Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Farragut State Park is Grooming for Fat Bikes

Breaking news!  Farragut State Park has just started to groom trails specifically for fat bikes.  We went down to ride and chat with the rangers and here is what I can tell you:
1) Fat bike grooming is new for the park, so are still figuring things out and things will progress as winter evolves. Also, they are still working on getting the trails all ready and signed. Everything should be complete Thursday.
2) Fat bike riding is limited to the North section of the park only, so everything above Hwy 54. Winter trails are somewhat different than the summer trails. Stop in the info center and get the winter trails map...and I would suggest the summer map ($1) as well. 
3) They are grooming the Buggy Loop for fat bikes. There is a groomed trail down the middle of the loop making for Loop A (4 miles), Loop B (6 miles) and the whole Buggy Loop (9 miles).
4) All trails in the North section of the park are multi use. So, while these loops are groomed for bikes, they are also open to walker (yes, we saw several walkers on the groomed trails...bummer), snowshoers, XC skiers, and even, horse buggies or sleighs.
5) You do not need any "trail pass" to ride in the park, but you must have a State Park Parking Pass available at info center for $5 a day or added to you vehicle license at the DMV for $10 annually.
6) Lastly, the groomed XC trails south of the Hwy are NOT open to fat bikes.
Go ride as this is another great fat bike option and think about swinging by or dropping a note to rangers to let them know.  Now go ride...

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fat Biking off Schweitzer Roundabout

A couple weeks ago snow started to stick in the mountains, and more of interest at Schweitzer Mountain.  A few of us have been riding off the roundabout pretty much every day since.  We have noticed a lot more fat bike tracks and run into a lot more fat bike riders than usual...our group is growing!

Anyways, in an effort to keep the trails around the roundabout open as long as we can, eventually there will probably be more snow than we can keep up with on the trails, we have started packing and grooming the trails.  Which trails?  Oh yeah, specifically Lower Flow, Upper Waterfall and the new Loop Ski- View Ski Trails.  In addition, Schweitzer just ran the groomer down the Future Road so it is all primo.  The Service Road to Smelly Lake has had a lot of recent traffic and is packed and ridable all the way down to the lake.  So, there is a little something for every rider up there right now.  Easy wide trails on the Future and Service Roads, intermediate singletrack riding on Lower Flo and Upper Waterfall and more advanced singletrack riding (mostly because of the big climb) on the Loop Ski-View Ski. 

As of today there is a good 18" of snow in the roundabout area.  Everything is riding great!!  So, go take advantage of it while you can and check back for future updates.

evening snowshoe packing session, working in switchbacks
one of several views of the new Loop Ski-View Ski Trail

Flo Trail

Winter Fat Biking is Here

Yup, it is that time of year.  Snow is pilling up in the higher elevations (and more coming), and so many are parking there "regular tire" mountain bikes and hopping on the fat bikes for some snowy fun.  With this change is seasons, I have updated the Fat Bike page of this blog and put to sleep the Mountain Biking Conditions page...until Spring.

Check the resources and links on that page and feel free to drop me a line if you think something should be added or updated.  As grooming reports and trail conditions get updated I will post them there as soon as I can.  Until then, ride on...

Fat Bike Resources/Opportunities Page