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Thursday, July 2, 2009

North Park 18 Mile Outer Loop

Figuring out the mountain bike trails at North Park can be a little daunting. There's a lot of single track out there but good bit of it is spider webbed. It's hard to tell if you are on the main route or just another spur. The recent marking (blazing) of some of the trails in the park have done a lot to make navigating them easier and if you know how to piece it together, it's easy to make one giant 18+ mile loop of single track around the park. You can ride this loop and at most only travel less than half mile a mile of road to piece it all together. (If you are really clever you can piece this together with barely any road all but I want to try and make the route as simple as possible).

It's going to take a lot of effort to explain this loop in the detail that I'd like, so for now I'm giving an overview and with a little investigation this should be enough to go on if you want to give it a go. The route is roughly outlined on this map:

North Park Outer Loop Map

1. Start at the intersection of Kummer and Lake Shore Drive just off of Ingomar Road. There is some parking along Lake Shore right beside this intersection.

2. Head up the grade on Kummer and find the horse trail that parallels the left side of Kummer. Take this climb up to the golf course.

3. Cross Kummer and find the orange trail that goes right along the edge of the golf course and enters into the woods.

Take the orange trail counter clockwise half way around the golf course.

4. Before the church cross Walter Road and get on the green loop passing Flag Staff pavilion and the park administration building.

5. Cut across the lawn by the bathrooms and find the green trail trail head.

6. The green loop empties you out into the pavilion lawn after this you'll want to hook back up and finish the orange loop.

7. Make a right head down Walters Road and find the jeep track immediately on your left.

8. Make the climb and before the top make a right joining back up with the orange loop. You'll continue around the golf course counter clockwise.

9. Staying on the orange loop travel on the edge of the golf course around the cyclone fence

10. The trail ends dumping you onto McKinney Road.

11. Head up the hill and pass Pidgeon Pavillion and find the trail to your right just past the intersection of Kummer and McKinney.

12. As you travel on the wide trail skip the first right with the white arrow and then take the next right down over the hill.

13. In less than a mile look for a trail off to your right. Before the gas line make the right down the steep down hill. If you come to the gas line you've skipped a part just take the gas line down to the raod.

14. Take the gas line down to the intersection of Lake Shore and Brown.

15. Make a right on Brown travel a short distance to a T at the intersection of Brown and Pearce Mill. At this intersection make a right on Pearce Mill

16. Bike down Pearce about a 1/4 mile to North Ridge Road across from the Hockey rink.

17. Find the trail behind the Olympia shelter. Here you'll enter several miles of fantastic single track on the red dotted trail commonly reffered to as North Ridge Bypass and the Bypass Extension.

18 Following the swich backs and climb towards the top.

19. After you climb a while you'll join with another trail. At the T make a right away from the road. If you go left it takse to a clearing beside North Ridge Road and you'll need to turn around.

20. After a couple miles and two bridge crossings you'll climb up to the lookout tower where the trail runs by North Ridge for a few yards. The trails takes you down a desent across a gas line and immediately across your 3rd bridge. After the switch backs you'll meet North Ridge Bypass, make a right. (A left will quickly take you to the trail head on North Ridge Road.)

21. This meanders for a quite a ways over roots and rocks on some of the best single track in the county. After several climbs it empties out at the Wisconsin shelter along North Ridge Road.

22. Cross North Ridge road at the Wisconsin shelter and make a right onto the bridal trail (solid red) and follow the red squares down to the spill way.

UPDATE: A new section of has been added. At this point continue on the Pfundstein trail. Eventually this will take you back to the spillway adding a another two or so miles of great single track onto your route.

Cross Babcock at the Pearce Mill Road intersection at the spillway. You'll find a trail that follows and crosses Pine Creak and eventually lets out behind the ice cream stand at the intersection of Wildwood and Old Babcock,

Cross Wild Wood and head up Old Babcock.

Cross the small walking bridge across the ditch head up hill across the lawn and find the muddy trail off to your left. Wooden Bridge

Take this trail clockwise and eventually up a long climb. A network of single track circles the road around S ridge drive. Use your best instinct to keep yourself up top taking the trails that parallel the road.

Where S. Ridge divides into a single lane one way cross the road find the trail and make a left. This takes you behind the swimming pool and back onto south ridge.

Make a right on Hemlock at the intersection of S Ridge and Hemlock

Cross Babcock onto West Ridge Road. You'll find the trail on your left after you pass Koto Buki.

A mile or so later, you ride a fantastic downhill and then his trails dumps you across the street from the Police training center. Cross West Ridge road and find the trail to your left.

Finish up taking the trail from the training center to the intersection of Ingmar and Kummer.


  1. Shred, thanks for taking the time to document the trails. This was a big help!

  2. Shred, thanks. I did this today and it was awesome. Kicked me right in the lungs.

  3. We're gonna trying to dominate this tomorrow on Hardtails. I am gonna bring so much gane out there tomorrow I'm gonna be crapp'n Yatzee dice and poop'n UNO cards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. Go for it! Have fun! My fastest time on that loop was a blazing 1:46 which includes four minutes of stopping. Avg MPH was 9.9 - 10.2 while actually riding. That was on my Gary Fisher HiFi 29er (Full suspension cross country bike). I think I could have gotten up the climbs a lot faster on a hard tail, especially the short ones, I hit them pretty hard and I could have done without all the rear suspension power suck. I'd have to say a hard tail 26" is the better bike in North Park. Theres a lot of fast tight turns and navigating with those big wheels slows me down.

  5. Shred- Thanks very much for writing everything down!! A buddy and I finally found all of the sections and have been having so much fun. The only negative part of it is now I really want to buy a new bike. Again thanks for documenting the trail and keep on riding!

  6. Shred, hit this trail over the weekend. Was doing fine until the Babcock road section, in which I wasn't able to follow your route. Had to ride the roads back to the original parking lot. How much did I miss? Thanks again,

  7. Your very welcome. You got most of it but those last 4 miles are pretty sweet. Basically you climb up and do the swimming pool loop it pretty much parallels South Ridge Drive, then cross Babcock at West Ridge Road and take the Koto Buki trail back down to where you began. If you get another chance at it the swimming pool loop makes a great starting point. Also the skills park and the free ride trail is up there and worth at least taking a look at. Glad to hear you had fun!


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