June 10, 2012
This trail grew on me. I was disappointed with the first circuit as the scenery was not quite what I expected (limited views of the reservoir) and the speed and features were not what I had hoped for. However, in subsequent circuits I had a pretty good time. I think those who are new and seasoned can have a good time on this trail. The sad thing is with improvement this could be a very good trail--the topography of the area is awesome and this could have killer downhills, corners, jumps and so forth. As is, you've got some moderately fast sections and some moderate elevation gain and a few obstacles that require attention. The trail was overgrown in several sections and had large branches but definitely managable. If cleaned up I might give it 3.5 stars. I sprayed with Deet heavily but still had a tick and mosquito attacks if stopping to take in the view. It is in a heavily treed area, so sun is not an issue.
I rode both directions. I found clockwise a little easier in terms of physical effort and obstacles, but I like counter-clockwise better. My average times were about 27 minutes for all the loops, without going full bore but at a pretty good pace. The trail guide stating 10 minutes is inaccurate--that would put the speed at about 24 mph. So don't let the apparent short lap time dissuade you. I wouldn't travel here just for the mountain biking, but if you're going take the bike along. I will next year. The trail appears to be lightly used by bikers. I saw no one on the trail.
A reviewer said Johnson Branch North of DFW area. It has some elements of that trail, but not as rocky and I actually prefer Lake View Lodge Trail.