Painter Ridge Trail is a great introduction to mountain biking and to Echo Bluff State Park. Signed in a clockwise direction of travel, the trail includes two loops. The trail's route weaves through ravines, along waterfalls and around bluffs where it offers scenic opportunities, including an excellent view of Sinking Creek. The trail is enhanced with two bike challenge routes (white connector 1 is .10 miles and white connector 2 is .03 miles). The challenge routes include elevated trail features such as ladder bridges, narrow balance features, ramps and boardwalks. The trail includes features to test all skill levels and is designed so all riders can enjoy and challenge themselves while exploring the Ozark terrain. If a user completes both loops and both white connectors going in a clockwise direction, they will have completed 3.25 miles of trail. A .50-mile spur connects to the special-use camping area and there is also an access to the day-use area off the north loop.
This is a very well-done trail for single track. It is largely dirt and small rock but is currently heavily leaf-covered. It was mostly dry yesterday but could be slick if wet. There are two loops (blue and red), and each has an extension (or entry points, depending on where you start). The blue extension has some fun, tight switchbacks and makes for a great climb and fast descent. The red extension ends (or begins) at the bottom of echo Bluff at sinking creek. It is the more rocky and technical section of the trail but tons of fun and leads to opportunity for riding along the creek. There are a couple, unsuspecting steep, rock stair and narrow drop-offs (I walked them) which I didn't find consistent with the overall trail design and certainly not for beginners. The mix of deciduous and fir along the bluff with the creek below make for great scenery. Watch, too, for hikers and wild horses as it is a multi-use trail. I rated it advanced to account for the steep grade (over 20% in some sections) and the loose rock obstacles.Thank |