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  1. #1
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    New Great Trail Option For Phoenix Riders

    Do you like Browns Ranch because of the beautiful landscape and fun trails, but it doesn't have as much challenge as you like? Do you enjoy riding Phoenix Sonoran Preserve because it has some good climbs and flowing sweeping turns? Do you ride the McDowell Trails a lot and are looking for something new?

    You need to head out towards Lake Pleasant on Highway 74 (Carefree Highway), turn north on 87th Ave. (North Pleasant Harbor Blvd.), drive about 1.5 miles and park on the gravel shoulder just south of the RV Park, and ride into Lake Pleasant on the Maricopa Trail. Once you cross into Lake Pleasant, you will ride a series of newly improved trails (Beardsley, Wild Burro, Pipeline Canyon, Cottonwood) that will take you to the north entrance road, where you can ride downhill a mile to the parking lot / restrooms / boat ramps, and enjoy the views of the lake before heading back to where you started. 27 miles out and back on some incredible trails.

    We discovered this section while riding the Prickly Pedal course the last couple weekends. Everyone in the group commented on how well designed and built that 13.5 miles of trail was heading out from the boat launch lot at Lake Pleasant. It's mostly machine built, so it is wide. It's not as smooth as Brown's Ranch, but it also doesn't have all of those tight radius turns that lower Brown's has that forces you to slow down. The views of the lake are amazing. You get to ride over a floating pontoon bridge along the route. There are two short water crossings that we chose to carry our bikes over. There are some tight switchbacks you will need skill to maneuver. There are some steep climbs and really long and fast descents.

    It appears that trail crews have been making some improvements recently and there are some spots with some loose soil. The more it gets ridden, the better it will ride. It may be in the best condition you can hope for right now, as in time, the sections going through the creek bed will become altered by rains, and horse traffic will begin softening up the tread and knocking rocks loose. The brush work was superb and you should not get cut up as you ride, no matter how aggressive you go at it. Maybe someone can take some pictures along the route to show everyone how impressive this series of trails are. You can also pay an entrance fee and park at the boast ramp lot and ride out and back from that end. Enjoy.

  2. #2
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    Sounds fun. Got any gps/ map links of the route?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by crushinit View Post
    Sounds fun. Got any gps/ map links of the route?
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  4. #4
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    http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/lake_p...sant-11x17.pdf

    The Prickly Pedal Race on January 23rd will probably leave a lot of scars in the soft sections that were worked on recently. Getting out on this 13.5 mile segment and riding it as an out and back before the race will be well worth it.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for posting, I am going to give it a try tomorrow

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Badenov View Post
    Do you like Browns Ranch because of the beautiful landscape and fun trails, but it doesn't have as much challenge as you like? Do you enjoy riding Phoenix Sonoran Preserve because it has some good climbs and flowing sweeping turns? Do you ride the McDowell Trails a lot and are looking for something new?

    You need to head out towards Lake Pleasant on Highway 74 (Carefree Highway), turn north on 87th Ave. (North Pleasant Harbor Blvd.), drive about 1.5 miles and park on the gravel shoulder just south of the RV Park, and ride into Lake Pleasant on the Maricopa Trail. Once you cross into Lake Pleasant, you will ride a series of newly improved trails (Beardsley, Wild Burro, Pipeline Canyon, Cottonwood) that will take you to the north entrance road, where you can ride downhill a mile to the parking lot / restrooms / boat ramps, and enjoy the views of the lake before heading back to where you started. 27 miles out and back on some incredible trails.

    We discovered this section while riding the Prickly Pedal course the last couple weekends. Everyone in the group commented on how well designed and built that 13.5 miles of trail was heading out from the boat launch lot at Lake Pleasant. It's mostly machine built, so it is wide. It's not as smooth as Brown's Ranch, but it also doesn't have all of those tight radius turns that lower Brown's has that forces you to slow down. The views of the lake are amazing. You get to ride over a floating pontoon bridge along the route. There are two short water crossings that we chose to carry our bikes over. There are some tight switchbacks you will need skill to maneuver. There are some steep climbs and really long and fast descents.

    It appears that trail crews have been making some improvements recently and there are some spots with some loose soil. The more it gets ridden, the better it will ride. It may be in the best condition you can hope for right now, as in time, the sections going through the creek bed will become altered by rains, and horse traffic will begin softening up the tread and knocking rocks loose. The brush work was superb and you should not get cut up as you ride, no matter how aggressive you go at it. Maybe someone can take some pictures along the route to show everyone how impressive this series of trails are. You can also pay an entrance fee and park at the boast ramp lot and ride out and back from that end. Enjoy.
    That section has been in my riding roatation ever since it was cut...maybe five years ago? However, before the new stuff at Lake Pleasant, Beardsley Trail, etc., it didn't get much notice because there wasn't much to connect with it...anything east of the there is flat and boring....it was a sad lonely trail. Though for sure it was going to stay North Peoria's best kept secret...

    Funny, after all the years riding that part of the Maricopa Trail, I have yet to run into another mountain biker. Burros? Sure. Hikers? Nope. Mountain bikers? Never. Although recently I have seen a lot more MTB tracks out there...packed down portions of the trail more than they have ever been. The more the merrier.

  7. #7
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    I'll be staying in N. Scottsdale in April. I love Brown's Ranch.
    What's the best way to ride the OP's trail to create about a 15-20 mile ride with something flat in the beginning do that thus 67 y/o body gets a chance to warm up before The hills?


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  8. #8
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    I was thinking of riding the above route this weekend. I am a little leery of the "water crossings" and washes after the rains, anyone have input on what the conditions might be?

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