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Posts Tagged ‘topo’

Velominati’s post about non-paved road riding made want to get on the mountain bike. Yes, riding the 29’er is pretty shameful to do in perfect road riding weather, but I couldn’t help myself… I just had to go out for a few hours. Trying to decide exactly where to ride at was nearly as difficult as climbing some of the local mountains. Either the trails were too far, or I had spent so much time on them in the Fall and Winter that riding them would have been as lame as riding one of these:

velominati bike blog mountain bike trail finding garmin GPS

All issues aside, I needed to be on the 29er, and find a new trail to ride around on… but where? How do you, the readers, find new trail systems to ride on?

  • Ask friends or your LBS?
  • Exploration?
  • Check Internet/Garmin/Forums/The Google Maps?
  • Use Other Types of Trails?

I have heard stories of people finding trails using Topo Maps, following jeep trails and gas wells. With this technique, and a bit of freestyle exploration, I was able to find some pretty sweet gas well routes that resulted into ATV trails going into the woods. If there was ever a honey pot of local trails… this would be it!

velominati bike blog mountain bike trail finding garmin GPS

After a ride or two, I have been able to map out just a fraction of the entire trail network on just one side of the forest. I’m guessing there is around ten miles of rideable trails, but with the amount of the paths going up and down a 200+ foot climb would make it a hell of a ride if you tried to do it all at once. This trail system is going to take a while to fully explore, but I think I’m willing to take the time to document it for local MTB’ers.

It all goes to show you that spending some time, and taking an educated guess can really pay off. Having ten or more miles of trail less than a mile away from home is such an amazing gift. I’m very glad (and very lucky) that such elaborate trails were found.

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