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  1. #1
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    Texas' hardest

    Submit your opinions on Texas' hardest MTB trails. Mine, which I've only ridden a few, would be Tyler State Park.

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    Hill Country Natural Area (Bandera).

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    Being originally from South Texas I have ridden in the RGV, which there is not much, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston. I have never ridden in North Texas but I have heard that there are some great trails out there including Tyler State Park. Now living in West Texas I can tell you that I believe that we have some of the toughest trails in the whole state. Our terrain is rough and tough with baby heads all along the trails. You have sand, cactus of all varieties and no tree cover. Elevation here in El Paso is about 4500' but when you climb some of those mountains you are at about 5500' or more in other places. There is a jeep road called C road which climbs for about 2 miles that is very steep and takes you to the top of the mountain which is very tough. Many people climb this thing just for training and I'm talking about climbing it more than once. It takes about 25-35 minutes to climb and you are down in about 7 minutes. Then we have the state park which is about 22 miles long and it is a technical ride with lots of climbing and awesome downhills. This is a must do if you are ever in the area. Trail wise we may not have that much but the little we have is a lot of fun and you can make a long ride of it or make it a short ride.

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    Good job! In the Austin Area...

    hands down it would go to City Park. Aka Emma Long Motorcycle Park. It's only 6.3 miles long but it is chocked full of loose 18 to 36 in ledges, baby heads, technical climbs and stair step decents. This trail is a different ride every single time. A section you make 5 times in a row will suddenly throw you for an endo. It kicks my ass every time. I love and always come back for more.

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    Any talk of tough in the North End of the State has got to include Cleburne State Park. That place is insane. Rolling hills, baby heads, jumps, ledges, technical trail features. Its got it all. The spillway climb is not for the faint of heart. It will destroy you. After that, I would say Dino Valley State Park or The Devils Backbone at Bar H Ranch. The backbone has 3000 feet of elevation change in four miles. That's pretty darn tough.

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    City Park gets another vote

    many a bike part is broken there... make sure you can get out of your clipless pedal in a hurry or a body part might also break

    Hill Country SNA in Bandera is pretty tough, too

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    Hardest area in Tejas is a tie, in my opinion. The winners are: Guadalupe Mountains State park, and Big Bend National Park. Bring mucho water when you go, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aenimopiate
    Hardest area in Tejas is a tie, in my opinion. The winners are: Guadalupe Mountains State park, and Big Bend National Park. Bring mucho water when you go, though.
    Aenimopiate, what trails in Big Bend and Guadalupe are open to bikes? I have done tons of hiking in both, but just recently got into cycling. TIA

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    The beauty of both of those parks is that you can blaze your own trails. Unless there's a sign stating otherwise, you can ride where you please; just stay mindful of the ones who live there, ie the local flora and fauna if you go there and find an outrageous trail, or a new way to travel, come back on here and let us know

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aenimopiate
    ...if you go there and find an outrageous trail, or a new way to travel, come back on here and let us know
    You got a deal! Now where did I leave that bottle of SPF 500 sunscreen...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aenimopiate
    The beauty of both of those parks is that you can blaze your own trails. Unless there's a sign stating otherwise, you can ride where you please; just stay mindful of the ones who live there, ie the local flora and fauna if you go there and find an outrageous trail, or a new way to travel, come back on here and let us know
    I really hope your kidding about 'riding where you please' in those parks. Riding there is only allowed on the established roads.


    I vote City Park (Emma Long and HCSNA as the hardest.
    Last edited by Scary Mc; 09-30-2004 at 05:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scary Mc
    I really hope your kidding about 'riding where you please' in those parks. Riding there is only allowed on the established roads.
    This is true it would seem - according to my (admittedly a few years old) copy of Hiker's Guide to trails of Big Bend National Park, "Motorized vehicles and bicycles are permitted on designated roads only."

    For my part, I need to get better on moderate trails before frying my brains in the desert anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ride4Beer
    Any talk of tough in the North End of the State has got to include Cleburne State Park. That place is insane. Rolling hills, baby heads, jumps, ledges, technical trail features. Its got it all. The spillway climb is not for the faint of heart. It will destroy you. After that, I would say Dino Valley State Park or The Devils Backbone at Bar H Ranch. The backbone has 3000 feet of elevation change in four miles. That's pretty darn tough.

    I 2nd this...............

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    1) Devil's Backbone, Bar H. Miles of climbing through 6-inch deep gravel switch backs.
    Masochism at it's finest.

