Ride On! Southern ADK MTB Trail Guide

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SOUTHERN ADIRONDACK MTB TRAIL GUIDE

FREE TAKE ONE

2022-2023

119

MAPPED TRAILS

10 TRAIL SYSTEMS

Also... • • • •

PRO TIPS NEW TRAILS WINTER GROOMING SARATOGA SHREDDERS’ BIG VISION

...& much more!





W

e’re glad to bring you the second edition of Ride On!, a mountain-bike guide to 10 trail systems located in Warren and Saratoga counties, New York. These trails include flowy and technical singletrack for all levels of riders, from the beginning mountain biker to the seasoned expert looking for challenges even beyond purpose-built singletrack. What’s great about our region is the variety of trails offered for locals and visitors alike. Mountain biking continues to grow in popularity, and new trail systems are being developed specifically for mountain biking, designed and constructed by professional trail builders. This issue expands to include Daniels Road State Forest, maintained by the Saratoga Mountain Bike Association (SMBA), Moreau Lake State Park for those seeking hardcore, technical challenges, Kalabus Perry (KP) for twisty, wooded flow trails, and newly constructed Tupelo Community Forest in Greenfield, a gem of a system, especially for young families. Close to both Tupelo and Daniels Road is yet another trail system, called “The Range”, which is slated to open in October 2022. You’ll find maps for all these trails, plus those in Warren County that were featured in the first edition of Ride On!: Gurney Lane (now North and South), Brant Lake Bike Park, North Creek Ski Bowl, Garnet Hill, and two systems suitable for those just starting out in the sport, Cole’s Woods and Hudson Pointe Nature Preserve. If you are seeking to explore a mountain biking destination region in the Northeast, keep reading! The trail guide also includes articles on the Saratoga Shredders, winter fat-bike grooming (the sport is becoming year round), coaching tips to improve one’s skills, and a guide to other fun activities after the riding is over. And that’s the beauty of this region—the infrastructure complements the mountain biking with a variety of choices for lodging, dining, recreational amenities, history, and of course, highly soughtafter craft breweries! Finally, I’d like to thank my team at Ride On!...Alex Kochon, editor extraordinaire, Cayla Ferari, graphic-design maestro, and Wendy Matthews, keeper of the books. Our supporting advertisers deserve a big thanks because without their backing, this project would not happen. Last but not least, we had some excellent contributing authors for this issue who spoke to their expertise and added so much value to the guide. Thank you, Patrick Carey, Scott Wheeler, Josh Clevenstine, Kirby Van Vleet, and Drew Cappabianca. I look forward to seeing you on the trails!

Dave Matthews, Publisher

RideOn! 2022-23

SOUTHERN ADIRONDACKS WHAT’S INSIDE 5 Saratoga Shredders 10 Southern Adirondacks Regional Map 14 Winter Fat-Bike Grooming 19 Gurney Lane Bike Park 24 Pro-Coaching Tips 28 Brant Lake Bike Park 32 North Creek Ski Bowl 36 Garnet Hill Lodge Trails 37 Beyond the Trails: Warren County

38 40 42 44 46 47 47 48 ê

Kalabus Perry Daniels Road State Forest Moreau Lake State Park Tupelo & Graphite Range Cole’s Woods Hudson Pointe Nature Preserve Contributors Beyond the Trails: Saratoga County Cover by: Bob Rainville/ Focal Blue Photography

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SHREDDERS SARATOGA Saratoga Shredders photo

North Country MTB photo

G ROW IN G IN A L L D I R E C TI O N S

By Alex Kochon

I

f you regularly ride trails in the Saratoga area, chances are you’ve crossed paths with a large group of young riders known as the Saratoga Shredders. A couple evenings a week, they rotate between venues like Saratoga Spa State Park, Luther Forest, Kalabus Perry, and they’re pretty easy to spot, with girls of all ages on bikes and women guiding them. The group, which has exploded in size since June 2020 and is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has nearly 200 riders in its spring and fall programs and is continually expanding in line with its mission of “more girls on bikes”. In the spring of 2022, the Saratoga Shredders added a NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) mountain-bike team to its offerings. This option for older athletes is open to both girls and boys in grades 4-12, with racing opportunities for grades 6 and older. According to Anna Laloë, who started and leads the Shredders as a volunteer, NICA teams must be co-ed in order to score points. In a sport that has long

been dominated by men, she anticipated they would have an unusual ratio of three girls for each boy on the team. “If they choose to race, there’s now an outlet for them to race, but the idea is we’re making it a sport and an activity that they can do for their lifetime,” Laloë explained. “It’s about adventuring in the woods, not about going fast.” The “Little Shredders” continue as a non-competitive, girls-only group, ranging in age from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade. They focus on building bike-handling skills, confidence, and friendships on the trails, dividing into smaller groups of five to 10 riders of similar age and ability and two mentors for each group. 2021 saw the addition of “Shredders South” with about 20 girls riding once a week at Albany Pine Bush Preserve, North Bethlehem Park, and Colonie Town Park. In 2022, “Shredders North” became a reality, starting with about a dozen girls and six mentors that met weekly at the Gurney Lane North and South (Rush Pond) trails. The core group, the Saratoga Shredders, continues to ride at their usual

spots—Spa Park, Luther, and KP—twice a week from 5-6:30 p.m. With a total of about 60 mentors, the program is entirely volunteer-driven and offers full and partial scholarships to cover the $100-$200 cost of joining spring or fall sessions or a four-day summer camp (with all-girls and co-ed options). “We have a fleet of bikes we can give out to kids that need them,” Laloë said. “That’s the main reason we even charge for Shredders is that we can then make scholarships available to kids in need. We’re removing as many barriers as possible for girls to get into the sport.” Laloë, a 2017 and 2018 NYS Mountain Bike State Champion, former international ultimate-frisbee player, environmental consultant with a doctorate in geology, and mom of two girls (Anne-Sophie, 12, and Zoe, 9), thought back to 2018 when she started the Shredders to entice her daughters and other families to ride. “I printed out little pieces of paper for my kids to hand out to their friends at school that said, ‘We’re meeting in the Spa Park at 4 every Friday. Bring your girlfriends,’ ” she recalled. (continues on next page) RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

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Those initial meetups saw five, 10, maybe 15 riders at the most for 2018 through the fall of 2019. The Shredders took a break early in the pandemic, but when the New York governor released the 2020 camp guidelines, Laloë decided to call the Department of Health (DOH) to see if promoting Shredders was the right thing to do. The DOH couldn’t have been more encouraging, she said. “They said, ‘Yes, please do more of that. It’s an outdoor activity, you’re naturally socially distant on the bike, you’re outside with masks on, and this is exactly what we want kids to be able to do as a safe activity during this time,’ ” Laloë said. “The first practice was June of 2020 and we had 20 girls show up, and then it pretty much doubled weekly from then on out. That first fall we had over 200 girls register for Shredders.” As the program has grown, so has the number of women volunteering as mentors. Laloë explained all mentors go through training and a background check, and their abilities range from complete beginner (never having ridden trails) to advanced riders. A few times each year, the mentors get together for an adults-only ride, complete with beer and pizza sponsored by Common Roots Brewing and 9 Miles East afterward. Laloë said the result of more women

