Traveling through the midwest, I took the time to ride this trail last Friday 6/14. So glad I did. It is long, very pretty ST, which meanders its way through remote, beautiful Eastern Hardwood Forest. We rode CW from the Berryman CG.
The western portion is fast and flowy and is in excellent condition. It is worthy of the high acclaims this trail receives.
The eastern portion is more technical with small root and rock drops. This portion has great potential, but there are some stretches where the trail is deeply rutted and needs rerouted. The ruts are full of rough cobblestone-sized rock. With a little more trail maintenance this eastern portion has great potential to be a really nice moderately techy ride. It would make a nice contrast to the smoother flowy western portion. Together, due to the contrast (given some further rerouting), this could be 5 star XC route without question.
All in all this is a great midwest ride. There are many nice DHs and all the climbs are relatively easy. Some climbs are long, which was nice, but none are steep. The signage is a little light and the mile markers are few and difficult to spot, but one incurs no real difficulty following the trail.
The Berryman Trail Campground is charming and beautiful. The Brazil Creek CG is a bit beat up. If you are staying the night, stay at the Berryman Creek CG for sure.
The ticks and bugs were out in force for the summer, and of course it was humid. But the constant callings at night of the whip-poor-wills, the chuck-will's-widows and the owls made the summer stay more than worth it. For riding, this is definitely a better fall-winter-spring trail -- no ticks, no bugs, no humidity. I will return someday.
5 hours ago