    2) Outer loop, Cleburne. Hard core. 6 miles of exposed rocks to hammer you and your bike. Thanks for coming, have a nice day.

    3) Possum Kingdom. I don't think there's a flat portion to this trail Nothing but climbs and descents around a 400 ft hill. And just as soon as you think you have the hang of it PK will throw you a rock ledge, rock garden, or some other sort of free fall drop of that will make you change your undies.

    Oh, btw, watch out for the rattlesnakes and mountain lions.

    NY

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    No one said Cameron Park? Am I that weak? Moving to Dallas soon, can't wait to hit Cleburn, Bar H and Dino Valley for the first time.

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    wermfud

    Make sure you check out DORBA.org

    NY

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    Quote Originally Posted by wermfud
    No one said Cameron Park? Am I that weak? Moving to Dallas soon, can't wait to hit Cleburn, Bar H and Dino Valley for the first time.
    Cameron is my favorite place to ride North of Austin. Its just totally different from Cleburne. The climbs at Cameron are much more brutal on the lungs and the black diamond stuff is fantastic, but the damage potential at CLE with the flying rocks is enormous.

    Hit me up when you check out those new trails. I can be found on DORBA and BikeMojo forums under the same user name.

    Ron

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    fun to ride HELL to race = Cameron Park Waco Texas

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    DH/freeride trails in texas?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard85
    DH/freeride trails in texas?
    Flat Rock Ranch in Comfort has a downhill course that holds the "state championship" in the spring during the TMBRA Race weekend.

    The only true, legal, large freeride park that is published is in El Paso. There is a small assortment of stunts at a place called Z-Boaz in Fort Worth. Its very small though, so you may not want to travel too far to get to it. Lots of folks have their own personal places that they play that you just have to find out about.

    Hope that helps.

  21. #21
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    I just luv riding Emma Long, and Bandera is sometimes out of control, but BLORA (Belton Lake Rec. Area) needs some mention too. Cleburne is a good ride. I think its all about the riding and enjoying yourself.

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    Twin Parks Country Club outside of Austin.....

    There is a place called Twin Parks Country Club that has been built up lately by a few people from Ozone. They have about a 6mile cross country loop and they are building a downhill course and a dirt jump park. I was out there about a month and a half ago and they only had the xc loop built but it looked good. You guys should go check it out. It is in Dripping Springs.

  23. #23
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    oh hands down, lakelake.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by the toninator
    oh hands down, lakelake.


    NICE

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    I would have to second Devil's Backbone at Bar-H...

    ... near Saint Jo, TX. I do that route once a year just to measure and humble myself.

    Mike

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    Toughest trail I've ever taken on here in my home state is City Park (aka Emma Long) in Austin. If you can ride that little loop w/o dabbing, your a BAMF
    Med. V10.5 for sale

  27. #27
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    Which state park?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlurRider
    ....... Then we have the state park which is about 22 miles long and it is a technical ride with lots of climbing and awesome downhills. This is a must do if you are ever in the area.......
    Which state park is this? Hueco Tanks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by the toninator
    oh hands down, lakelake.
    HAHAHA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Pro Laps
    Which state park is this? Hueco Tanks?
    This is actually the Franklin Mtn State Park on the west part of town off of I-10. This is a pretty cool trail. You do have to pay $3 at the entrance but it is definitely worth it.

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    Hill Country Natural Area is the hardest if you define hard as having many sections that are unrideable/dangerous.

    The horses knock so many rocks loose that certain sections are impossible/insane.
    Other areas are just impossible/insane even without loose rocks from the horses.

  31. #31
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    there's stuff in Austin that's a LOT harder than City Park

  32. #32
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    yeah, wull my trail is hardern your trail

  33. #33
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    Oh no we gotta go...

    go go Quadzilla! (sung to tune of Blue Oyster Cult mega-hit)

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammerheadbikes
    there's stuff in Austin that's a LOT harder than City Park
    I'll second that!!..but you better get out there while you can cuz it ain't goin to last forever.

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    RCFP TRAILS , hardest!!

    Roughrider Canyon Freeride park has the Toughest trails in the state, hands down.. Anyone not beleive me , come ride there.. We have some of the hardest and scariest trails around..It seems to be on par w/ bootleg canyon , of course thay have monetary backing, we do it for the love of hucking.. Come and check it out Nov. 12th.. peace

    www.roughriderracing.org

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYKRINDFW
    1) Devil's Backbone, Bar H. Miles of climbing through 6-inch deep gravel switch backs.
    Masochism at it's finest.
    Hands down, the hardest single trail in the state... IMHO.

