October 15, 2015
AKA the Fredericksburg Quarry. Bottom line up front: Lot's of potential, but most of it not realized. Okay, so the bottom line is probably a bit harsh. However, it's an accurate representation of how I felt after the ride.
Let me start with the good. There's some really beautiful scenery here. The water in the quarry was clear and reflected the sky in an amazing way. Additionally, the river view was worth the visit by itself. As for the ride... The lower section of the trail is good single track and you can maintain some reasonable speed and flow through most it. There are several small wooden bridges to ride over and most were in good repair.
On to the not so good. The trail begins with you having to carry your bike over some rocks to get around the fallen bridge. After a short ride, you try to head up the trail only to find several fairly steep climbs that are littered with tree roots. Add some damp leaves and I found it manageable, but pretty frustrating. Additionally, the trail was confusing. There were places were it simply disappeared, intersections that crossed back to the trail for no reason, and almost no signs or trail markings. The one sign I found near the advanced trails was leaning over and barely held up by a pile of rocks stacked around it. Who knows if it was pointing in the intended direction or not. If not for the map on my phone, I would have missed half the trails I rode. Even then, I still feel like a missed a bunch (never found the rock garden that I read about). I ended up riding down a fairly technical descent (more like a rock filled trench) to get back to the bottom. Okay, that part was fun and put me out on what appeared to be a trail, but who really knows if I was even on the trail at that point. Additionally, the upper trails were riddled with downed trees (dozens...yes, really), erosion ruts, another broken bridge, etc. Although I tried, there was limited flow to be had.
With some TLC (AKA a chain saw), bridge repairs, some trail design changes, and basic trail markings this place could be amazing! There's plenty of space, good climbs/descents, lot's of rocks to build cool features, etc. So much potential. Wish I lived near by...I'd like to be part of the group that transforms this place into something special. So...it's worth the ride, but be prepared for frustration mixed with sporadic awesomeness.
Schaeffer Farms (after a tornado)