North Country MTB photo

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RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

riding has been part of the Shredders’ “unintentional amazingness”. “Not only are we getting girls on bikes, the amount of women riding mountain bikes now and that have friends to ride with through Shredders … is incredible,” she said. “I have a group of 20 women on a text string that can competently ride in SMBA, never mind Luther. These are bad-ass women who have either improved in the last couple years through Shredders, or those of us that have raced at a high level in the past and are really excited to ride with a group of women.” Less than a decade ago when Laloë raced, she toed the line with just a few other elite women in the Northeast. “Even if one or two of these 200 girls decide to race, that’s changing the face of the sport,” she said of the Shredders. “The idea, however, is not to get kids to race, the idea is literally just to get girls on bikes.” In addition to its weekly meetups, the Shredders host two outreach programs annually where they provide about 20 bikes to an organization. They travel to each organization, such as the Boys & Girls Club of Schenectady, hold a skills clinic, and donate bikes that kids can either take home or keep there to use after school.

North Country MTB photos

town Saratoga. The park, which would be operated and maintained by the city, would include a paved pump track with berms and rollers and be centrally located to encourage more kids to ride.

“One of my main goals has been to diversify Shredders as much as possible,” Laloë said. Saratoga Shredders became a 501(c)(3) in June 2021.

The Shredders set a fundraising goal of $400,000 for the build and hope to break ground in October 2022. As of April 2022, Laloë said they had the support of charitable organizations like the Saratoga Regional YMCA and ON DECK Saratoga, and the city was reviewing available land for the project.

In January 2022, a small group of young Shredders, including Laloë’s daughter, Anne-Sophie, presented to the Saratoga SpringsRecreationCommissiontheirgoal of creating a 2.5-acre bike park in down-

For summer events, the Shredders have a spring race set for June 12, 2022 (“Shredders Spring Send”), and a fall race (“Day of the Shred”) on Oct. 22, 2022, both in Spa Park.

For more information on Shredders programs & events, visit saratogashredders.com.





pg2. 4

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RideOn! PA R K I N F O R M AT I O N NAME & ADDRESS

FEE

MANAGED BY

CONTACT INFO

DOG POLICY

CLOSEST BIKE SHOPS

Gurney Lane MTB Park (North) 118 Gurney Ln., Queensbury

NO

Queensbury Parks & Rec.

518.761.8216 recreation.queensbury.net

Allowed under owner's control

Rick's Bike Shop, Queensbury (5 miles), Grey Ghost, Glens Falls (5 miles), Inside Edge, Queensbury (4 miles)

Gurney Lane South/Rush Pond West Mountain Rd. & Gurney Ln.

NO

Queensbury Parks & Rec.

518.761.8216 recreation.queensbury.net

Must be leashed

Rick's Bike Shop, Queensbury (5 miles), Grey Ghost, Glens Falls (5 miles), Inside Edge, Queensbury (4 miles)

Brant Lake Bike Park 27 Market St., Brant Lake

NO

The Hub

518.494.4822 thehubadk.com/mountain

Allowed under owner's control

The Hub (on site)

North Creek Ski Bowl 39 Ski Bowl Rd., North Creek

NO

Town of North Creek

518.251.2240 visitnorthcreek.org

Must be leashed

The Hub, Brant Lake (18 miles)

Garnet Hill Lodge Bike Trails 39 Garnet Hill Rd., North River

NO

Garnet Hill Lodge

518.251.2150 (bike shop) 518.251.2444 (lodge) garnet-hill.com

Allowed under owner's control

On-site bike shop for rentals

Kalabus Perry 99 Gailor Ln., Saratoga Springs

NO

Saratoga County

saratogacountyny.gov/countyinitiatives/ saratoga-county -trails-initiative

Allowed under owner's control

Adirondack Ultra Cycling, Schuylerville (5 miles), Grey Ghost, Saratoga (10 miles), Trek Bicycle, Saratoga (9 miles)

Daniels Road State Forest 157 Daniels Rd., Saratoga Springs

NO*

Saratoga Mountain Bike Association (SMBA)

smba@saratogamtb.org saratogamtb.org/daniels-road/

Allowed under owner's control

Grey Ghost, Saratoga (3 miles), Trek Bicycle, Saratoga (2 miles)

Moreau Lake State Park 605 Old Saratoga Rd., Gansevoort

NO

State of NY Parks & Rec.

518-793-0511 parks.ny.gov/parks/moreaulake

Must be leashed

Evergreen Bicycle Works, Fort Edward (8 miles), Grey Ghost, Glens Falls (8 miles), Rick's Bike Shop (9 miles)

Tupelo Community Forest 250 Greene Rd., Greenfield Center

NO*

Saratoga PLAN & SMBA

trails@tupelocf.org saratogaplan.org

Allowed under owner's control

Grey Ghost, Saratoga (8 miles), Trek Bicycle, Saratoga (8 miles)

Cole's Woods 40 Parkview Ave., Queensbury

NO

Glens Falls Rec. Dept.

518-615-0446 cityofglensfalls.com/25/ Recreation-Department

Must be leashed, not allowed in winter

Inside Edge (park adjacent), Grey Ghost, Glens Falls (1.5 miles), Rick's Bike Shop, Queensbury (2.5 miles)

Hudson Pointe Nature Preserve Hudson Pointe Blvd. Queensbury

NO

Queensbury Parks & Rec.

518.761.8216 recreation.queensbury.net

Allowed under owner's control

Grey Ghost, Glens Falls (5 miles), Rick's Bike Shop, Queensbury (6 miles), Inside Edge, Queensbury (6 miles)

*SMBA membership encouraged

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE:

www.rideonNY.com

RideOn! is online, complete with a calendar of riding events (updated periodically), including the annual RideOn! Weekend—back-to-back days of non-competitive group riding (and good food & drinks) in the Southern Adirondacks—slated for late September 2022! Registration and complete info, along with other local events you won’t want to miss, will be posted on our website. RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

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MAKING IT HAPPEN By Scott Wheeler

W I T H FAT B I K I N G AT G U R N E Y L A N E

t always brings a smile to my face seeing the parking lots full on a cold, winter day. I’m not pulling into the local ski resort though, rather I’ve just pulled into Gurney Lane Park in Queensbury, NY.

a means for ice fishermen to pull their shanties onto frozen lakes and ponds, has evolved into a versatile mode of ice, snow, and backwoods transportation. It’s cheaper than an ATV or snowmobile and leaves a 22-inch-wide path for winter riders.