    2500 feet of climbing (and decending) in 4.5 miles.


    The rest of
    The Breaks at Bar H is worth a couple of days of riding also.
    aLaN AT BikeMojo DOT com

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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeMojo
    Hands down, the hardest single trail in the state... IMHO.

    2500 feet of climbing (and decending) in 4.5 miles.


    The rest of
    The Breaks at Bar H is worth a couple of days of riding also.
    Where in Texas , besides Big Bend and Guadalupe peak ,where is there 2500ft of mountain in east Texas? Or is that 250 ft 10 times? Our trails are 1000 ft down.. WAHOOO!!! Our park definately has the hardest trails I have ridden anywhere.. I have ridden in Austin and Amarillo at the canyon.. Amarillo would be the closest but the consequences are ALOT worse here at Roughrider Canyon.. peace www.roughriderracing.org

  38. #38
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    Sansom Park

    Quote Originally Posted by watmatt View Post
    hands down it would go to City Park. Aka Emma Long Motorcycle Park. It's only 6.3 miles long but it is chocked full of loose 18 to 36 in ledges, baby heads, technical climbs and stair step decents. This trail is a different ride every single time. A section you make 5 times in a row will suddenly throw you for an endo. It kicks my ass every time. I love and always come back for more.
    I lived in Austin for 5 years and Emma was my prefered trail....hard core, but If you want to ride a really crazy (Hard Core) trail come to Sansom Park (Fort Worth) and ride Joel's Loop, the Dam Drop and Lone Wolf. Its no joke...cant believe no one has mentioned Sansom!
    Last edited by Beashio; 12-06-2011 at 10:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wermfud View Post
    No one said Cameron Park? Am I that weak? Moving to Dallas soon, can't wait to hit Cleburn, Bar H and Dino Valley for the first time.
    No.... Cameron will kick your A$$. Lots of climbs, but still not as challenging as Sansom's Red sections. Its a different kind of pain.

  40. #40
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    Every trail can be as hard as you make it.

    I have seen more ambulances at walnut creek than city park.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike View Post
    Every trail can be as hard as you make it.

    I have seen more ambulances at walnut creek than city park.
    There are two reasons for this:
    1. WC = newb school. Everyone learns to ride here.
    2. WC is boring (er, not technical or commanding attention), which in turn yields complacency...which bites even the most experienced riders on occasion.

    That being said, WC has no place in a "hardest" discussion.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beashio View Post
    I lived in Austin for 5 years and Emma was my prefered trail....hard core, but If you want to ride a really crazy (Hard Core) trail come to Sansom Park (Fort Worth) and ride Joel's Loop, the Dam Drop and Lone Wolf. Its no joke...cant believe no one has mentioned Sansom!
    LOL what? Joels, Dam Drop and Lone Wolf are fun, and there are some rough climbs outta there (especially if you do 3-fer MAdness towards the end), but theres nothing remotely crazy about anything at Sansom. Its about as tech as youre gonna get in DFW (except maybe Big Cedar), but I've cleaned the entire trail several times. There's no drops or anything super technical there. There's stuff at Emma I wont even think about riding.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beashio View Post
    I lived in Austin for 5 years and Emma was my prefered trail....hard core, but If you want to ride a really crazy (Hard Core) trail come to Sansom Park (Fort Worth) and ride Joel's Loop, the Dam Drop and Lone Wolf. Its no joke...cant believe no one has mentioned Sansom!
    Nothing at Sansom is tougher than Emma, imo.
    Bar H is in a state of not existing anymore according to people on Dorba.

  44. #44
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    govt canyon in SA, SA is tough

  45. #45
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    The backbone!

    Devils Backbone tops my list of the most difficult trails I've ridden.

    RIP Bar H Breaks
    "Don't believe everything you read on the internet." -Abraham Lincoln

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    Quote Originally Posted by CBaron View Post
    I'll second that!!..but you better get out there while you can cuz it ain't goin to last forever.
    Oh no, say it isn't true. I like riding there...

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    I picked myself up off the ground more times when riding Revielle Peak the first time, than two years riding combined!! But it was damn fun doing it...Wish it were closer (+ - 3 hour drive ) Not that the whole place is hard but it has it's moments, ( riding the alternate trail section out to the "bones" ?? ) and you can bet when you go down, there will be only rocks to cradle your fall!

