we stopped for a snack and good story telling of the ride down.  Can’t have this much fun at Disney World at any price.  We ended up riding the road back up to Hesitation Point.  While it is a lot shorter, they grade up the road was downright nasty.  All in all a great day and the snow just made it a bit more epic.  Here is to friends, trails in the woods, and adventure.  Can’t ask for much more.
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