Finding new MTB trails. So you're on a trip someplace, or maybe you’re new to an area. How do you find bike trails to ride?
In the age of the Internet this may seem easy to most of us, and it is. Still many beginners have no place to start, so let's take a look at a few ways you can find trails and bike parks.
First off, the map program in your phone works for this. Just center your location and type in "mountain bike trails". For well established parks this always works, but it doesn't give you much info. Sometimes you can find pictures and even reviews, but generally you won’t get the location of the entrance or the difficulty level of the terrain.
Luckily there are sites that serve as directories for bike trails. My personal favorite is Singletracks.com but there are others. This video is not an advertisement for Singletracks, so feel free to link your favorite site in the comments. Still, I’m familiar with their site, so let’s take a look how you can plan a trip by using a mountain bike trail directory.
The site detects your location and shows you all the trails that have been added by others. I see the usual suspects, but there’s one over here I’ve never seen before. West Delray. That’s not far from me at all. Apparently they have mosquitos there the size of pterodactyls.
This park is rated a 3 of 5, but ratings mean nothing without reading the reviews. I always pay attention to the date the review was written, because trails change, trees grow, and volunteers can do a lot.
In the question and answer section, you can get really useful info if you’re planning a trip, like whether or not there are bathrooms and where you can expect to find parking.
From what I’ve read, it looks West Delray is rough and sandy with lots of roots. To be honest I usually don’t care much for roots, but almost every review has the word “fun” in it. I’ve gotta check this place out and see for myself.
Thanks to Singletracks, I know to look out for the Pterosaurs. Right at the entrance, is this gem of a feature. So far, this looks promising. As stated in the reviews, West Delray has a ton of roots and rough terrain, but it’s not the annoying kind. The trail seems to leverage the roots in a strategic and intentional way.
While there’s not much elevation here, the trails are really fun. Whoever maintains this place is particularly creative, and definitely has a sense of humor. Does anyone really make it through here? I guess with a carefully planned bunnyhop you could get your bars high enough, but I’ll take the bypass—something I rarely do.
I was on the edge of my seat at every turn, eager to see what other unique features West Delray had in store. Here we have a really short 70% grade climb, with a 50% grade as a bypass. The reward is a fun little set of jumps that lead into another trail.
The dark twisty routes through the mangroves can give you some serious tunnel vision if you pick up enough speed.
We rode until it started to get dark, but I still don’t think I’ve seen all the trails in this relatively small park. Since you can’t pick up much speed on these twisty switchbacks, it takes a long time to rack up miles here. I’ll definitely need to come back, ride every little corner, and get some more video footage for a more extensive review.
I was grinning from ear to ear riding this very refreshing trail. In what is basically a swamp, some very dedicated volunteers have created a fun and challenging riding spot. So the moral of the story is, there are always new places to discover. Use the Internet to your advantage and just maybe, you’ll find a new riding spot right in your own backyard. Thanks for riding with me today and I’ll see you next time.
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