  48. #48
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    Emma Long gets my vote. I was almost certain I broke my leg there once after catching a rock ledge right into my shin.

  49. #49
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    Town Lake. The looparound from the south side to the Lamar ped bridge is unsane.

  50. #50
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    When it's slick the hill of life is no slouch, hell even when it's dry it can still take some serious effort.

    ~JRA

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    I haven't done anything outside of SA other than Walnut Creek, which was a newb park. So, Gov't Canyon is the hardest terrain I've ridden. Anyone else ridden Gov't Canyon and compared it to something more difficult?

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    Ive ridden cameron park, sansom, emma long, rocky hill ranch, reveille ranch, Bar H, Isle Du Bois, and none of them truly stand out,though my favorite is Rocky Hill.

    I live in the DFW area and have found that the drive to Oklahoma is well worth it. You dont hear about riding in Oklahoma much, but what my friends and I have found is some VERY technical and very rewarding single track trails along the Ouachita National Recreation trail. You wont find much info on mountain biking out there, and you are unlikely to come across any other bikers when you are there. Dont go when its too hot. Its brutal when its hot and humid. Camping is great and the views along highway 1 are amazing. Its a scenic drive with at least 10 or 15 vistas.

  53. #53
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    Reading this makes me want to cry. You guys need to leave the state more often. And on the way stop for a ride (a big one or a few shorter ones) in the Franklins. After that head to the awesome stuff in Tucson/Phoenix/Sedona, cruise up to Moab, roll back through CO and into NM. Hit Palo Duro and all the other trails you haven't ridden in Texas and then come back here and post.
    Roll over the weak and bunny hop the dead!

    Blog this...!

    El Paso Puzzler 35 or 50 miler

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastmtnbiker33w View Post
    Reading this makes me want to cry. You guys need to leave the state more often. And on the way stop for a ride (a big one or a few shorter ones) in the Franklins. After that head to the awesome stuff in Tucson/Phoenix/Sedona, cruise up to Moab, roll back through CO and into NM. Hit Palo Duro and all the other trails you haven't ridden in Texas and then come back here and post.
    the title of the thread is Texas's hardest trail, so why would anyone discuss out of state trails?

    I lived and rode in Colorado for 3 years and yea, its got better riding and more climbing and more descending than anything in Texas, but there is stuff here in Texas (Austin area mainly) that is just as tough technically as some of the harder Colorado trails. get off yer high horse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooner518 View Post
    the title of the thread is Texas's hardest trail, so why would anyone discuss out of state trails?

    I lived and rode in Colorado for 3 years and yea, its got better riding and more climbing and more descending than anything in Texas, but there is stuff here in Texas (Austin area mainly) that is just as tough technically as some of the harder Colorado trails. get off yer high horse.
    Because.....after you ride in El Paso, everything else is becomes ridiculously easy. Vermont, West Va, Pisgah....in the rain...after El Paso....easy. After living/riding here for 10 years, it's made riding the other stuff much more fun with a much lower fear factor. I know there are plenty of small sections of difficult trail all around Texas, but El Paso's got the toughest....more vert, more rocks, more cactus, more miles.
    Roll over the weak and bunny hop the dead!

    Blog this...!

    El Paso Puzzler 35 or 50 miler

  56. #56
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    I haven't rode most of the ones mentioned outside of DFW- but the hardest one I've found up here is Big Cedar Wildness Trail, in Cedar Hill.. Definitely an epic trail.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammerheadbikes View Post
    there's stuff in Austin that's a LOT harder than City Park
    Yep, big ledges and drops that will kill you, not just break your leg. Fully skary.
    =====
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastmtnbiker33w View Post
    Because.....after you ride in El Paso, everything else is becomes ridiculously easy. Vermont, West Va, Pisgah....in the rain...after El Paso....easy. After living/riding here for 10 years, it's made riding the other stuff much more fun with a much lower fear factor. I know there are plenty of small sections of difficult trail all around Texas, but El Paso's got the toughest....more vert, more rocks, more cactus, more miles.
    so your first post extols the virtues of broadening horizons and riding out of state, then you come back and say that El Paso is the best and makes everything else seem easy. cool story

  59. #59
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    I don't think EP is any tougher than other parts of Texas. I've ridden a bunch of trails around Austin, Gvt Canyon, and most DORBA trails. EP just has much longer climbs and altitude to deal with.
    A plus though is that you NEVER have to check trail conditions.
    They're always dry!

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