I

On any given weekend during the winter months, it has become a common sight to see people unloading fat bikes to ride the groomed trails, some local while others have driven from as far away as Boston or New York City for a weekend trip to a now-popular destination. And it’s not just people on fat bikes enjoying the trails—folks are out there on backcountry skis and snowshoes as well. Snowshoes. That’s how it all started. A group of locals would tackle the trails on snowshoes, often in pairs to even out the trail as best we could. Up Salsa and down Race Course, maybe one more loop, and we were exhausted. Then we’d come back the next day and ride. It was great, but boy, it was a lot of work and required a lot of effort. There had to be a better way.

After convincing the Town of Queensbury Parks & Recreation board to let a group of mountain bikers drive this crazy contraption on the town’s trails, and the generosity of a few local businesses to pay for the roughly $4,400-dollar machine, Gurney Lane had its first Snowdog in early 2019. Little did we know at the time, but this was a monumental turning point for winter fat biking in our backyard. The first year of grooming with the Snowdog was a success, but not without a steep learning curve. Much like a real

dog, we learned our Snowdog liked to roll over, too. While there was no belly rubbing going on, the crew of volunteers operating the 350-pound Snowdog learned quickly how to best make use of the machine. It was certainly faster than packing down trails on snowshoes, but it was still a lot of hard work, and you always sleep good at night after a few hours of using it. The results were worth it. We were grooming the entire trail network at Gurney Lane in about 2 ½ hours*, and the quality of the groomed surface was beyond anything achieved on snowshoes. (*Note: That was on a good day. Grooming 6 inches or more of fresh snow could take twice as long, sometimes requiring snowshoes to cut in the trail first.) The groomed trails were fast and flowy, and the fun factor with fat biking just

And it turns out, there was. Enter the Snowdog™: a snowmobile with its skis chopped off and a handle on the back to steer with while standing on a grooming sled. This machine, which originated as 16

RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

Scott Wheeler photo


went up by a huge margin. We learned as we went and had great success, most of the time. By the end of the season, word had gotten out about fat biking at Gurney. No longer was it just the locals riding the trails, riders were making the drive up on the weekends to check out what was going on. Even during the weeknights, the number of lights threading their way amongst trees had grown. Fat biking at night? Yeah, it’s totally epic. The popularity even sparked off a winter version of Churney Gurney, with the first Fat Tire Bike Day in January of 2019, which has grown every year since.

Scott Wheeler photo

Also growing every year has been the number of trails at Gurney Lane and more recently with the addition of new singletrack trails at the adjacent Rush Pond trail network, now known as Gurney South. These trails are all machine built, and they make for insanely fun, groomed, fat-bike trails. However, the challenge with grooming at Gurney South was getting the Snowdog over there, which requires driving across multiple roads and a bunch of pavement. I quickly learned the plastic grooming sled was not a fan of that abuse and needed another solution. Realizing this logistical challenge and the time required to groom both trail networks, I proposed the idea of a second Snowdog, one that would have

its own “Dog House” (storage shed) at Rush Pond. Another Snowdog would allow both trail systems to be groomed simultaneously in a conquer-and-divide approach, and the redundancy in grooming equipment would help during breakdowns and those previously mentioned rollovers and belly-up moments. With the nod of approval from Queensbury Parks & Recreation, we began our first fundraising effort. See, over the years I have had many conversations with fellow riders while grooming. Often, it’s talking about the conditions of the trails, letting them check out the Snowdog, or advising new riders to the area on which trails to check out. (E-20 and Tango, of course, and check out Gurney South now!) A common question about volunteer grooming is how one could help or donate to the effort. Money for gas, maintenance, or even beer for our achy muscles from grooming have all been offered over the years. Up until then, it had always been the few local groomers donating both time and money to make it happen. So, it was our hope that the community support for fat biking would come through, that a fundraiser might generate enough money for a second Snowdog and its accessories. And boy, did it ever! The 2021 fundraiser was a huge success! The support of the community was never more evident than the night we held a fundraising effort at Common Roots Brewing Co. (CRBC), one last push to get us past the finish line of our $5,000 goal. The Weber family had graciously offered to host the event for us at their brewery, and the turnout was huge. Riders throughout the region showed up in force and made the fundraiser a smashing success. I even parked the Snowdog in CRBC’s Biergarten for people to check out, and some light flurries that evening added to the magic. And the best is yet to come. With more

Bob Rainville/Focal Blue Photography

trail expansion planned for Gurney South in the summer of 2022, we will have even more groomed trails next winter. The growth and success of grooming has been both a challenging and rewarding effort, and the success of the fundraiser has shown how great of a riding community we have in our area. We have a great group of volunteers for winter grooming who also contribute during trail cleanup days in the spring and fall. Just as important, many of our volunteers are from local businesses that have provided financial support since the beginning. Without them we wouldn’t have either of the Snowdogs, so many thanks to Underdog Timing, North Country Subaru, Rick’s Bike Shop, Grey Ghost Bicycles, and Fountain Square Outfitters. And to my fellow fat bikers, Ride On!

(continues on next page)

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OF WINTER FAT B I K I N G Bob Rainville/Focal Blue Photography

Adjust Your Tire Pressure: Depends on rider’s weight, but typically between 2 and 12 psi. It’s better to go softer for winter riding as it allows more rubber to contact the snow for better traction. Lower pressure is needed with soft, wet snow, while firm, packed snow allows higher pressure (and makes for a faster ride). Use Wide Tires: True fat tires range from 3.8” to 5” wide (not to be confused with “mid-fat” tires, which aren’t quite fat enough for most winter-riding conditions, and range from 2.8”-3.5” wide). Look back and be mindful of the track your tires leave. Anything more than a slight tire impression (and more of a rut), let air out of your tires to reduce the contact pressure on the snow.

DO

Pedal Smoothly: Winter fat biking is like a combination of alpine skiing and biking; you need to be comfortable doing two-wheel slides at times, not panicking and hitting your brakes. Learning how to pedal smoothly is key to climbing in the winter, otherwise you’ll spin out your rear tire. Learn to Corner: While you might be able to get away with a lack of cornering skills in the summer, that’s not going to cut it in the winter. Mastering MTB cornering means angling the bike under your body, so that your body’s weight is vertically above the crank. If someone took a photo of you doing this, your bike would be tilted, but your body would be more vertical, maybe slightly tilted towards the inside of the corner. On slippery snow, this equates to more grip. Rather than lean with the bike, let the bike float under you, so your body can maintain the momentum and direction in a corner. Wear Breathable Layers: Fat biking works up a sweat, so be sure to wear clothing that wicks moisture and breathes. Multiple layers (like a quality baselayer, thermal vest, and windproof shell jacket with a breathable back panel) are ideal, but don’t overdress. Wear gloves, or liner gloves inside outer gloves or mittens on really cold days. Some people use “pogies”, which are handlebar-mounted covers you slip your hands into. Always wear a helmet, and keep your head warm with a thermal liner (beanie) underneath. Stay Hydrated: On below-freezing days, hydration can be a unique challenge as the tubes and mouthpieces on hydration backpacks can freeze. Instead of using a pack, fill up two 20 oz. bottles with lukewarm water. The movement while riding will keep them from freezing as quickly. You can also add electrolytes to the water, which helps your body out and also increases the time it takes the water to freeze. Prepare to Make Bike Angels: Otherwise known as crashing on your fat bike, it’s the nature of the sport, but fortunately, snow tends to be much more forgiving than bare ground. If you do fall, be sure to fill in your divots so as not to leave gaping holes in the trails. Bike angels off to the side of trails can remain for others to enjoy. Feel Free to Snowshoe & Backcountry Ski: Doing so won’t ruin groomed trails for fat bikers. If you’re snowshoe running, be mindful of the tracks you’re leaving. Small snowshoes on soft snow can create post holes.

