A few months ago two local Macon MTB riders both mentioned a short fun trail inside the North Macon Park, which is literally 0.6 miles down the street from the shop.  They both told me the same thing – it’s short but challenging, but it needs some work and a few trees cleared.  Of course I had to go check it out, and this weekend the wife and I finally made it out and hiked the loop with a pair of lopers and a hand saw.

What we found is a little diamond in the rough!  The trail is short no doubt, but it packs a lot in.  It drops down the hillside from the parking lot and follows along a pretty little creek down in the bottom.  There’s a handful of bridges that are all in great shape (tho I bet they get really slick when wet).  Parts of the trail are beautiful narrow bench cut singletrack on some steep hillsides, parts go through some very tropical-feeling flora, and there’s a lung bursting optional fall line climb that’s steep and full of slippery roots.

On our hike we spent an hour and a half walking the loop, cutting back overgrowth, clearing a few downed trees, kicking sticks off the trail.  There’s one mess of a downed tree that was much too big with a handsaw.  I met Fred out there this morning and he brought his chainsaw and we went in to try and clear it, but it’s a bit too big for his saw. The tree is still alive and rock hard too, making it more of a chore, so Fred suggested with contact another guy (who owns a tree service) to see if he can help us get that one out.  Fred headed home and I rode the rest of the lap and stopped to open up one section up a bit more with my lopers.  After that I dropped off my pack and tools at the car and went out for a lap on the now-clear trail.  Riding a decent (but not blazing fast) pace it took me 8mins to ride a lap.

Other than that one downed tree (which is easy to climb over) the trail is rideable.  We left a few small logs down on the trail as riders.  Kevin H. shared an older map with me and apparently there’s another loop off the north side, I didn’t see it while out there but want to look for it and hopefully get it open again too.  There’s also two trails that branch off the main loop I haven’t explored yet but will soon.

What the trail needs most is wheels.  There’s lots of leaves down and you can tell the trail gets very little use, but I’m hoping to change that!  My Wednesday night rides will start venturing that way at least every other week to ride a few laps of the trail.  This little trail will be a great place for MTBers to hone their technical riding skills and bike handling, and it’s short enough to be a great ‘hard’ trail for beginners as well.

So – this Weds (Jan 18th) will be our first night ride out there, come join me!  Wheels roll from the shop at 6:15.  We’ve got a short bit of road over to the trail, we’ll ride a couple laps and then head back.

Now – photo dump.

Nice bench cut singletrack.
Toppled pine tree. Thankfully it was already busted up so we just had to move the pieces off the trail.
The flora along the creek isn’t what you’re used to seeing in Macon.
This was a mess, broken tree and a big tangle of vines.
This could use a little more work, but at least it’s open now.
Lots of rocks in the creek.
This fall-line climb is an optional route (there’s a longer loop that goes around it), but it makes for a great challenge. It’s steep and rooty and slippery, I made it on the first try but was working hard to keep the front wheel on the ground all the way up.