Tuesday, September 14, 2021

How to Get Started Singletrack Biking at Elm Creek

 Elm Creek is our home bike trail and is a wonderful place to ride and explore, but to a first-time visitor it can be a little tricky to find your way around. Here are some tips we've learned over the past few years. 

Are the trails open? 

Before you go, check the Elm Creek Singletrack Facebook page. They update the cover photo regularly to indicate whether or not the trail is open. 

The cover photo will tell you if the trails are open
 (photos via Elm Creek Facebook Page)

Where do I Park? 

Option 1: Trailhead (Easy and Medium Trails)

There are a few places to park. Most riders should park at the Trailhead, which you can reach from 169 and Hayden Lake Road. The road through Elm Creek is sometimes closed, so it's best not to drive through the park. 

Driving to the Elm Creek Trailhead (Image via Google Maps)

The trailhead provides access to the adapted (wide-easy), green (easy), and blue (medium) trails. It also has a posted map. 

Option 2: By the Dog Park (Hard and Medium Trails) 

There is a small parking lot across from the Elm Creek dog park. The Dog Park lot requires a paid permit, but I have never had issues parking across the street from the Dog Park. Again, the Hayden Lake Road through Elm Creek Park may be closed. 

Driving to the lot across from Elm Creek Dog Park (Image via Google Maps)

Parking by the Dog Park provides access to the blue (medium) and black (hard) trails, though you have to take the paved trails to get to the singletrack trails. 

Parking and path to black (hard) trails. Image via MTB Project

Which Trails Should I Ride? 

If you're riding with kids or you're new to mountain biking, you should stick to the green (easy) or blue (medium) trails. These trails have lots of bumps and rolls, but no mandatory airtime or difficult rocks. The adapted trails are great if you're pulling kids in a trailer. 

Elm Creek Adapted Trails (Image via MTB Project)

If you want a guaranteed smile on your face, you should ride the short green loop. It includes a bit of "roller coaster" one of my kids' favorite features. 

Elm Creek Easy Loop (Image via MTB Project)

My Family Riding Roller Coaster

Tips From the Kids

I asked my boys what Advice they'd give to new riders going to Elm Creek. 

Raleigh: Go the Right Way!

Virtually all of the trails are on-way. Please check the signs and make sure you're going the correct direction to avoid accidents! 

Soren: Go to the Black Trails!

Soren really enjoys the black trails because they have lots of dramatic jumps and technical features. 

Biking at Grizzland (the Black Trails)

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