DON’T

Be a Trail Grinch: Look behind you, make sure your tracks are not leaving ruts or post holes.

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Walk on the Trails: Hiking in boots (without snowshoes) creates tracks and ruts that ruin groomed trails. Stick to non-MTB, hiking trails or wear snowshoes. Ride on Freshly Groomed Trails: Trails groomed immediately after a snowstorm should be allowed time to set up overnight, where the colder temperatures will firm up the base of the groomed trail. Ride in 35F+ Temps: If it’s 35 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, please stay off groomed fat-bike trails to keep the snow base from further breaking down. Wait until it gets below freezing again and for the trails to firm up before you ride.

RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

ABOUT T H E AU T H O R : Scott is a local mountainbike advocate who enjoys watching the sport grow in the area. He grew up in Hartford and now has a family of four, with his wife, Kristine, and two sons, Nathan and Ryan. They all enjoy the outdoors: riding, skiing, hiking, soccer, and much more. Scott is a volunteer soccer coach, former Cub Scout leader, and has been mountain biking (and road biking) for over a decade.



GURNEY LANE

Kyle Esposito photo

MTB PARK

ABOUT: Gurney Lane Mountain Bike Park is now “Gurney North” and “Gurney South.” With 7 kilometers of new singletrack trails within the Rush Pond Trail corridor built on over 100 acres of Queensbury town property, this park is on its way to becoming a destination mountain-bike trail network. According to Queensbury Parks & Recreation Director Steve Lovering, “Once completed, the Gurney Lane-Rush Pond bike trail corridor will reach 40-50 km, an industry benchmark for riders willing to travel to find riding, which adds significantly to the local economy.” Since its creation in 2014, Gurney Lane bike park’s annual user counts have doubled to nearly 29,600 in 2021! THE LATEST: For summer 2022, an additional 4-5 km of singletrack will be built, connecting the northern (Uncas, Mohican) and southern (Hawkeye, Excess East and West, Newton B-Line) trails within Gurney South. The goal is to eventually connect Gurney South to a singletrack loop at Queensbury High School as well as its southern terminus at Farr Lane. Connection between the two is being made possible by a recreation easement on property given by the Great Escape theme park.

Ross Mealey photo

THE TRAILS: Gurney’s trails are machine built, flowy and twisty, and make for fun cruising. Starting at Gurney North, riders could potentially ride a two-hour perimeter loop throughout the two trail systems, with only one road crossing at the Aviation Road-Gurney Lane intersection (currently the northern parking lot for the Rush Pond Trail). New trail design and construction will be done by Steve Ovitt and his crew from Wilderness Property Management. EVENTS: • Churney Gurney MTB Festival: 1st weekend in Aug. (see pg. 4) • Gurney Lane Fat Bike Day: typically in January 20

RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

Ross Mealey photo




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HIT THE

TRAILS A BALANCED A P P R OAC H

By Patrick Carey

H

ello shredder! Have you ever felt yourself pushed around by the trails? Ever gone over the bars or washed out in corners? If we’re being honest, we all have. What if I told you that it’s almost entirely preventable with simple changes to our body position to improve balance? In fact, without learning anything else, we can make mountain biking smoother, faster, safer, and more fun. This improved balance will serve us at all times, and it will become a subconscious part of our riding. Watch the best riders in the world and you’ll see this is how they pilot their bikes – always in balance, making the bike change angles at will. Allow me to teach you how to do the same. The Hinge This is the foundation for all riding out of the saddle. (Everything cool happens out of the saddle: cornering, riding up and down steep things, heavy braking, pumping, jumping, hopping.) The key concept here is to ALWAYS be in balance with 100% of our weight in our feet (Figure 1). 26

RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

Figure 1: A proper hinge on flat ground. Knees and belly button over the bottom bracket. Elbows down, not flared up or out. Spine is straight. Low chest and shoulders create available arm travel to change the angle of the bike. All photos courtesy of Patrick Carey.

This may sound familiar as “heavy feet, light hands.” When our hands aren’t bearing our weight, we shed tension, and we become free to make the bike change angles. These are front-back (up & down things) and side to side (leaning the bike in corners). Our center of gravity is just below our belly buttons. This point should always stay vertically above the bottom bracket (the middle of our crankset). Hinging by moving our hips rearward and folding chest down with a straight back enables this through our full range of motion. Most riders have a tendency to carry knees and hips too far forward. This pulls us off balance and causes burning quads on descents. If your quads are on fire, push your knees back and the fatigue will stop immediately. If your hips are hovering above the saddle on level ground, they’re too far forward. On the trail, at least 70% of riders suffer from both.

Row / Anti-Row Once we’re balanced, we are able to easily change the angle of the bike independent of our body. This is primarily a front-back movement, which works along the natural arc the handlebars travel around the bottom bracket. Human nature causes most of us to push and pull the bars from our chest. That push/pull works against the arc and moves the rider around without much change to the bike. This leads to constantly being off balance front or back, which is tiring and makes riding difficult. A better way to go is to focus on moving the bars front and back. Time these movements to match the angle of the bike to the terrain it is about to encounter. This easily changes the angle of the bike and allows us to use our lats, instead of our comparatively weak arms. Goodbye arm pump!


It’s All in the Hips The biggest change for most riders will be learning to initiate movements with our hips, rather than knees or upper body. Our hips are part of our posterior chain, a group of muscles built for bearing our weight and exerting significant power (deadlift anyone?). Unfortunately, most riders build habits of being quad-dominant (squatting) and focus on their upper bodies, rather than hips. To ride in balance and initiate movements on the bike, start all movements by first moving the hips. Learn where they are in space and use that to always be in balance. The Movements When the terrain goes up, we stand up, push our hips forward, pull our hands rearward to our hips (not up to our chest). This is a row (Figure 2). It is also the start of jumping and hopping. When the terrain goes down, we hinge our hips rearward, lower chest down, and hands press forward. This is an anti-row (Figure 3). It is also the second half of a jump or hop.

COACH

PATRICK’S

PRO Figure 3: Anti-rowing down a feature in the trail. Knees and belly button are still over the bottom bracket. Hinge at the hips, chest lowers down. Hands press forward, not down.

