July 10, 2005
5 of 5
4 of 5
3 of 5
Reviewed by: Angry Beaver
Fun ride, I'm out of shape and the climb on this one kicked my butt. You have to come with your A-game for the initial climb. The rest is a cakewalk. I saw bear droppings in a couple places, and encountered a bear cub at one point, so be on your toes. You're likely to scare them off, but I'd hate to cross paths with an angry mother. There area lot of sream crossings, which were refreshing, but I wouldn't want to do this trail in cold weather. Some of the singletrack is very narrow. You'll be wriggling through some of that.
I gave this 4 for aerobic difficulty because of the killer climb. It gets a 3 for the stream crossings, but other than that, there isn't anything that is technically difficult. The fun factor puts this at a 5 overall. It's a great intermediate trail.
Either way you go, I would park so that you get your climb on first. You can park at the watson gap intersection and start out going clockwise, or you can park down by Dyer Cemetery (about 4 miles down FR64) and go counter-clockwise. Both of those configurations will assure most of your climbing is in the beginning of your ride. The way the trail is marked, it doesn't seem like there is a right or wrong direction. There is a big brown sign that says "South Fork Loop" at both ends of the singletrack section. Nice for schmucks like me that can't navigate.