Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Canfield Mountain - Tail of 2 Trails

Had some errands to run in CDA and decided to throw my bike in for a loop around Canfield Mountain.  For those unfamiliar, Canfield Mountain is an ORV park located due South from Hayden Lake proper.  And for those acronym deprived, ORV (Off Road Vehicle) is an area open to motorcycles, 4-Wheelers, etc.  For a detailed map and more trail details click here.

Now, I can hear some groaning already...ohh no, motorcycles!  I have ridden Canfield several times and although it is heavily used by motorized vehicles, I have had very limited encounters.  Those I have had, have all been positive.  I do usually go during the week and seem to have the place to myself.  Trails are marked as single-track or double-track and specify the type of traffic allowed.  Tread can be steep, loose, rutted, rooty (if that's a word) and overall challenging.  But there are over 30 miles of very diverse trails with lots of good trails for mountain biking.  Because of the dramatic differences between trails it is a good idea to consult the map before planning your trip.  Bottom line, it is another great riding opportunity close by with unique riding/challenges.

For my ride I started on the Fernan Lake Road trail head parking lot.  I started with a short 2 mile ride that followed the creek.  It was a nice trail that snaked through the tall grass and went through several, mild rocky sections.  Lots of mountain bike tracks.  This is an unmapped, out and back trail. 
From there I went up Trail #10 which had some very nice single track with big rounded switchbacks to start off.  However, it progressed into some very steep and loose climbs that were very challenging to clear.  A couple sections also had areas were the motorcycle had made grooves in the trail so deep that they were unrideable because you would hit your pedals.  I would not recommend going up this trail, down would be fine though.
motos rotor till the ground exposing rocks
 Once on top of the ridge I took the Jump Trail down which was super fun!  Fast track with some banked turns.  The Cave Trail is another option from here and is also a very enjoyable downhill.

Good afternoon of riding.  A little of everything and didn't see a soul.  Did I mention it was muddy...

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