Thursday, June 5, 2014

Try out the new trails at Jug Mountain Ranch, Ponderosa Park in McCall

Jug Mountain Ranch has true freeride trails! 
JMR has tons of sweet singletrack trails ... 
Click to enlarge 
Ask about the shuttle service! 
Harper's Hollow Trail 
Here's Steve enjoying the JMR trail system ...  
Hi all,

I went up to McCall last weekend to do some maintenance at our cozy cabin in McCall, and also to participate in the CIMBA-SWIMBA Spring Fling trail-work day last Saturday at Jug Mountain Ranch.

They had an awesome turnout of at least 50 people, many of them from Valley County, and the various trail crews accomplished a ton of work! Our group worked on tread, upslope and downslope shaping on the newly cut-in North Elk Trail. We rode the trails in the mid-afternoon (they're a bit lumpy but they'll be great once they're burned in), and then came back to the JMR Clubhouse for beers and a barbecue. Great time had by all!

For this week's tip, I highly recommend visiting Jug Mountain Ranch, just south of McCall east of Lake Fork, for a great hiking or biking experience with the family or friends. I'm sure a lot of Treasure Valley folks are heading to McCall now that the kids are out of school. The JMR trail system has been enhanced repeatedly in recent years with the assistance of CIMBA volunteers to the point where the densely forested mountains are laced with many sinewy singletracks between Upper Jug Reservoir and the Clubhouse trailhead.

In the early editions of my guide, Mountain Biking in McCall, I detailed a lower loop and an upper loop. That was in the mid-1990s and later. Nowadays, there are multiple trails to enjoy between Upper Jug Reservoir and the Clubhouse, including the Vandelay Trail, Harper's Hollow, Rolling Rock, Stitches Freeride Trail, Double Shot Freeride Trail, North Elk, South Elk and more. JMR has nice signs marking the various trails, and it has large trail maps at big junctions. This is all a HUGE improvement! Thanks to JMR owner David Carey and CIMBA for all of the stellar work! It's impressive!

It's especially fun to ride the area with locals who really know the trail system. So if you can attend one of the CIMBA work/ride days in the future, that'd be a bonus.  

In the meantime, here's a couple of loops that I'd recommend:

  •   Ride #1 - From the Clubhouse, take South Elk, a fun and moderate singletrack on a cool tour of the lower JMR foothills to the South Boundary Road. Turn right and climb South Boundary Road, a two-track dirt road, to the Reservoir Junction. Ride over to the reservoir and do the Dam Loop. Enjoy the views. Take Vandelay, a really fun twisty singletrack, downhill over to Harper's Hollow Trail and take that singeltrack back to North Elk and return to the Clubhouse.   
  • Ride #2 - Ride Mainline uphill to the Landing. Ride uphill on Vandelay to the Reservoir, take the Dam Loop over to the north, and pick up a downhill trail that takes you back to the Landing. Take Rolling Rock and North Elk back to the trailhead. 
  • Ride #3 - Try out the Freeride Trails if you're so inclined ... they're really the only true freeride trails in the McCall area. Check 'em out and you be the judge.  

New trails also are getting cut-in at Ponderosa State Park! There's a new singletrack trail along the east shoreline of the peninsula that connects to the Huckleberry hiking and biking trail, and there's another singletrack that takes off from the main beach area and goes north through the huge ponderosa pines to the road to Osprey Point. You pop out on the road just short of the very top. We also rode a new trail that went from the beginning of the new Huck Jr. trail out so the south boundary of the park.

Here's a map of our tracks ...

The thing I love about the new trails at Ponderosa Park is that the trail system there has been pretty static for quite some time. They have lots of land to work with to provide more trails for the public to enjoy. Thanks to IDPR for making this happen!
Other noteworthy things going on this weekend:

  • Big water blowout in Riggins on Saturday. Tons of white-knuckle fun in big whitewater on the mighty Salmon River. 
  • Weiser River Trail Bike Ride on Saturday - Ride the most fun and scenic part of the trail, the upper 28 miles from New Meadows to Council. The ride is mostly downhill. 
Have fun! 

- SS


Unknown said...

I've been told the new singletrack along the east side of Ponderosa park will be closed to mountain bikes. Is that accurate?

Steve Stuebner said...

Hi Chuck - I haven't heard that, but we talked to some folks on the trail crew last Sunday. They said the new trail will be part of the existing Huckleberry Trail, and since that's open to hiking and biking, I would expect that the new portion to be open to those uses as well. Let's keep our ear to the ground on this to make sure!

Unknown said...

It's a great addition to the existing trail and I hope it stays open to all uses. Really great to see some expansion of the trails there!

Unknown said...

It's great addition to the existing trail, I hope it stays multi-use. Really great to see expansion of the trails there!