Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hidden Falls Metric Century

So just this week something amazing happend, ~23 miles of multi-use trails opened at Hidden Falls Regional Park in addition to the few miles aready in existance (it's a good time to be a mtb'er in Auburn). The official opening was Wednesday, so Thursday night a I went with a small group to preview the trails...hit ~15 miles of fun mostly swoopy single-track. But I did not wantto stop there....

In prep for an upcoming 24, I needed a big ride, so I signed up for a Hammerin' Wheels Meetup ride but posted that I was not leaving the park until I hit 60 miles. One sucker guy, Dave, was foolish enough to meet me at the park at 5:30 a.m., and off we went. We started with all lefts and eventually, after ~14 miles, ran into none other than Kane. For some quick background, I was known as Mr. HTFU back in NC (for reasons I'll go into at another time), well Kane is Mr. HTFU here. He enjoys long rides that punish your legs and body. Funny then that he called me at ~4:40 to tell me he turned off his alarm...I told him to meet us out there when he could, and he did.

So the three of us set off for more exploration and more miles. We eventually met up with Mike, and the four of us continued the journey. Mike knew the trails well (as he had worked on them...thanks Mike!) and led us on every square inch of single-track and service roads to ultimately get what ended up being ~61 miles (for Dave also). I think Kane ended up with ~45 and Mike with ~36...all respectable considering the elevation out there really sneaks up on you.

Hidden Falls offers fast swoopy flowing trails with fun downhill runs and short uphill accents. There are no long, sustained 2-3 mile climbs like in the Auburn State Recreation Area, but there are many .5 to 1 mile accents that, while not technical (not fighting rocks and roots) still pose a nice challenge to the legs and when done dozens of times, you find yourself with over 1200' vertical gain per ten miles. Not too shabby. Strava had me at ~61.3 miles w/just over 8,000' so, all in all, not a bad day on the bike.
Hidden Falls Highlights:
-Trails are fast, flowy and fun. They are a bit wide (and bumpy in spots), but in time they will groove & grow into nice single track.
-There are very nice views on certain stretches of trail. Some trails do seem quite alike, but after riding them for a bit, you begin to recognize that there are many sections with distict characteristics, and the many bridges are cool.
-Great place to log some serious training miles. Sure there is a lot of nice new single-track, but you really need to loop back and repeat sections to hit it all. If you are not apposed to some service road riding, the North and South Legacy loops will provide an extra 10-12 miles to your ride...We did that twice. :)
-You park at the top and drop down to the trails. This means that you will always need to HTFU and finish your ride with a mile+ climb. Always a good way to finish a ride. Note: most pics taken from mtbr courtesy of bycyclist. Strava info here.


  1. Sounds like an awesome ride! And it sounds like you are also becoming a West Coast BEAST!! 61 mile in NC is one thing, but there with all that elevation...Whoah!
    So glad that you are obviously loving the relocation choice.
    You lucked out last year by doing the Burn 24 for the last time. This race this past weekend was the last one they are doing and the plan is to cancel it, so no more Burn. Good timing for you.
    Enjoy your Holiday weekend Hippie! ;-)

  2. Yeah, I was bummed to learn that the Burn24 will be no more. I had done it the last three years, 1st as a team, then solo, then duo. I am glad that there are a number of 24 hr events within reasonable distance from where I live...the seem well attended, and the competition out here is stiff, but even though I see single-speeds everywhere, it seems most guys race on gears. Whatever, I will be on a rigid single-speed until I am physically unable to do so. :)
    Good to hear from you Laura. Now go write something in your neglected blog!