Most Challenging Singletrack in WI?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Most Challenging Singletrack in WI?

    As I get older and more accomplished on the MTB, I find myself seeking out tougher, longer and more technical trails to ride. That got me interested in what people think is the toughest continuous section of singletrack in the state of WI?


    Is there anything in the state more gnarly than Overlode > Chert Dip > Holy Schist at Blue Mound SP? In a lot of ways I really dislike many of the fall-line sections of BMSP, but I have yet to find any trail in WI that even comes close to the technical challenge it offers.


    What do you guys think?What is the toughest trail in the dairy state?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby12many View Post
    As I get older and more accomplished on the MTB, I find myself seeking out tougher, longer and more technical trails to ride. That got me interested in what people think is the toughest continuous section of singletrack in the state of WI?


    Is there anything in the state more gnarly than Overlode > Chert Dip > Holy Schist at Blue Mound SP? In a lot of ways I really dislike many of the fall-line sections of BMSP, but I have yet to find any trail in WI that even comes close to the technical challenge it offers.


    What do you guys think?What is the toughest trail in the dairy state?
    I haven't ridden everywhere in the state, and I'm partial because I volunteer there a lot, but I would agree that Blue Mound is probably one of the top if not the most technical trail system. The point of the ride there, for me, is not about speed, but making it through the technical sections without dabbing. Some of the tech is by design, but a lot of it is due to poorly laid out trail that has eroded as you mentioned. It has unfortunately been a very slow process getting things fixed.

    Over Lode is only technical in the beginning and at the end, where it was built by hand. Much of that and the grade of the climbs are slated to be fixed. The eroded sections of the rest of the trail are slated to be fixed. Much of Holy Schist is being redone also, by hand, not to make it easier necessarily but to fix the layout. Pokerville is currently an out and back, but it's a fairly easy grade and pretty technical also with lots of rock gardens and crossings. That is slated to become a loop eventually.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by spaten75 View Post
    I haven't ridden everywhere in the state, and I'm partial because I volunteer there a lot, but I would agree that Blue Mound is probably one of the top if not the most technical trail system. The point of the ride there, for me, is not about speed, but making it through the technical sections without dabbing. Some of the tech is by design, but a lot of it is due to poorly laid out trail that has eroded as you mentioned. It has unfortunately been a very slow process getting things fixed.

    Over Lode is only technical in the beginning and at the end, where it was built by hand. Much of that and the grade of the climbs are slated to be fixed. The eroded sections of the rest of the trail are slated to be fixed. Much of Holy Schist is being redone also, by hand, not to make it easier necessarily but to fix the layout. Pokerville is currently an out and back, but it's a fairly easy grade and pretty technical also with lots of rock gardens and crossings. That is slated to become a loop eventually.
    Awesome info Spaten! I havent had the chance to ride the Pokerville trail yet, but really look forward to it. When I was out there last in October I had no idea it even existed, even though my campsite was 100 yards from the entrance! doh!

    The topography and geologic makeup of the park are absolutely perfect for MTB, but as we both know, it takes a ton of work and cooperation (not to mention $$$) to build and maintain sustainable trails within it. Hopefully the process marches on and BMSP can continue to be the techy beast we both love, while offering more approachable and easily sustainable singletrack for years to come.
    Last edited by Bobby12many; 06-20-2016 at 03:46 PM.

  4. #4
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    If you like a lot of climbing, Underdown Trail near Merrill might be for you.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    If you like a lot of climbing, Underdown Trail near Merrill might be for you.
    Cant get enough climbing, much to all my riding buddies' dismay. Im doing a weekend trip up to 9 Mile end of July, Ill plan on hitting up Underdown as well. I have heard it mentioned, but dont know much about it.

    Thanks for the tip.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby12many View Post
    Cant get enough climbing, much to all my riding buddies' dismay. Im doing a weekend trip up to 9 Mile end of July, Ill plan on hitting up Underdown as well. I have heard it mentioned, but dont know much about it.

    Thanks for the tip.
    Do that Underdown + 9 Mile on the same day is quite the workout. I start at Underdown it's much more physically demanding.

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    http://forums.mtbr.com/minnesota-wis...ls-914927.html

    I created this thread a while ago looking for similar. Continuing to knock out new trails when I get a chance. Lots of good trail construction going on in wi the last few years.

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    Just did ~19 miles at Underdown today. As you can tell from the tereainmap... Lots of climbing.




    If you're in the area a while Washburn trail, about 20 minutes north of Underdown off of Hwy 8, has some good climbs as well.


