Types of trails

Roads, rails-to-trails, mtb trails, single track, double track, pump tracks, BMX tracks
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Types of trails

Postby wa_desert_rat » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:08 pm

I was asked by a new member what the nomenclature for trails is so I thought I'd post this little guide. Feel free to add to it.


Singletrack = a path... just one path.... usually packed dirt.

Doubletrack = two paths side-by-side; also referred to as a jeep-track

Jeeptrack = a road that a jeep or 4wd might take.

Flowing = fairly even up and down so that you can carry speed from one downhill to the next uphill without a lot of unnecessary distractions (like rocks and obstructions) to slow you down.

Technical = anything with obstructions, drops, rocks you have to negotiate over or around, roots you have to bunny-hop over, or tight switchbacks.

Rails-to-Trails = an old railroad grade that has been converted for bicycle and/or equestrian use. Often paved but also just packed gravel. Grade is seldom over 3% and usually 2%. Tracks have been removed. Tunnels are either collapsed, closed and barricaded or still open and inspected/repaired and safe to travel. Trestles are the same. Lots of families with kids on little bikes or towing trailers.

Railroad grade = not converted to bike use but (generally) abandoned or unused. Take the tunnels and trestles at your own risk. Watch for snakes.

Ski trails = a ski area that operates as a mtb area during the summer season. Riders get to the top on the chairlift or in a gondola (I prefer the gondola) and you pay a daily or season charge. It is not advisable to take a big box bike on a ski area trail system. :)

All I can think of right now.



Railroad grade =
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Re: Types of trails

Postby LilRob » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:20 pm

:D
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Re: Types of trails

Postby phour19 » Wed May 04, 2011 10:52 am

Horse Trails = Trails that horses use :lol:
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Re: Types of trails

Postby bones72751 » Mon May 23, 2011 7:24 pm

I actually road a horse trail yesterday, lol. Not very technical but there were a few roots and rock sections. Unfortunately the park I went to wouldn't let me ride the hiking trail, lol.
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Re: Types of trails

Postby wa_desert_rat » Tue May 24, 2011 8:35 pm

What kinda bothers me is that the National Parks will allow hikers and horses on their trails.... but not mtbs! I think that some of the reason for that is the early "bad taste" some of the mtb riders left after behaving badly when hikers and horses were sharing the trails with them. I can remember as a hiker being terrorized by some mtb riders going so fast on a trail that we couldn't hear them approach until they had already scared the crap out of us going by us. Horses are especially sensitive to being scared (being prey animals) and it's no fun trying to calm a horse down on a narrow trail. So I understand the ban... I just wish it weren't so.
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Re: Types of trails

Postby bones72751 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:17 pm

Also with the way a lot of mtb riders ride, fast and careless, it would be a common incident to collide with hikers or worse, a horse. I'm not sure I would want to know what comes after a fender Bender into a horses ass, lol.

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Re: Types of trails

Postby wa_desert_rat » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:45 am

That "fast and careless" style is what got so many MTBs banned from trails. Although it turned into a good thing because that's was the impetus for creating MTB-specific bike trails and, lately, the conversion of ski areas into summer lift-served bike trails. For years MTB riders have taken heat from hikers and horse people over this "fast and careless" behavior.

Of course, the equestrians also have their problem riders. Just outside the city of Wenatchee, WA there is a riding area called "Sage Hills". Mostly made up of a patchwork of old land holdings that were purchased by a local group, the trails are hike/bike/horse. However they're completing a new trail and it's clearly marked for no horses until the wet ground firms up. Guess what... lots of horse tracks and the trail is reportedly a mess and makes for a very uncomfortable ride.

So the two groups both have people who can't pay attention to common sense. LOL
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Re: Types of trails

Postby squire366 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:04 pm

I have been riding Boundary Waters Park trails in Douglas County, GA and Yellow River trails in Stone Mountain, GA. The trails in both parks are "horse, hiker and biking friendly" but I have yet to actually see someone riding a horse at either park. I know people ride horses especially at Boundary Waters because of the HUGE piles of horse crap on the trails but I haven't seen a horse on either of the trails yet.
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Re: Types of trails

Postby Irishmongooserider » Thu May 24, 2012 7:04 pm

My personal favorite is technical singletrack, with some flowy sections in between the tecky sections to break it up and give some variety. Green River Lake state park near Campbellsville, KY has a nice trail system that provides this mix. So does Big South Fork National park near Onieda, Tn. These are two of my favorite riding areas, both fairly close to Somerset, Ky where I currently live.
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Re: Types of trails

Postby wa_desert_rat » Fri May 25, 2012 1:14 pm

I like singletrack as long as it's not *too* technical. I've discovered that my reflexes aren't what they used to be and since I don't clip in I have to set up to bunnyhop and if it's too technical there's no time to set up the move. But flowy singletrack is a wonder all by itself. Just not much of it (at least around here). The best we get here would be a jeep track without too many holes in it. :P

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