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Level: Advanced
Length: 9 mi (14.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +351/344 ft
Total: 4 riders
 

Mountain Biking Happy Creek Trail System

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#35 of 218 mountain bike trails in Alberta
#2561 in the world

Go down the stairs and follow trail staying to the left, not going up the steep hill. You will round a corner and cross as well as go up over a loose gravel area.
At the top of this a wide bridge will be in front of you. Cross it and continue on to the right. This is a wide area that follows the creek. You will see some boulders placed on the path to your right, go through them and across that bridge as well. These are known as the Maxwell Lake Trail. As you start to climb you will see another path to the right, take it (Just Get There). Just Get There travels down a bit, then rounds a fairly sharp corner and then you head up hill. At the top it flows straight for a short bit then rounds to the right and straightens out again. A path branches off to the left, take it and you will still be on Just Get There. This part starts to narrow into a single track and you will cross a quad path and keep going. It will open up and if you feel like "where do I go now" you are in the right place. I believe there is actually a trail sign to the left.
Go across this wide area. If you look to the right there is a bank of trees and the golf course is on the other side. Don't go that way. There is also a wide usually muddy road to the right too, stick to the left of it and you will be on a trail that heads into the woods again. The trees are fairly noticeably marked with blue tape and blue paint. You are on the right trail. Follow this as it meanders thru the trees on a nice climb. There are two tricky areas on here, beginners can just walk there bikes if they like. As you come out of the trees at the top you are at a cutline and the end of Just Get There.
Almost directly across the cutline, is the start of the J. This is definitely a single track which winds up and down thru the forest and once again you will cross another quad trail. (Sometimes in the fall you can here hunters with their guns). Keep following the J, it will come to a Y with a Trail sign. Although riders have been known to go to the left and up a difficult climb it is actually marked as directional and should not be climbed. Take EZ to the right. This will take you up to a great view, if once you crest the hill and follow trail to right (out / back trail).
Once you have caught your breath and seen the view go back towards the trail you just climbed and head to the right. This is the rest of EZ taking you up to a big field clearing. There is another trail sign to the right on the tree.
Cross the field (Halloween) and into the trees and my favorite part, a nice windy speedy single track, towards the end you climb up to another cutline, catch your breath here.
Head to the left on the cutline (also known as part of Halloween) and at the bottom of the first short descent is a trail to the right. There is an unmarked sign there on a tree. This is Cleo's Connector, it also takes you to the Vigilante on the left (a new trail, not yet marked on the signs), stay to the right. You can follow this all the way up to another part of Halloween, another good spot to catch your breath.
Here you will go to the left and follow a sweet curving down and up trail and when you come out and see the view there is a split in the trail. It is a pretty good switchback and one is marked as difficult and one as intermediate. Take your pic. If you want a good shot of a fellow rider, you should take the blue and have the rider wait while you are getting into position. You will be able to see the rider when you are positioned to take the photos.
Keep following this trail as it swoops down and around some bends and up a sharp incline where you can regroup. There will also be a trail sign on the right on a tree.
Continue to the right for Phil's Thrills, a steady climb that turns into a fun flowing trail. Another new trail has been added in the middle of Phil's, called Bubba's, this will take you to Slow Cooker. At this point stay to the left to carry on on Phil's. There are some great curves and a bit of roots thru here and will open up at the top of a hill. As you carefully go down here you will be forced to do an abrupt turn to either West Happy Creek (left) or East Happy Creek (right). Stay to the left and you cross a bridge and then come to a few quick switchbacks (they are fun). The trail then becomes real flowy with banked corners and a few surprises in the way of large roots. There is also a 90 degree bridge but you have time to decide if you are walking it. Then it becomes all flowy again and you follow this down to the Maxwell Lake Trail. If you parked at the Garage Sale Bulletin Board take the trail to the left and you will ride it around a downhill corner then cross a bridge you will recognize. Keep going back to your vehicle.

First added by chuckpelley on Apr 28, 2020. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
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Getting there
Husky Gas Station in Hinton, turn south at the lights (away from Tim Hortons) and turn to the right at the stop sign. Park at the end of the street by the garage sale bulletin board. Get on bikes here. There is a trail that continues south by the creek and then up a short hill and you cross the road and ride or walk down the stairs.
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chuckpelley (on Aug 22, 2020)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Hinton, Alberta

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Beginner | 1 mi
| 6 mi

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  • chuckpelley   ✓ supporter
    ****

    a fellow mtn / fat biker invested in a groomer and we were among the first to get out in the area to try out the trails that had been groomed. Some we stayed off as they were just groomed that day and needed to set over night. We rode up Ez to the lookout and then climbed up to the meadow that Halloween zips across it. The trail was awesome, as we got into the trees higher up, the temperatures had warmed up so much it felt like it was raining as the snow melted off the canopy of trees. Great day, all new ride!

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  • chuckpelley   ✓ supporter
    *****

    I really enjoyed this ride, did Just Get There, EZ, Helloween, Cleo's, Phil's, Bubba and Slow Cooker then over to the Big Horn as an out.

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