TIPS

• Learn to be engaged on the bike, not tense or passive. New riders are often tense, then become passive. The best riders are stable and engaged. • If our quads are burning, our knees are too far forward. Push them back and it will stop. This also puts us in balance over the pedals. • Washing out in turns is usually caused by too much weight or tension in the hands. Shift your weight to your feet and learn to initiate corners by leaning the bike, rather than steering. • When standing out of the saddle, move your hips up and back to hinge. Much of what you will feel is driving the knees back. Learn this motion and make it automatic. • Stop preloading or manualing! Preloading is an unnecessary setup maneuver that becomes a hazardous crutch. Manualing throws us off balance. It’s a fun trick, but it’s a dangerous habit when used to lift the front wheel.

A B O U T T H E AU T H O R :

Figure 2: Rowing up an inclined feature in the trail. Hips drive forward to stand up tall. Hands pulled rearward to the hips. Knees and belly button over the bottom bracket for balance.

Patrick Carey is a nationally renowned coach with Speed Science, RideLogic, and Lee Likes Bikes. His career is dedicated to helping athletes find growth, joy, and performance. Patrick trains athletes full time and coaches skills both locally and around the country. He lives in Keene, NY, surrounded by some of the best mountain biking in the world. www.coachpatrick.bike RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

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BRANT LAKE

BIKE PARK AT T H E H U B

ABOUT: The coolest thing about Drew Cappabianca’s Brant Lake Bike Park (BLBP) is that it’s a totally self-contained mountain-bike park, bike-repair shop, and café located in one of the Adirondacks’ most scenic spots. This singletrack system (built in 2018) has plenty of challenging and technical riding for intermediate to advanced riders, culminating in a spectacular summit view of Brant Lake. Situated on Bartonville Mountain, the private trail system is free, allows dogs under control of the owner, and offers almost 8 miles of mostly hand-built singletrack (except for the recently opened, machine-built flow trail, the Golden Carrot). Once you’re tuckered out and back down at The Hub, stop in and say hi to Drew and the crew, sit back, drink a cold beverage, and get something to eat! 30

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DREW’S RIDE: Stairway to Heaven > Golden Carrot > Stairway > Rick’s Run > Bartonville Summit > Constellation > cutover to reverse direction on Golden Carrot > Rebound. The beauty of BLBP is that the trails can be ridden in both directions, which just adds to the mileage and rush. Finish up by cruising back down to The Hub via Stairway to Heaven. BUILDER NOTES: “Brant Lake Bike Park was a really challenging build … but what a great ride with all the rock riding there. The first trail we built for the bike park was a hiking trail to the summit of Bartonville to overlook Brant Lake, because there wasn’t a single place in the community of Horicon where you could climb to a mountain top of a public trail and look down on the very namesake of your community. Every kid in that town should have the opportunity to walk up and look down on where they live…” —Steve Ovitt (WPM Trails) HIKING TRAIL: From the parking lot to the summit of Bartonville Mt., about 1.5 miles roundtrip (2/3 of a mile to the view; ¾ of a mile to the summit). Challenging but suitable for “determined children”, according to Drew. The hike takes 60-80 minutes (or more, depending on how long you want to enjoy the view). If you’re looking for more hiking distance, feel free to walk the mountain-bike trails, just yield to riders. NIGHT LIFE: The Hub offers a variety of musical entertainment on weekend evenings, late June through September. Check out the current schedule at www.thehubadk.com.


Kyle Esposito photo

BRANT LAKE & BEYOND By Drew Cappabianca

A MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER

ince the last publishing of Ride On! we’ve been able to add a new mile of new machine-built flow trail called Golden Carrot. We also made machine-built improvements to the climb on Stairway to Heaven, re-routed Constellation, and improved the drainages on Rebound. In addition to building new trail and trail improvements, we’ve developed a series of “quick link” trails that link existing trails when they’re close in proximity. This allows a variety of different ways to experience the park than before.

People often ask me what’s next for Brant Lake Bike Park and the answer is, “nothing”. While there is still potential for more trail development, there are many more options for trail development throughout the county. I’m sure we’ll be back hammering away on Bartonville Mountain at some point, but for now I’m focusing my efforts on trail projects with more potential to make a bigger impact in the local MTB scene.

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The most important MTB trail project is at the North Creek Ski Bowl and adjacent Vanderwhacker Wild Forest. This project would connect the top of the Long Trail at the Ski Bowl with the existing Rabbit Pond ski trail on state land and make MTB-specific, trail-tread improvements on the ski trail. The result would be a 6-mile long loop up the Ski Bowl and through the beautiful Rabbit Pond area of the wild forest. Last year I worked with the DEC to get approval to do it and was granted approval in fall 2021. All we need to do is raise enough money to get the trail crew Te d

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started. With enough support this could be completed as soon as 2023! Chestertown is full of potential for MTB trail development. The town has a couple of larger properties: the existing Dynamite Hill Recreation Center and the recently acquired Cunningham Community Forest. Both areas have been professionally evaluated for potential trail development. This year I applied for grant funding to start trail construction at Dynamite Hill but have not yet heard the determination. In any event, you can look forward to enjoying a couple of miles of beginner/ intermediate terrain in the near future! Unlike the Dynamite Hill area, which has other existing uses such as crosscountry and downhill skiing, the Cunningham Community Forest is completely undeveloped. We’ll discuss that opportunity in the next edition of Ride On! when the projects we just mentioned have come to fruition! We’ll also discuss the bigger picture, the connection of Brant Lake Bike Park, Dynamite Hill, and the Cunningham Community Forest at that time into one massive trail network. Until then, see you on the trail! RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

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Kyle Esposito photo

NORTH CREEK

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SKI BOWL BIKE PARK ABOUT: The North Creek Ski Bowl offers 25 kilometers (16 miles) of pro-built singletrack winding throughout Little Gore Mountain. The park is less than a mile from the village of North Creek and connects via the Carol Thomas Trail, which also makes for a great starting point (parking available at trailhead). The signature trail at the Ski Bowl Bike Park (998’ base elevation) is the 3-mile Long Trail, which starts near the top of the Village chairlift and climbs toward the top of the Hudson chairlift to 1900’ elevation. RABBIT POND TRAIL: Heading steadily up the Long Trail, a switchback flow trail with a few challenging sections, intermediate and expert riders can continue past the big “table rock” on hand-built trails to the junction of the Rabbit Pond Trail, a backcountry skiing and hiking trail that is considered “old school” for mountain biking (see Drew Cappabianca’s narrative on plans to improve the Rabbit Pond Trail on pg. 29). If riders want to continue past table rock, they’ll eventually connect to the Rabbit Pond Trail for an exhilarating downhill (a bit challenging in spots, but manageable) to the junction with the Raymond Brook and Ski Bowl Connector trails. Riders can then choose to turn right on the Ski Bowl Connector for a moderate downhill cruise back to the Ski Bowl or choose the steeper downhill Lower Raymond Brook Trail, which terminates at Route 28. A right turn on the highway will lead back to the Ski Bowl in less than a mile. (If you parked at the Carol Thomas trailhead, simply turn left off the “dump road” and you’ll reach the trail heading back to the parking lot.) Dogs must be leashed. BUILDER NOTES: “Hands down my favorite ride is the Long Trail. It’s over three miles long, with 1,000 feet of elevation gain, yet as a rider in my late 50’s, I can enjoy a nonstop ride to the top. The descent is so long that you think about stopping, but the riding is too fun to stop.” —Steve Ovitt (WPM Trails)

