Lake Russell Loop

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SHARES
  
AVERAGE RATING
***
3.28 out of 5
View Topo Map

Intermediate
5.0
miles

Singletrack
↑ 500 ft
↓ 600 ft
1,013
elevation (ft)

Loop
Trail Description
About this trail
This trail circles the entirety of Lake Russell. AND, it is AMAZING! The
quality of the trail is stunning, it is truly epic-quality singletrack! The views
are great, as at many times you are riding RIGHT ON the edge of the
water... i.e. if you fell the wrong way you would be going for a swim. there
is not a whole lot of elevation gain or loss (there are a couple of short hills
to mix things up) as this trail runs pretty much on the water's edge the
entire time. I thoroughly enjoyed this ride, and it kept a smile pasted on
my face! I can't believe I found this by accident (when I was trying to find
the Ladyslipper trail) and that I've never heard anyone talking about this.
it is awesome!
added by Greg HeilWorld Champ
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Trail Q&A
Rider Questions
 
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Recommended Trails
Recommended Trails
Heritage Park
Blankets Creek
Turner Creek Trail
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
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Recent Trail Check-ins     (25 total check-ins)
  dukebike01   3 weeks ago
  f0n1x   on Jun 29, 2019
  Meaniemary1   on May 25, 2019
  Meaniemary1   on Jan 27, 2019
  Meaniemary1   on Dec 29, 2018
Photo & Video Gallery (66)
Trail Photos & Videos (66)
 
Reviews (18)
 

Granny Gear

April 24, 2017
Fabricator Granny Gear  
 
Review: I am rating the Lake Russell loop as "advanced"; because at the time I rode it (4-22-2017), the conditions/maintenance suggest it is not regularly maintained; the lack of maintenance at the time of writing has a strong impact on ridability and safety. Additionally, there are several short intense grades and numerous "chainring scarred" trees to cross. The volume of chainring marks AND the growth of mature underbrush around the downed trees suggest some of the fallen trees have been down for many months and may remain so. Aerobically, Lake Loop nothing, as the sum elevation gain is negligible, but the width of the trail is such that it resembles a "fishermans' trail" that a skilled rider can navigate a bike through. There are several bridges you will need to cross as well; one was in such condition as to have 4ft of planking gone; I was able to straddle the void and hand bikes over while the rest of my group hiked the detour; another bridge was too narrow for the narrow modified handlebars of my wife's bike to pass through---forget my 29-er; this bridge was also leaning at such an angle as to make one wonder if it could tip over; a third bridge was somewhere between the other two. Lastly, though picturesque, parts of the trail were so narrow and banked that an inexperienced rider could easily wash out their wheel on the ample pine straw and drop 8-10ft down the lake bank into some fairly deep water. All this to say, we still had fun, and encourage others to ride the trail, but be advised that the lack of maintenance and trail width make an otherwise simple beginner-trail a "different experience". Lastly, bring quality soap, water and wipes as well. Most of the lower parts of the trail are LINED with poison ivy. My crew washed up and scrubbed within two hours---so far we are "rash free".

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Granny Gear

November 6, 2016
villi Granny Gear  
 
Review: Totally missed the steps right in front of the parking area and started by ladyslippery trail which it definitely adds more challenges. The leaves this time a year made it a bit tricky to see and avoid roots. The were section were we literally had to get off our bikes and walked, even climbed but that added to our adventure. In my opinion is a more technical trail but fun. The views are beautiful. I'll do it again. ????

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Granny Gear

October 31, 2016
 
Review: I'm a newbie to this but, I loved this track. The views (during fall) are wonderful. I look forward to going back.

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Granny Gear

September 8, 2016
koltanp Granny Gear  
 
Review: Good ride around the lake. Don't follow trail clockwise from Nancytown Parkin area. Go down the steps and cross wooden bridge and pick up the trail. Lots of trees to carriage over and several areas are quite overgrown, but it's definitely rideable.

