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Valley Branch Retreat

Average Rating:    (3.68 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 34

About 25 miles of hilly wooded trails on 500 acres. Trails range from leisure to quite technical. Many hard climbs. Borders Gnaw Bone Camp. $5.00 entrance fee. Showers, camping paintball available (812)-988-7750.
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Latitude
39.16174528043313
Longitude
-86.15306854248047
Trail Directions
Take I-65 to State Rd-46 (Columbus) head west about 7 miles Mt. Liberty go south to Valley Branch Rd. to entrance.
Trail Length
25 miles
Trail Level
Trails for all skill levels
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Nashville
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (34 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
October 17, 2006

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: Mtn bike man ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
This is a great place to ride. It is what mountain biking is all about really! 30 miles of trails of all different abilities in a beautiful background. There are trails easy enough for anyone and as difficult as you would like to challange yourself. There are also affordable cabins to rent as well as great campsites. At the end of the campgrounds is a beautiful lake. Dont miss this great trail system. Come hang out in the beautifull woods and have a great time.

Recommended Route:
Make your own route, it's all up to you!

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Brown County State Park.



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Review Date
July 24, 2003

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: SuperSlinky ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Valley Branch has good points and bad points. On the good side, there are enough trails here that you can find just about whatever you want. There are some cool sections that are impossible to fault, the Rollercoaster trail for example. There are enough trails here to keep you busy as long as you like. There are restrooms and showers and safe places to park. The people are friendly and the proprietor has an informal system for checking in. The fee is a cheap $3.

The big downside is that the whole place is geared for paintball wars. If you are there while this is going on, you will hear the rat-tat-tat constantly. The natural beauty of the woods is marred by by numerous shanties and old furniture used by the paintballers. While I was there, they stayed mostly in two enclosed areas by the entrance, but later in the day a few started to migrate into the woods and one shot went wizzing by me too close for comfort. Many of the trails are actually fire roads and in many places have a loose and dusty surface, but you can avoid these for the most part by staying on the advanced trails.

Overall, it is a really good trail system and well worth the small fee. But if you want to escape into the woods to enjoy some unspoiled wilderness, it isn't the best for that.

Recommended Route:
After the first long climb, look for a left turn onto the Rollercoaster trail. After that, follow the markers for the advanced trails.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Nebo Ridge--fast, fast, fast.



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Review Date
July 8, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: John , from Carmel

Summary:
I am new to mountain biking this spring and I am having a blast. Valley Branch Retreat's trail system really broadened my understanding of how fun and challenging this sport can be. I have primarily ridden Town Run in Indianapolis prior to riding and racing here a couple of weeks ago. The first time we took it slow just to get the lay of the land for the race on Saturday. We had a map and got around pretty well. I was very pleased with the condition and variety of trail styles on the 8 mile course we took. As a bonus, we had the place to ourselves, it was really quiet. We also had a nice conversation with the owner, Gary. It is fun to go to a great facility run by somebody who really cares about its upkeep and the people that keep it running by paying to ride and race there. VBR was also a fun venue for racing. It took everything out of me to make the two loops for the beginner race, but it was exhilirating just the same. Hoot Owl Hollow, Roller Coaster and the descent to the finish are my favorites.



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Review Date
July 8, 2003

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: Tim , from Indianapolis, IN

Summary:
Valley Branch Retreat is not a perfect place, but what is? I live in Indianapolis and my options are somewhat limited. For a 90 minute drive I can ride all day in a trail network and never cross the same trail twice. It is true that some of the trail is rutted up from motorcycles but those motorcycles also burnned in 10 miles of single track in a very short time. Believe me, I am not a proponent of allowing motorcycles on trails but the Mooch guys even came back the weekend after their ride with Pulaskis and McCleaods to bench cut and repair the trail. From the outside looking in this seems to be a decent compromise. As far as the owner or owner's son riding their motorcycle on the trails, let's keep something in mind; they own the place. There are some great trails out there (although I would argue about Gary's Gulley;) and many of the issues of the trails (branches, soft benches, etc.) can be rectified by simply having more bikes across the trails. Once again, the motorcycles burning the trails in is a very unconventional way of doing it and certainly IMBA would frown on it, but it works in this situation. The trail system is bigger and more technical than Nebo and is more accessible (less technical) and better maintained than Gnaw Bone. Don't get me wrong, all three are great places to ride but they each offer something a little different. As far as the $3 entry. I look at it this way: I would rather drive 90 minutes and pay $3 at VBR than drive 2 hours and pay $7.50 for France Park.

