Devil's Head in Merrimac, WI- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Devil's Head in Merrimac, WI

    I was just at Devil's head today and rode the xc trails. They looked like no one has done any work on them or been on them in a while. The downhill part (i think it was the downhill part) is almost impossible to find and is mostly gone. Does anyone ride there? If so, where are all the trails? I only found what I think is the remains of the downhill section for the race a few years ago and one xc trail, are there more?

  2. #2
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    i dont know anyone that rides there anymore, im pretty sure the dh is deserted and i dont knwo anyone that rides the xc

  3. #3
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    It has been a while since I've been there and it seems little to nothing has been done in years. I know one guy who used to do work there moved on, and there's much more good riding near Madison where most of the riders probably come from.

    I've put my efforts in the public properties where there's the likelihood of the trails being there for generations and where you pay once a year or not at all.

  4. #4
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    i 2nd that, there is so much good riding of all sorts now in the mad-town area

  5. #5
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    I have been to cam-rock 3, quarry ridge/park and plan to go to blue mounds, but where else? any other good technical places? Devil's head is like 15 mins from my house so i had to give it a try

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdvdub
    I have been to cam-rock 3, quarry ridge/park and plan to go to blue mounds, but where else? any other good technical places? Devil's head is like 15 mins from my house so i had to give it a try
    Being involved with the CORP group helps one know what's up and where.

    The place for area info:
    http://www.madcitydirt.org/

    If you can attend the Blue Mound work day this week it will help finish the bypass that will keep the trails open more and you can learn about all the riding opportunities.

  7. #7
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    i figured nobody had touched them since the wors race got out of there going on 2 years now (filling their resort wasn't enough for devils head and they wanted more money). i actually thought they shut down biking all together there after that (I hope you didn't actually pay for a trail pass to ride there).

    the dh courses were really fun (we built those also) but each year it was like starting over to get a trail cleared so i am sure they are gone now. the potential for a great trail system is there but after working with devils head for the wors dh race it really makes me appreciate how nice it is to work with nordic mtn.

    here is a link to some videos of the 2006 dh race

  8. #8
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    I saw those videos before I went out there, thats why I went. Those trails are nothing like it now, devils head definitely does not maintain them. i started my ride at the top so i didnt pay, but i think its close to $100 a year to ride there. needless to say i would not pay to go there.

  9. #9
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    Early last season (2007) my club (Wildside Velo Club) was appoached to do some trail maintenance at DH. We did a couple of trail days and got the XC trails in rideable shape, but there is no effort by DH to keep them there. They are building/selling condos there and want to market it as a multi-sport destination with golf, mountain biking, proximity to Devil's Lake SP, etc... They don't want to keep up their end of the deal, however. I'd be pissed if I paid to ride there, headed out and encountered the level of disrepair that's there.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdvdub
    I saw those videos before I went out there, thats why I went. Those trails are nothing like it now, devils head definitely does not maintain them. i started my ride at the top so i didnt pay, but i think its close to $100 a year to ride there. needless to say i would not pay to go there.
    What a bummer with it being close to home. I know there's a Sauk County bike club that has done Devil's Lake and Mirror Lake trails and some sweat equity in the Madison area can add one more place to ride that may not be that far from you. There's also the Vertical Illusions business that advertises a terrain park that might be close to you, but I've not gone there.

    Good luck!

  11. #11
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    Hey Bit,

    The Sauk County chapter of WORBA (used the be called Blue Moon, or something like that) has fallen apart...at least their association with WORBA and trail work. The trails at Mirror Lake are still what they are...doubletrack ski trails with very little technical component. There was a short stretch of singletrack on the outer loop for a short period of time, but I'd imagine it's been re-claimed by the forest.

    What's left of the Blue Moon Group is now the Wildside Velo Club, title sponsor is the shop of the same name in Baraboo. The focus of that group has become primarily racing (WORS).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nater
    Hey Bit,

    The Sauk County chapter of WORBA (used the be called Blue Moon, or something like that) has fallen apart...at least their association with WORBA and trail work. The trails at Mirror Lake are still what they are...doubletrack ski trails with very little technical component. There was a short stretch of singletrack on the outer loop for a short period of time, but I'd imagine it's been re-claimed by the forest.

    What's left of the Blue Moon Group is now the Wildside Velo Club, title sponsor is the shop of the same name in Baraboo. The focus of that group has become primarily racing (WORS).
    I got some email messages in recent weeks from somebody who said they're the president of the Sauk Country WORBA chapter called Off Road CyclePaths. I have not ridden there for 10 years or more and recall nothing as fun as the ski area or what's around Madison. I'd like to know if that has changed, but also figured I'd have heard if there are great trails there.

  13. #13
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    ive ridden devil's lake and mirror lake, with mirror lake being really boring. devil's lake is not bad for the scenery and cool for an afternoon, but its not the place id go if i just wanted to mtb. ill probably go to dh occasionally for the xc trail, but i would never pay for it. i usually ride at vertical illusions, i work in the dells so its not that far. ive worked on the trails there quite a few days as well. there arent many people that have gone there, maybe its just too early in the season or no one knows about it. for the past three weeks ive been bench cutting the trail there (i do it by myself, but i think im just really slow.) it was pretty new so it wasnt bench cut and it was kind of awkward, its not done yet but it should be awesome. hopefully people start going there, its privately owned and the owner wants it all to be built up and there is lots of land. it just need people to work...if anyone is interested. the terrain is all FR/DH stuff though, not really good for XC.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitflogger
    I got some email messages in recent weeks from somebody who said they're the president of the Sauk Country WORBA chapter called Off Road CyclePaths.
    I hadn't heard of them...

  15. #15
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    i rode there today and got kicked off. of course i didnt go to get a pass first-probably should have-i just dont feel like paying for passes when no one touches those trails at all. before anyone rants about me not paying i know its trespassing and blah blah blah...but hey maybe if they saw there was an interest by people trespassing they would open it? the guy said they dont know if they are going to open the trails at all but if they do it will be in a month or so. that kind of sucks since the trails are close to my house and there is so much land and potential. the trails are pretty fun as is (the xc ones) even though no one does anything to them. really a shame.
    maybe i am wrong but it seems like if these ski hills(cascade and devils head are the ones close to me) would open up their trails for free and let people work on them and do what they wanted(for free) in a few years they would have a lot of trails, a lot more bikers, and they would be able to charge in a few years. also im sure the boosted summer publicity would bring in more skiers in the winter. it seems really short term thinking on their end....ultimately they probably wont make a ton of money off of it, but im sure they would make some money, not have to pay anything else, and get a lot of publicity for their winter stuff, possibly even bring people to stay at their resort during the summer since there would be more than just golf. im sure they would also be able to get free labor on their trails. this goes for all the ski hills in the area. ive been to nordic and its free to ride there, the riven guys build on it and im pretty sure can do what they want...im not a skier but if i was i would go there just to support that ski hill because of the way he gives back and supports riding. too bad more hills arent like nordic.

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