Old school single track near Madison?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Old school single track near Madison?

    Hi all. I'm wondering if anyone knows of any old-style single track trails near Madison, WI. To clarify: I started riding in the mid-80s, when purpose-built trails for MTB didn't really exist yet. All of the trails I've ridden recently are really artificial seeming, with berms, wooden features, and so on. What I'm really missing are single track trails that just meander through the woods for miles and have more of a natural feel to them, if that makes sense.

    I guess what I'm really looking for is something between the straight, flat gravel roads we have here in droves and the trail systems that feel more like a skate park than a nature ride. (No disrespect to people who love those alternatives!)

    Thanks for any suggestions!

  2. #2
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    To me old school means lots of rocks and roots that take a good bit of conviction to ride, and even then it's hard to make it look easy or smooth. For that you want Blue Mounds. Overload is pretty much the same as it was 20 years ago. The mounds loop is still pretty old school with enough new trail to kind of give you a mental break.

    Bits of stuff like that can be found at Pleasant View and Quarry Ridge. Camrock has some old school feel in Turn it up, Corkscrew, Rattlesnake. There's quite a lot within a couple hours drive of Madison. Just don't expect a long day of meandering through the woods and not riding the same trails more than once unless you get up to Chequamegon.

  3. #3
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    Not so near Madison, but look at new fane
    whatever...

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    I think you are talking about my favorite type of trails, what I describe as mid 90's WORS courses. Older mtb trails that are faster and non jumpy. Most of the trail systems have that feature in some capacity, then its just a matter of how many loops you do. Quarry Ridge has single track that doesn't have jumps, Seminole has a short loop off the bike path in Madison, Pleasant View and Black Hawk have nice options. Then going to Cambridge , Camrock has several options as does Janesville's Rockport or Belvidere's Rockcut park. Kettle Moranie John Muir loop is also a good place and probably the longest with out having to do multiple loops. All of these places have trails I like to ride on my 2 rigid 26" HT, a Surly 1x1 and '95 Rockhopper. Just read the trail maps to get to the sections you want.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your replies. Yes, I've been exploring a bit, and have definitely found some of what I'm looking for. Runs like IMBA Influence and Veritas at CamRock are exactly the kind of thing I've been craving. Will have to check out John Muir, maybe even before winter gets here. I'm riding a fully rigid Surly Troll with drop bars, btw. Thanks again!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by henryspencer View Post
    Thanks for your replies. Yes, I've been exploring a bit, and have definitely found some of what I'm looking for. Runs like IMBA Influence and Veritas at CamRock are exactly the kind of thing I've been craving. Will have to check out John Muir, maybe even before winter gets here. I'm riding a fully rigid Surly Troll with drop bars, btw. Thanks again!
    Lets see a picture of it! I have often thought about getting a Troll because I like the 1x1 so much. I have test rode the Low Side and thats a great bike also.

  7. #7
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    Sure, all the details on the build, as well as a few pics, are on the most recent page of this thread:

    https://forums.mtbr.com/surly/surly-troll-650122.html

    Hope that helps--I've really been loving the bike, which I built up last spring just before the lockdown hit.

  8. #8
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    The Kettles!!

    Quote Originally Posted by henryspencer View Post
    Thanks for your replies. Yes, I've been exploring a bit, and have definitely found some of what I'm looking for. Runs like IMBA Influence and Veritas at CamRock are exactly the kind of thing I've been craving. Will have to check out John Muir, maybe even before winter gets here. I'm riding a fully rigid Surly Troll with drop bars, btw. Thanks again!
    The kettles are what you are looking for!! About 50 miles total trail between John Muir, Emma Carlin, and the trail connecting them.

  9. #9
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    Excellent, will def check out the Kettles! Thanks

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