UHTA photo

Kyle Esposito photo

BIG NEWS, FUTURE PLANS: In early 2022, NY Governor Kathy Hochul announced plans to support funding for increased development of mountain-biking and hiking trails at the Ski Bowl as part of a larger plan to increase recreational opportunities in North Creek. This could significantly increase the size of the trail system for mountain biking. The Warren County Economic Development Corporation has identified the construction of more mountain-bike trails in the region as a priority in growing tourism. As such, North Creek is well positioned to see its mountain bike trail system bloom and lure more riders as the trail system expands. UHTA: The Upper Hudson Trails Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer organization based in North Creek and in agreement with the town of Johnsburg to maintain trails in the region. A true grassroots group, locals Ed Orr, Dave Putman, and Dick Carlson place “boots on the ground” to plan, maintain, and advocate for trail-based recreation in the North Creek region. For more information or to join, go to www.uppertrails.org. RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

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GARNET HILL LODGE M O U N TA I N B I K E T R A I L S ABOUT: Just 10 miles beyond North Creek (north on Rt. 28, then left on 13th Lake Road in North River), Garnet Hill Lodge is best known for its vast cross-country ski trail system but also offers 7 kilometers of purpose-built singletrack (since 2018). When added to the original hand-built singletrack, the system has more than 10 kilometers of singletrack riding and at least another 10 km of doubletrack ski trails that are dry enough to be ridden. In addition, one can stay overnight at the Log House

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or other lodging offerings on the property, and dining is also available. After the ski season ends, the ski shop reverts to a full-service bike shop with rentals. No charge to ride the trails in 2022. BUILDER NOTES: “To develop a smooth, flowy, low-end intermediate, accessible-to-all and fun-for-all trail in basically the interior Adirondacks, that was a real challenge, but at Garnet Hill it came out. … You can take a mixed group there and ride, and everybody can have a good time.” —Steve Ovitt (WPM Trails) EVENTS: • Garnet Hill Grit: Sept. 18, 2022 (www.garnet-hill.com/events)


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produce and handmade goods at various farmers’ markets throughout the summer, including Glens Falls (South St. Pavilion, Saturdays, May-Oct., 8 a.m. to noon), Bolton Landing (Fridays, late June through early Sept., 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Chestertown (Wednesdays, midJune through late Sept., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and North Creek (Thursdays, midJune through late Sept., 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.).

North Creek Farmers Market photo

f you’re visiting any of the multi-use bike parks we mapped out in Warren County (like Gurney, Cole’s Woods, Hudson Pointe, Brant Lake, Garnet Hill, and the North Creek Ski Bowl), there are lots of non-MTB stops you should make while you’re here. The Lake George area, Queensbury/Glens Falls, Chestertown/Brant Lake, and North Creek all have unique offerings, and while we don’t have space to recommend them all, here are a few local favorites.

GRAB A COLD ONE: Where’s the nearest watering hole? Depending on where you ride, Common Roots Brewing Company (South Glens Falls), Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery (Queensbury), Battle Hill Brewing Company (Fort Ann), The Hub (Brant Lake), becks TAVERN (North Creek), and Garnet Hill Lodge (North River) all have tasty beverages for over21 riders. Sit back and relax, enjoy some food (where available), and take some beer or spirits to go. TAKE THE EASY WAY UP: A state-owned alpine ski resort in the winter, Gore Mountain (793 Peaceful Valley Road, North Creek) keeps its gondola rolling in the summer and fall. Take a scenic sky ride on the Northwoods Gondola and hike or bike down, or simply soak up the views at the top then ride the gondola back down. Gore has singletrack and open ski trails for downhill riding, and an easy warmup loop and skills park at the base. Must bring your own bike. Bonus: winter season-pass holders can ride the gondola and bike for free. Visit goremountain.com for more info.

Amanda Metzger/LGRCC photo

Dave Kraus/KrausGrafik.com photo

Gore Mountain photo

GO FOR A DIP: There’s nothing like a post-ride swim to cool off, especially when you’re so close to Lake George (“The Queen of American Lakes”) and other swimming holes. Lake George has several public beaches: Million Dollar State Beach ($10 per car to park), Shepard Park Beach on Canada St., Usher Park Beach on Rt. 9L, and Lake George Dog Beach across from Battlefield Park on Beach Rd. Gurney Lane’s town pool is open daily in the summer (late July through mid-Aug.), 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Admission for adults and children ages 5+ is $5. Children under 5 and seniors 60+ are free.) Up in Brant Lake, the town beach is located on Route 8, across the pond from Brant Lake Bike Park. The North Creek Ski Bowl also has a springfed pond and town beach (Dr. Jacques Grunblatt Beach) with amenities, like restrooms, tennis courts, baseball fields, a playground, and picnic pavilion. GET ON THE WATER: If you’d rather be on a boat, Lake George Village has plenty of ways to see the lake from the upper deck (like aboard one of the Lake George Steamboat Company’s three ships — the Minne Ha Ha, Mohican, or Lac du Saint Sacrement — on guided tours ranging from 1 to 6 hours long). Just across from Brant Lake Bike Park, there’s fishing/ paddling access on the north side of Mill Pond. You can fish from the walkway over the pond or launch a canoe or kayak at The Hub’s dock on Brant Lake. For even better fishing, drive 15 min northeast of The Hub along Rt. 8, turn right onto Lily Pond Road, drive another mile, and take a short walk into Lily Pond. RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

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Amber Bleau-Green photo


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KALABUS PERRY SARATOGA COUNTY FOREST

ABOUT: Affectionately known as KP, this county forest was originally used for lumber and BOCES (Boards of Cooperative Educational Services) forestry classes. In 2006, the first mountain bike trail was built (the blue trail), and about five years later, the county white trail was added, along with a designated parking area at the end of Gailor Lane. Around this time, the county forester contacted Kevin Ballou, who’s home bordered the forest, about developing mountain-bike trails. According to Kevin, “The forester had no problem with singletrack trails, but there is no formal agreement to maintain them, and the county does not formally recognize the mountain bike trails unfortunately.”

Kevin Ballou photos

would go out and do laps at race pace to train for racing. Now I’m five years removed from racing and I’m not adding trails, but I like to think of places where the trails can be modified or enhanced to be more fun to ride, like adding some berms instead of steep turns, or some bridges over wet areas.”

