Matt in North Carolina

I did two laps today at this trail called Warrior Creek.  I’ve heard from a couple sources that this trail is 12 miles long.  The published length is 9.5 but they’re continually expanding it and it took me over an hour to do the first lap, so I’m going with 12.  Yesterday I did two other trails that are part of this trail system, so completely cooked on my second lap today, I took the opportunity to snap some shots.
The pictures attached obviously don’t do it justice. I would say the entire trail is covered in the pictures, i.e. I could’ve taken about 100 more pictures that look almost identical.  The trail goes in a loop around a sort of mountainous penninsula, so the whole thing is bench cut into the ridge with every descent carried by switchback berms and you end up climbing to the top about 3 or 4 times.  The “Berms!” pic says it all.  The “lakeside” pic is pretty common too and only reminds you that you hit rock bottom and you will be climbing again very shortly. The only bad part of the trail is the roots.  Some sections were very rooty so it totally kills your downhill (and uphill) momentum. Arms were completely shaken up too. Really, you have no idea. The roughest trail in our neck of the woods is no comparison to this uneven washboard experience. The trail can be ridden backwards too, so uphill blind turn bermed and benchcut switchbacks are also a feature that makes it interesting.  Despite these drawbacks, this is the funnest trail I’ve ever ridden in my limited out-of-state experience. Definitely a higher degree of difficulty with the elevation changes and rock gardens involved.
One of the trails I did yesterday is called Dark Mountain, which is even more of an intense elevation and root infested experiece. It totally trashes your arms as much as legs. This is a shorter loop, about 7 miles, but climbs to the top and back three times for a total of over 800 feet.  They have a race at this trail called the “Burn 24 Hour Challenge” and the winning team this year had 38 laps. 250+ miles – Insane!!!  Check out the pictures in the link.  Judging by my Lumberjack experience, I’d wager I would conk out after a slow 10. Actually, the more likely outcome would be that my hands would go completely numb, lose my grip on the bar, and go headlong into a tree, thus ending my 24 hour burn at about 5 hours.
Stay thirsty my friends,