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Gramcounter

July 24, 2016
nicomyth Gramcounter  
 
Review: Start at Nancytown Lake and travel clockwise along the shore. The trail goes below the dam, along the stream, then circles Lake Russell.
There are lots of roots and narrow sections - some precariously close to the lake edge.
After crossing the spillway, the trail becomes double track with a long ascent. Turn left when you reach pavement and follow the road back to Nancytown. While there is a trail that crosses the pavement, you don't want to ride it. The North side of Lake Russell is but a memory of a trail. It has been abandoned and is barely suitable as a deer and small game trail. The only clear sections are where the trail is used by foot traffic around picnic and swimming areas. It then quickly becomes swallowed by brush and fallen trees.

*Update*
The trail is getting cleaned up. The north side from the top of the double track to the swim area is now opened and a nice addition to the trail.

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Bunny Hop

August 2, 2014
bikezilla Bunny Hop  
 
Review: Sucks! Not much of a ride. It is very hard to stay on the trail. It's not marked well and very grown up.

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Singletrack


April 3, 2014
Fit4Life28 Singletrack  
 
Review: At the moment I'm rating this trail low but it has the potential to be a 3.5 to 4 star, with that being said I was very disapointed with this trail system. The camp ground was shut down (I'm assuming for the winter) so the only parking was at the boat launch which was ok but probably annoying to the people coming to use it. I initially went North from the boat launch towards sourdough and the trail just disapeared into the woods at the location where a bridge use to cross the creek. So I just rode down the road to access sourdough and Lady Slipper. After riding those trails I returned to the boat launch and headed south to try Lake russel trail yet again, this time the trail was great with the exeption of the many trees laying down across the trail causing me to carry my bike more than ride it. Once I got past the camp ground and beach the trail was amazing with a few damp spots as the lake is high and about to swallow the trail. I only made it to the point where the trail meets the pavement and you have to then ride the road to cross the dam and I was loosing light so i took the road back to the boat launch.

If the trail was to get cleaned up and maintained, this would be a weekend destination to camp, fish, swim, and best of all bike some awesome trails. I hope to see this happen.

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Granny Gear

January 13, 2014
 
Review: Just rode this trail for the first time today, going clockwise around Lake Russell. The first mile or so is very narrow, full of slippery rocks and roots. The lake is high and a couple short sections are totally submerged. There are several downed trees that had to be portaged over. The trail is so narrow and the dropoff steep enough that one tiny mistake and you are skidding down to a cold lake. The difficulty is pretty high. After a mile or so, the trail goes away from the lake and becomes awesome singletrack. Difficulty is low and fun factor is high. This lasts until you descend to cross the dam. The path across is covered in briars, and looks to be a tick paradise in the summer. Portage down the washed out gully, cross a bridge, then portage back up the other side of the dam. Then you are back on gravel and paved roads for your ride back. The road sections are 'easy' It's hard to give this trail a difficulty rating, since it is so variable. I think I'll stick with the Sourwood trail.

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World Champ


March 18, 2013
Greg Heil World Champ  
 
Review: I rode this trail again this past weekend (3/13) for the first time in three or four years. In retrospect, my initial review was a little overstated: this is definitely a very fun trail, especially the section on the southeast side of the lake. It's definitely worth a visit, but I'd probably only give it about 3.5-4 stars now.

Similar Trail: Hickory Knob State Park, Mccormick, South Carolina

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Granny Gear

January 22, 2013
 
Review: UC3 SORBA members have removed all of the dead trees from the trail since January 2013. I have read some of the reviews and should note that the Lake Russell Lake Loop is technically a hiking trail (although it has been ridden for the last 20 years). UC3 SORBA members are in the process of proposing a change is designation to hike/bike trail. We have committed to maintain these trails in the future. It is a great trail that provides an excellent singletrack experience and we believe the campground side of the lake loop would be an ideal beginner mountain bike trail.

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Granny Gear


March 18, 2013
Greg Heil Granny Gear  
 
Review: Is the nearby Rhododendron trail open to mountain bikes?

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Lake Russell Loop MTB Trail 3.28 out of 5 based on 18 ratings. 18 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
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207 SHARES | 2 COMMENTS