Recommended Route:
Just pick one and ride.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Nebo Ridge, Hickory Ridge, Gnaw Bone



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Review Date
July 1, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: Paul Arlinghaus , from Indianapolis,IN

Summary:
Last fall at the Fat Tire Festival, I had a chance to explore some of the trail that aren't on the race course, so between the festival and racing I have ridden almost all the trails. I have heard some people how did not like Valley Branch, and I think part of the problem is that Valley Branch has so many trails, that riders often are't able to find the trails that suit there style of riding. there are a few trails there that I really don't care for, but I understand that there are other riders who probably think they are the best trails. So, I thought I'd post a Valley Branch Trail Guide for those wanting to give Valley Branch a shot. First a few general guide lines
1) get a map. It is easy to get turned around back there, the hills and network of trails can get you all turned around.
2) This is not Town Run Park. There is serious elevation gains, roots, rocks, creek crossing, etc.. so ride with a group, carry lots of tools and food.
3) Don't have a cow about paying to ride. Be glad that Gary is building trails, and not selling out to developers. If he makes money then he will be motivated to keep the trails open and maintained. Trails: Sunset Ridge: Fire road that climbs from the paintball field to Homestead Trail. Not very technical on the way up, but will get your legs warmed up. The descent is fun and fast. Roller coster: The name says it all. It is a sweet single track that has lots of short evelvation changes. Cruiser: More single track that works its way along the hill side. Has some logs and roots so it requires some technical skills. Pine Loop: If you start from the easy rider trail, it is a Beutiful section of single track that descends through a pine forest. It is rooty and has a high speed ravine as well as a mogle like section at the bottom. Homestead: Fire road that runs acrost the Valley Branch Property. It has some climbing but is not technical. If you get lost, try to find Homestead and then ride till you find Sunset Ridge. Hoot Owl Hollow: My personal favorite. If you start from homestead, it is a fast single track descent with twists turns, a few gullys, and two 10" logs that challenge you to do 20mph log jumps. Smith Valencia: has some climbing near the Heavens Gagte side and then rides along a creek bed on the other end. (Single track) Heavenly's Gate: lower section follows a creek. upper section is a steep double track climb. Gary's Gully: New section of trail that still needs to be refined and worn in (Gary is currently working on this trail). This is the section for all you log jumping free riders, as it has lots of log jumps. The 12 hour race went up this trail and some people complained about having to get off their bikes alot, but this trail would be much more fun going down it (climb heavenly's gate to get to the top). Copper head ridge: Fire road that crosses Valley Branch on the north part of the property. Remember that this road does not take you back to the trail head. It is not techincal and rolls along the ridge. Chris' Crevice: double track on the top. It has a middle single track section I have not ridden, and then ends in a wicked fast descent into Turkey Run. Big Frog: This is a little known trail, but it is the hidden gem. Starting from Homestead, it rides out on to a ridge that get narrower and narrower, until the ridge ends and you plung down into a creek bed. It is a fun ride, but be ready to climb. Indian Camp will take you back to the camp area, or back up hill. Lake Loop, Lake Ridge, Flying Fynn, Lance's Loop, Deer Run: These trails all run from Sunset ridge down to the camping area. They very in difficulty (lance's Loop and deer run are easiest, lake ridge is moderate, and Flying Finn and Lake loop are harder). If you do not want venture too far from your car, consider riding up sunset ridge and then riding down these trails. Well that only leaves 17 more trails to review. I'll try to ride some of them this weekend. More than likely there are trails there that you will like, you just need to find them.

Recommended Route:
The AMBC race course at Valley Branch last weekend was (in my opinion) one of the best Cross Country race course I have ever raced on. It had enough climbing and fire roads to reward riders with good fitness, and technical single track/descents to reward those with handling skills. A lesser know but great trail is Big Frog.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (34 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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