Kevin, a former mountain-bike racer who works as an environmental scientist/project manager for Precision Environmental Services, became the lead on building trails. Today, KP boasts eight trails, plus a pump track and skills park, that add up to 13 miles of beginner/intermediate riding.

In the winter, Kevin grooms the trails with a snowmobile and relies on a “small but dedicated” group of about 15 volunteers year-round to help with ongoing maintenance. He said the group could use more help, especially more leadership, and assistance establishing a more formal arrangement with the county.

“Back in the early 2000s, there were primarily rugged trail systems around [the area] that hone technical ability, but not many that you just settle into and ride at an endurance pace,” Kevin noted. “The first trail I built was just a 3-mile loop, and I

KEVIN’S RIDE: “I like riding everything downhill from the Tibetan flags. I’d say my favorite is to take Green (Death Star) counterclockwise from the flags, especially in winter. It’s like a luge run—super fun.”

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Kate Walsh photo

Shannon Phelps photo

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DANIELS ROAD

SARATOGA MOUNTAIN BIKE A S S O C I AT I O N By Josh Clevenstine ABOUT: Daniels Road State Forest... Stables... Skidmore... The Snowlercoaster... SMBA... The Mighty SMBA (this writer’s personal addition & favorite)... when a mountain bike trail network has this many names, you know it’s something special. Sitting just north of downtown Saratoga off of Daniels Road in the town of Greenfield lies well over 20 miles of tauntingly beckoning rock lines, root sprawls, and rock gardens that will initiate any rider to a skill and conditioning level higher then they entered with. The trails were constructed in the ’90s using the old-school rakeand-ride method, where the original builders raked in tracks that linked the jaw-dropping natural rock features together. Fast forward to the 2020s and the old lines are well established while new trails are still being added using the same method. While the state park isn’t known for particularly high elevation, it never stops throwing notably technical punchy climbs and descents at its riders. Trail users have two parking options: one on the side of Daniels Road at the intersection of Daniels and Clinton, and another parking lot, “The Clearing,” which is at the end of a DEC dirt access road just east of the aforementioned lot.

Dogs are welcome but should be under verbal command. The park offers year-round riding as winter fat biking at SMBA has been exponentially growing in popularity over the last few years. There are no machine groomers – the trails are all tracked in by volunteers – help is ALWAYS appreciated, and the results of a packed-down few inches of snow over all the technical chunk makes for a fast flowing “Snowlercoaster” that keeps its users coming back again and again with smilesa-plenty! JOSH’S RIDE: My favorite ride is a circuit that runs out to Upper Canyon and back. Starting from the clearing lot: Pulaski/Sybil/ Swamp pAss/Ridgeline/Dam/Putnam/Porcupine (main trail)/ Devils Den/Upper Canyon/Backstretch/The Rookery/High Roller Bee/Jump Line (Carriage Trail)/Stonewall/Power Lines/ Chutes & Ladders/Power Lines/107/Pilgrim. IF YOU’RE NEW TO SMBA: If you’re new to SMBA *and* advanced tech riding in general, I’d recommend starting out with trails like Pilgrim, 107, Stonewall Extension, Stonewall, Rogue 1, Witch-hunt, Goody 2 Shoes, and Monkey. Despite their proximity to the parking lot, work your way up to the likes of Pulaski and especially Sybil. If you’re new to SMBA but feel confident in your tech skills, head out to Ridgeline, Here To There and Bee. If those are agreeably challenging and you have more in the tank, the “Dam Loop” section is a challenging favorite and is the combination of the trails “Putnam” & “The Rookery.” Run them as a clockwise loop. EXTRA: For a more in-depth dive into the year-round riding at Daniels Rd., interested prospective riders can find detailed trail videos and write-ups on the “Josh Clevenstine” YouTube channel. If the custom music in these videos is to your liking, Josh plays on the third Saturdays of the month at a mountain-biker owned pub in Glens Falls called The Grateful Den. Happy riding friends! RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

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Brandon Estes/ Blue Collar Riders Co. photo

MOREAU LAKE STATE PARK

ABOUT: Moreau Lake State Park encompasses 6,250 acres in Saratoga County and offers rugged trails atop the Palmerton Range ridge. The trails were built for hiking years ago, but hardy and technically skilled mountain bikers have been exploring them since the ’80s when mountain bikes first came on the scene. As such, riding Moreau is considered “old school,” and you can expect to carry your bike in the tough spots throughout the massive trail system (32 miles/51 km).

SPIRE FALLS MOUNTAIN RIDE: Local legend Kirby Van Vleet offers up a suggested 90-minute loop for expert technical riders who want the ultimate challenge: Begin at trailhead parking lot off Spier Falls Road (near intersection 28) > Take Baker Trail (green markers), climb until intersection with Ridge Run (pink) > Bear left, continue climbing to “fire pit overlook” with views looking east of Moreau Lake & Vermont > Continue right on Ridge Run (pink), with punchy climbs & technical descents > Follow pink through next 2 intersections > At intersection 17, turn right on Western Ridge (yellow) > Continue until intersection with Ridge Run (pink) at a stone bench > Turn right on Ridge Run, continue until intersection with Baker Trail (green) > Turn left on Baker, ride downhill to parking lot. LAKE BONITA RIDE: Kirby also recommends a two-hour ride starting from the Lake Bonita parking lot on the southern end For more info, visit parks.ny.gov/parks/moreaulake/details.aspx

of the park at the summit of Wilton Mountain Road. Again, this ride is recommended for technically proficient riders. Follow white markers from trailhead to 1st intersection > Bear right, follow green markers (note the stone bridges on this hand-built trail) > Cross the clearing/gravel road overlooking Lake Bonita, turn right onto Lake Ann Trail (purple) > Continue technical climbing/descending on Lake Ann Trail > Pass Lake Ann on left & a lean-to on the right > Turn right at next intersection with High Rock Trail (a.k.a. Eastern Ridge Two, “The Bird Trail”) (red/yellow) > Follow red/yellow for about 1 mile of technical ups/downs > Turn left at intersection with Eastern Ridge Trail (dark blue) > Ride technical climbs/ descents to 4-way intersection where White Birch Trail (white) enters from the right & Lake Ann Trail (purple) enters from the left > Turn left onto Lake Ann Trail, follow purple back to Lake Bonita clearing > Just before clearing, turn right on Lake Bonita Trail (green) to ride around the lake, crossing dam at the western end > Climb back to intersection with white parking-lot trail > Turn right, climb back to the parking lot. EXTRAS: As a state park, Moreau Lake has a host of amenities, including swimming, a public beach, boating, camping, picnic areas, playgrounds, and even cabin rentals. Rowboats, kayaks, and paddleboards are available to rent Memorial Day-Labor Day. Swimming/boating are not allowed at Lake Bonita, but you can fish from shore (catch & release). RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

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GRAND OPENING

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s the popularity of mountain biking surges, trail networks are being planned and built to accommodate riders. Two new trail networks are on the way, one which opened in April 2022 and another with an aimed completion of October 2022. Both trail systems are (or will be) professionally built and open to the public. Here is a short overview of what’s on the docket: TUPELO COMMUNITY FOREST 250 Greene Rd., Greenfield Center

