Watters Smith State Park is What? It’s freakin’ awesome. That’s what it is. Somehow on 0.78sq miles of land, they were capable of reserving everything from the bunny trails of hiking/biking all the way to some downhill that I would really suggest having dual suspension for. This park really runs the whole gamut of fun.
It is kind of hard to describe Watters Smith without making it sound confusing… There are so many loop-arounds and back ways to get to all the locations and trails around the park that you never really are in a place that will not get you to where you want to go. There is an abundance of parking, and if you get there during typical business hours, you may be able to pick up one of their hiking/biking trail maps.
I said this on MTBR earlier this year:
The Trails here are relatively short with small grass intervals that interconnect them. Lots of singletrack with log buildups. There has been some trail degradation leaving roots exposed. Watch out for these when it is wet (just like anywhere else~) This place is a blast.
Trails are clearly marked and lots of marker ribbons to keep you on the path just in case… The visitor’s map does not have all the trail mapped and is pretty outdated.
Everyone is right when they say there is something for everyone here.
White oak = pretty nice. You’ll need to hike-a-bike up some/most of it, but once you are on the ridgeline… you’ll love it!
If you are also interested in taking photos and doing a little bit of historical sightseeing, opportunities are available for that too. The site states:
A log cabin similar to the original was moved and reconstructed on the park, the Smith family home (c. 1876) has been restored as a museum, and an additional museum houses many early farm artifacts. Guided tours are offered from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
I have not personally taken a second to enjoy these things up close, but I did ride past them several times. The visitors for the more historic aspects of the park will not hinder your riding enjoyment.
Do pay attention while riding for little critters; there are squirrels, rabbits and foxes aplenty all over the place. I believe there is one little creek running through one side of the park, so animals from all over come for water.
The MTBR’ers agree that this is the place to go if you don’t want to make a day out of a ride, but want to be away from your backyard:
This trail has a little bit of everything for ya. The climb at the beginning is pretty rough but its a great for testing your climbing skills. I think I made it all the way in a dream I had once. The downhill starts out pretty technical but very rideable and very rewarding. After a little rock garden you start down a steep little section that will send you on your way. Wimps watch out cause Bad’s going to run you down if you don’t get out of his way. There’s no slowing down unless you don’t make the hard right that I let you find yourself. As for the steps one can find there way to the left. It’s a little risky on your first ride but is actually quite thrilling after you find the line. From there on out its high tailing it on back to the car. Watch out for that hidden ditch the other reviewers where talking about. Almost everyone I’ve ridden with has told me a face-planting story. Overall Short But Sweet.
Tad summarizes the park up quite better than I did. The crazy climb that he spoke of is the first thing you should do. It is mightier than you and should be done when you first have the energy to do it, that way you can do the rest at your own pace or stop after already doing the most awesome thing at the park.
Watters State Park is a place where no matter what your skill set is, you will be a part of some great scenery for little of no expenses out of pocket. Like I said earlier, there is something for everyone and when the trail gets easy… just crank up the cadence.
Bring friends too. Lots of friends. heck, make it a day and barbecue something and have lunch there. That’s right, let everyone stare at you while you barbecue some burgers and loaf around in your lycra. You owned that ridgeline, now it’s time to relax.