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    I still have to make it out to BMSP but really like my local trails in La Crosse. Hixon Forest has a lot of elevation mixed with some pretty technical trails. Interested to see what everybody else has to suggest...I enjoy Levis Mounds as well, but not quite as technical...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywarp View Post
    I still have to make it out to BMSP but really like my local trails in La Crosse. Hixon Forest has a lot of elevation mixed with some pretty technical trails. Interested to see what everybody else has to suggest...I enjoy Levis Mounds as well, but not quite as technical...
    For the most park, Hixon is hiking only though right? Except for Vista?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillClinton View Post
    For the most park, Hixon is hiking only though right? Except for Vista?
    No, everything on top around the weather station is multi use, as is Vista. I would say that I see more mountain bikers on Hixon than hikers.

    There are a few trails on the other side of the road that lead down to the parking lot by the golf course that are hiking only.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgdblue View Post
    No, everything on top around the weather station is multi use, as is Vista. I would say that I see more mountain bikers on Hixon than hikers.

    There are a few trails on the other side of the road that lead down to the parking lot by the golf course that are hiking only.
    Yeah, I'm familiar with the HPT trails. I guess when I think Hixon I think of the trails across the street as you mentioned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillClinton View Post
    Yeah, I'm familiar with the HPT trails. I guess when I think Hixon I think of the trails across the street as you mentioned.
    I think they renamed HPT as Upper Hixon forest trails. I believe there are plans to renew/expand the current trails on top as well as add a second "Vista" trail back down to the bottom. I love those trails and would be super excited to see more progress.

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    jgd is correct, they renamed it "Upper Hixon" but it's still better known as HPT for the time being. They are working on a Vista II that will provide a better connection to the upper hixon trails as opposed to having to ride the road over to either quarry trail or the trailhead/pump track...can't wait!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby12many View Post
    Im doing a weekend trip up to 9 Mile end of July
    Be aware the Wausau 24 is July 30-31, unless that's why you're coming.

    Still gotta try Underdown myself.
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    Being from Eau Claire, I know the trails around here like the back of my hand. There are a few short sections at Northwest Park and Lowes Creek that can be challenging. At Lowes, red flint, onion, and jeckyl and Hyde are fun. At NWP, imo you will find many "5-20 foot rock climbs and root hopping to reach the top" type of stuff. Lots of fun to be had around Eau Claire with at least 5 trail systems within 30 minutes, and 4 of those within 10 miles.

  17. #17
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    Mount Ashwabay. 700 feet above Lake Superior. Good amount of elevation gain with some awesome bobsled style downhill runs.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/730128803

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    Did you get out to Blue Mound last fall? They got rid of some of the fall line stuff and made some flow trail. Especially helpful on the uphills that used to be like a nut punch (there's still some of those though) as a couple of the climbs have been evened out. Otherwise there's a couple purposefully built tough lines at Quarry Ridge & Cam Rock. Or head to Little Switz on a lift day!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT Fatty View Post
    Did you get out to Blue Mound last fall? They got rid of some of the fall line stuff and made some flow trail. Especially helpful on the uphills that used to be like a nut punch (there's still some of those though) as a couple of the climbs have been evened out. Otherwise there's a couple purposefully built tough lines at Quarry Ridge & Cam Rock. Or head to Little Switz on a lift day!
    Blue Mound and Underdown remain first in my mind when challenging comes to mind because they have tough elements and are a sizable ride.

    It should be known Blue Mound has had significant improvements even though the major plans are frozen because of a lawsuit.

    Sustainable is a better description than flow trail for what Travis Bellman did at Blue Mound. First, all our area trails have had 3 storms in the past two seasons that have done an easy 10-15 years of wear. This work stood up and other areas were blown out. Next, it's not just flow trail. Travis does a good of adding advanced elements when he works. I watched many people ride it now. Quite a few do not realize he's put jumps, and ways to fly into a berm.

    Trail stewards Walter, Gary and their helpers have done a lot of tremendous work by hand that have bypassed parts that are just not sustainable but haven't dumbed down the trails or taken away from the experience.

    The trails are in super shape after this too wet summer. Volunteers have done a tremendous amount work clearing 25 trees in addition to trimming.

    Now if you ride Blue Mound you still have your trials skills, climbing skills but also have spots where you can pump a berm or launch into one.

    My last weekend was Duluth - an area I really love. Honestly, after just riding every inch of Blue Mound and Pleasant View + Blackhawk (new jump line is now open) the west Madison areas trails are honestly worth making a destination.
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