It was 2 weeks ago to this day that I sold my Surly Krampus and said farewell to the anti-conventional, we-do-what-we-want culture that embodies the Surly brand. While it was a sad day for me, I knew that it wouldn’t be long until I had the Krampus’s replacement, the new Marin Pine Mountain 2. Having only gone on one major ride so far (this one), I’m going to save first impressions for another entry, except for this small spoiler: Game-changer.
Onto the ride at McDonald Forest.
Want the GPX version of the map or just more detail? Click here.
More Trips to Come
Not knowing much about McDonald Forest, except that I got hopelessly lost in it almost a year ago, I made a preparatory GPS route that worked well for the most part, except a small section north of my route that ended up being private land (Starker Forest). Anyway, the route is a lot of fun and proved to me that Mcdonald Research Forest deserves more of my time, even if it’s at the expense of my go-to destination, Shellburg Falls.
The bottom loop is probably the most fun because it’s all singletrack. The larger loop has a terror of a descent on singletrack for about a mile, but then the remainder of the route is mostly gravel road, with some small sections of singletrack interspersed throughout. Still, both loops are a lot of fun; so fun in fact that I did both of them twice. Just be prepared to climb if you’re going to do this particular route. You end up climbing over 5,300 feet in 25 1/2 miles, which is A LOT for those who don’t look at climbing numbers very often.
Here are some of the picture highlights from the trip:
Altogether a great ride, Mcdonald Research Forest has a lot to offer mountain bikers. I plan on making my way back there in the very near future.