November 8, 2015
Good trail. I would agree with others that better signs need to be out. I wanted to ride the whole 4.7 mile long South Branch Loop but ended up at the parking lot of Old Colchester Road following the signs. I resumed the trail and ended up going through all the three intermediate mt. bike trails. They were very challenging. When I was done at the Gunston Road trail head start where I started, the app on my phone said I had only ridden 2.45 miles. I don't know where I missed going longer. I ran into two other riders coming towards me on the trail after I left the Colchester Road parking lot, and they were asking me for directions to the Gunston parking lot. The trail is narrow and allows traffic both ways, so I pulled over a few times to wait for on coming riders to pass.
In spite of all the leaves on the trail, the trail was still visible due to all the use today.
I will go back and try again.
January 16, 2016
After several return trips, I figured out a good way to ride the trail. Go right at the start and follow signage for "South Branch Loop" at any junctions. When you go to the right, you can hit Boss, Yard Sale, and The Stinger off the trail. As you exit one, turn left to go to the next one. You will pass the exit of each one on the way. I like to ride them as they are listed on the map by letter. The Boss, pass The Stinger, do Yard Sale, and do The Stinger on the way out. The trail after that is alot of climbing which is why I think riders like to go left at the start; You miss The Stinger if you do Yard Sale when you arrive at it. Yard Sale's exit is past The Stinger's exit and entrance. If you go right at the start, turn right on the exit of The Stinger, and you can enjoy the fast trail back the way you came. You also miss the climb out and a chance to hit the boss again. You can get almost a six mile ride going right at the start, doing the three areas, and following the trail out or returning the way you started. Have fun.
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