Bobcat Ridge natural area is managed by
the City of Fort Collins and
provides some great mountain biking in a unique area. In 2000, a human-caused
fire swept through the once densly forested area wiping out almost all of the
tree cover. The result is a surreal landscape that offers a unique mountain
Bobcat Ridge consists of two loops which are open to mountain biking - A
"valley loop" and a "mountain loop". There are several other trails under
construction in the area, but it's not clear whether they will allow biking
The mountain loop consists of the powerline road and the Ginny trail,
connected at the bottom by sections of the valley loop. While Ginny trail
can be ridden in either direction, powerline road can only be ridden uphil.
If you want to make a loop ride out of it, the only way is to climb powerline,
and descend Ginny. A ride following the mountain loop in this direction,
including much of the valley loop is described below.
From the parking lot, follow the trail past a picnic shelter and turn
right onto the valley trail. Follow the valley trail all the way north - a
short spur will take you to an historic ranch cabin.
The valley trail curves west and comes to the foot of the mountains. As it
climbs, it bends again to the south. The trail becomes a little more technical
here, but is still not difficult.
After going back south for a short distance, the valley trail intersects
powerline road. Follow this grueling climb up to the west.
While not very long (~2mi), it is definitely the steepest service road climb in the Fort Collins area.
A bypass around one of the steepest sections make the whole
climb rideable, though you may need several oxygen breaks along the way,
which will give you a chance to take in the views back down to the valley.
After reaching the top of the climb, you come to Mahoney Park, which is
circled on the west by rocky fire-scarred mountain tops. The Ginny Trail
starts to head south here, meandering through boulders until it begins to climb
to the top of the ridge.
After climbing for another two miles, the trail reaches a saddle before
curving around the west side of a mountain top. Winds can be stong here,
but the views to the west are worth the climb.
Here's where the fun begins - After curving around the mountain top, a
narrow, twisty downhill begins. The trail is technical, but not too difficult.
There's no serious exposure, and the trail seems to have been designed with fun
in mind. Enjoy the long ride down, then take a right at the bottom to follow
the valley loop back to the parking area.
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