Featured Ride: Elm Creek, Minnesota

In: FEATURED RIDES By: Jeff Lockwood On: December 12, 2016

This is a 10 mile intermediate and advanced loop. Ride begins at mountain bike parking lot trailhead accessed from Hayden Lake Road.

Elm Creek Park Reserve, Minnesota

Photos and information from MTBProject.com.

At Elm Creek, you’ll ride through a variety of terrain from mature wooded tracks to open prairie areas. Flowing trails with small bumps and rises designed to keep water off the trail make sections of this trail feel like a pump track. Many opportunities are available to bump up the difficulty with rock gardens and log features.

In the Advanced Loop / Grizzland area there are advanced difficulty opportunities with elevated skinnies, log features and uphill step-ups. Features are marked and have ride-arounds so you can just cruise on by if you desire. A few of the features are in small loops of their own. Regardless, each feature or loop returns to the main trail. All are clearly signed.

Elm Creek Park Reserve, Minnesota

When there’s snow on the ground, break out the fat bike because the singletrack is groomed for winter fat bike riding!

The trailhead is signed well and located immediately across the road from the parking lot. Go counter-clockwise on the dirt trail for about 15 yards and onto the gated paved road. There is a narrow bike lane along the edge of the road to follow for about 1 block. The trail then exits to the Left and enters the trees again with a short climb.

The initial intermediate trail is tree lined singletrack full of snug corners and rolling elevation changes.

At one point along the western edge you’ll come out of the trees to an intersection with a larger signboard. Go left to continue on with this ride. (If you want to bail out back to the parking lot you can go right-ish here and get back onto the paved road and head right to get back to the mountain bike parking lot.) Eventually it makes its way to an open prairie type area where the wider turns will light the fire for speed in some, yet in others, just as powerfully lead them to sit up and soak in the day.

Elm Creek Park Reserve, Minnesota

Near the end of the prairie area is an intersection. To continue this ride follow the trail forward into the Advanced Loop / Grizzland area. If you want to bail here you can go left.

Grizzland returns to the trees and offers steeper and longer bench cut climbs plus a multitude of advanced difficulty feature options to set this area apart from the rest of the ride. The most difficult features have ride-arounds so you can pick and choose your challenges for the day. At the end of this loop you have the option of going left to repeat it, or continuing on forward seamlessly rejoining the Intermediate Loop which eventually returns to the mountain bike parking lot trailhead.

Elm Creek Park Reserve is maintained by the Three Rivers Park District and the local club is Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC).



Comments
Latest Pics