March 22, 2016
Emma Long (City Park) is the most underrated Texas trail on Singletracks. This is the most technical trail I've ever ridden, and it was absolutely fantastic. I've ridden in Colorado, and I've ridden Pisgah, but Emma Long is more technical than anywhere I rode in those two places. If you can clean this trail, you are truly a skilled rider. I was on my 29er XC hardtail, and I was able to clean all of the drops but not the all of the climbs. There are some very large rocks at this place, and if you don't know what you're doing, you could easily get hurt. I'm sure local Austin riders know of even gnarlier places than Emma Long, but this place should provide a serious challenge to almost any rider.
There isn't actually a tremendous amount of real climbing here. It is mostly up and down, but the ups are very challenging due to the technical nature of the trail. Also, remember that it is primarily a motocross park, so watch out and yield to them. I would definitely recommend scouting out the major drops on your first visit, as there are often several different lines that vary in height and technical difficulty.
The Hill of Life in Austin is probably the closest local comparison, but Emma is a much bigger challenge.