July 20, 2017
I gave this trail a 5 due to it's potential and design. While it was a bit overgrown when I rode it, given that I was only the 50th person to ride it via Strava for the entire year, I was shocked how well it flowed. With that level of minimal activity, it's surprising there weren't more choppy sections or overgrowth. 15 miles is a ton to manage and whomever maintains these trails does an excellent job of keeping it rideable. Now if only more people would get out and ride it (Twin Cities, Eau Claire, I'm talking to you) this would be arguably 1 of the best trails in Wisconsin!
This trail was about 15 miles long and off the face, appeared to be a very popular trail given the restrooms, outbuilding with equipment, maps, grill, and very welcoming trailhead. As I got into the trail I soon realized it must not have been that often trafficked given the rough chatter I experienced initially on trappers loop. This appeared to be purely due to lack of activity, and as the trail went on I found it was smoother in areas (or I adapted).
This trail makes you feel like you're riding in the mountains. The solitary feeling I had went on for 12 miles until I ran into another biker. He would be the only other person I saw the entire time (70 degree day, 5:30 PM on a Friday). The ending of Puma playground has an awesome finish, about 1/2 mile descending. This trail compared with the likes of Park City, or Monarch Crest in the tree'd sections and had lots of aspens. I truly think this trail has crazy potential and would be a rip roaring good time if it saw more activity. Maybe an annual race could help with this, but if I lived in a 90 mile radius, I'd be riding this trail at least monthly. It has a very generous mix of riding, nothing bad for climbs, and some fast and fun descents. They even took the time to put caution posts up where it makes good sense to warn riders on DH sections of upcoming berms, xc ski crossings, etc.
Last note, the trail is incredibly marked. They have different sections named throughout the entire trail, which can be confusing looking at the map but they just feed into one another and usually have an exit point to ride back to the trailhead. I thought this was pretty neat. Lots of posts and maps on the trail to make riders aware. If you haven't given this a shot, come out and help make this trail better by giving it the traffic it deserves!
Park City, Monarch Crest (Crest Trail), Colorado Trail near Buffalo Creek, Marquette Mountain Loop
September 4, 2017
To answer your question, this trail does not get ridden much in the summer because the
'show no mercy' deerfly population is relentless. People typically ride it from spring until mid-June, then it tapers off until August. There is a race here at the end of September, aptly named The Deerfly Chase.