North Country MTB photos

Named after a grove of nearby Tupelo trees in Lincoln Mountain State Forest that are estimated to be 800 years old, Tupelo is a 6 km network of singletrack that rides like 12 km because of its stacked-loop, lollipop design. Located on 145 acres, the trails officially opened on April 23, 2022, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony presented by Saratoga PLAN (a community-based conservation organization) and the Saratoga Mountain Bike Association (SMBA), with help from the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and Saratoga Shredders. This series of stacked loops is ideal for all types of riders, regardless of experience, and rideable in both directions with a 3 km cross-country style loop. Built by Wilderness Property Management (WPM), Tupelo is flowy with berms and perfect for beginner, intermediates, and even advanced riders. Follow Tupelo Community Forest on Instagram for photos and more: @tupelocommunityforest

TUPELO North Country MTB photos

GRAPHITE

RANGE GRAPHITE RANGE COMMUNITY FOREST Rt. 9 & Worth Rd., Wilton Another collaboration from private landowners and Saratoga PLAN, “The Range” is planned for an October 2022 opening and is located off Route 9, directly across from Worth Road, just north of the Northern Pines Road intersection. This system is on 250 acres and will offer intermediate to advanced riders an opportunity to eventually reach the eastern end of SMBA’s Daniels Road trail system (pg. 40) via a 2-3 km connector on Skidmore College property. Around 10 km of trails will be built and/or reconditioned in Phase One. Phase Two will incorporate the Daniels Road connector. There are several old mining roads on the property that will be reconditioned, adding to the pro-built singletrack. Saratoga PLAN hired three professional trail consultants – WPM Trails, Penn Trails, and Tahawus Trails – to design a trail plan to connect Moreau Lake State Park (pg. 42) to Daniels Road State Forest along the Palmertown Range, which also includes Lincoln Mountain State Forest. This trail is part of the Sarah B. Foulke Friendship Trails, which are slated to be developed over the next few years to connect state, county, and private land from the Hudson River to Saratoga Springs. This planned multi-use trail network includes Tupelo Community Forest, OSI Green Tree property, Saratoga Community Forest, Skidmore property, and Daniels Road State Forest. For more information, visit www.saratogaplan.org. RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

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COLE’S WOODS ABOUT: The trails in Cole’s Woods are primarily easy double-track and are great for novice mountain bikers and young families. The public park is owned by the City of Glens Falls, and in winter, its trails are maintained and groomed for cross-country skiing by volunteers for the nonprofit “Friends of Cole’s Woods.” The “snowshoe” trails within the park make for winding singletrack excursions on this 35-acre property. Parking is available at the bend off Fire Road, the Glens Falls YMCA, and behind Inside Edge. Approximately 6-8 miles of trails are rideable surrounding historic Halfway Brook. Cole’s Woods is just over a mile north of downtown Glens Falls. Dogs must be leashed and are not allowed on the trails during the winter. 48

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Matt Phelps photo


Eric Pfau photo

HUDSON POINTE

NATURE PRESERVE ABOUT: There are slightly more than 3 miles of multi-use, doubletrack trails on this 83-acre nature preserve overlooking the Hudson River and managed by Queensbury Parks & Rec. These trails are rated as easier and named by colors (Blue, Green, Navy, Orange, and Yellow). The Green trail crosses a plank bridge overlooking Big Bay on the Hudson River, where logs were once stored on the river for sorting prior to going to the mills at Glens Falls. Dogs are welcome but must be under the owner’s control.

BIG THANKS & SHOUT OUT

TO OUR CONTRIBUTORS FOR THIS ISSUE: ê Bob Rainville Focal Blue Photography ê Brandon Estes Blue Collar Riders Co. ê David Kraus KrausGrafik.com ê Drew Cappabianca ê Josh Clevenstine ê Kirby Van Vleet ê Kyle Esposito ê North Country MTB ê Patrick Carey ê Ross Mealey ê Scott Wheeler ê & several other stellar photographers! Josh Clevenstine photo RideOn! Southern Adirondack MTB Trail Guide

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hether you’re riding Moreau State Park, Daniels Road State Forest, Kalabus Perry, Tupelo, or anywhere else on Palmertown Range, we have a few places we highly recommend that you check out on your next visit to the Saratoga area. Saratoga Springs is a hub of activity, from daytime shopping to evening dining/nightlife, but you don’t need to go downtown (which gets quite busy in the summer) to experience some of the best local secrets.

GO FOR A PADDLE: If you’re up for a leisurely paddle, the Kayak Shak on Fish Creek (which flows east out of Saratoga Lake) rents paddle boards, kayaks (single and double), and even a “hammocraft” (four hammocks on a raft!) for 3 or 6 hours at a time. If you’re craving yoga, they have SUP yoga classes on Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m. For more info or to make a reservation, visit www.kayakshak.com. The Shak shares the same parking lot and waterfront view as Harvest & Hearth Pizza, which has the best woodfired pizza, freshest salads, and tasty drinks—a must while you’re there! 50

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GRAB A COLD ONE: If you’re wondering where you can drink a beer or other cold beverage after a ride, most of these parks are a short drive from Common Roots Brewing Company (South Glens Falls) and other craft breweries, like Artisanal Brew Works (Maple Ave./Rt. 9 north of Saratoga Springs), Bound By Fate Brewing (Schuylerville), and Slickfin Brewing Co. (Fort Edward–stop on your way to Evergreen Bicycle Works). EAT FRESH: Just like Warren County’s bountiful farmers’ markets, Saratoga Springs has outdoor summer markets with local vendors (High Rock Park, Wednesdays, 3-6 p.m. & Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.). If you’re at KP, be sure to stop by Saratoga Apple (1174 Rt. 29, Schuylerville), an orchard and farm market (open seven days a week year round) that offers Pick Your Own during harvest months and cider donuts all the time, plus New York beers and hard ciders on tap in its tasting room. GET YOUR LICKS: at King Brothers Dairy (311 King Rd., Schuylerville), less than 3 miles from KP’s main parking lot on Gailor Lane. In addition to homemade hard and soft ice cream, King Brothers has fresh, glass-bottled milk, farm-raised beef, local eggs, yogurt, and more available in its farm store (open year round, closed Mondays). Closer to Daniels Road, Tupelo, and Moreau, we’re big fans of the Dairy Haus (476 Maple Ave., Saratoga Springs), which makes their own ice cream as well! WALK THE BATTLEFIELD: If history and/or nature are your thing, visit Saratoga National Historical Park (648 Rt. 32, Stillwater) 15 minutes south of Schuylerville. Walk the 4 ¼-mile Wilkinson Trail, drive or ride the 10-mile Battlefield Tour Road, and learn all about the Battle of Saratoga (a “turning point” victory for the Americans over the British during the Revolutionary War). Bonus: it’s free!