Mountain Biking

While I enjoy both road and mountain biking, mountain biking is my cycling passion.  I began mountain biking in the early 90s. I grew up riding the rock-strewn trails in Pennsylvania.

Although I occasionally hit some trails in the Adirondacks on my mountain bike, I have taken to my road bike more frequently..  Due to regulations, there aren't too many trails open to bikes. Many of the trail systems are relatively limited and tend to be rougher and muddier than the riding I experienced living in Colorado and the West. I have ridden some singletrack in the Lake Placid area as well as dirt road rides in the region. In general, the Adirondack mountain biking is fairly undeveloped compared to other places I have lived.  
I lived near Salida, Colorado for five years before returning to the Northeast and was lucky enough to have access to world class riding within a short drive. Even in winter, I had access to some lower elevation rides. I was fortunate enough to hit some trails in other western states such as Utah and Montana as well.

Continental Divide Trail near Buena Vista, CO

Clifftop ride at Oil Well Flats in Cañon City, CO

Riding through aspens on the Rainbow Trail near Poncha Pass

Riding above the Colorado River in Fruita

Alpine singeltrack along the Monarch Crest

Before living in Colorado I spent eight years in Maine and headed out on my bike whenever I wasn't hiking. While Maine didn't have many dedicated mountain bike trails, there was an abundance of logging roads that made for some fun excursions.  I rode mostly in remote areas around the Moosehead Lake region, north of Sebec Lake on a vast logging road system, Acadia National Park, and the trails in the Sugarloaf area. Perhaps the nicest thing about riding in Maine was the wildlife.  I have seen numerous moose and bear among other wildlife while riding in the more remote areas.

South Horn from the Esker Trail in the Bigelows

Singletrack at Sugarloaf

Sugarloaf Mountain reflecting in Readington Pond
at Sugarloaf''s trails

Click the links below to read previous mountain biking posts.

Mountain Biking the Royal Gorge Region
Buena Vista Mountain Biking
Cañon City Mountain Biking: Oil Well Flats
Hayden Pass Mountain Bike Hill Climb
Mountain Biking the Badger Creek- Powerline Loop
Salida Mountain Biking: Riding New Trails in the Arkansas Hills
Cañon City Mountain Biking: South Cañon Trails
South Park Mountain Biking: Salt Creek-McQuaid, Gold Dust, and Sheep Creek
Mountain Biking Twin Lakes
Mountain Biking to Billings Lake
Mountain Biking Crested Butte for the First Time
Mountain Biking the Colorado Trail: Kenosha Pass to Georgia Pass
Mountain Biking the Monarch Crest: Twice is Nice
Mountain Biking Marshall Pass and Starvation Creek
Mountain Biking Hartman Rocks
Mountain Biking Fruita- Kokopelli Area Trails
Salida Mountain Biking- Cottonwood Gulch and the Arkansas Hills
Return to Pueblo Reservoir- Voodoo Loop and Canyon Trails
Mountain Biking at Pueblo Reservoir
Rainbow Trail by Mountain Bike: Bear Creek to Kerr Gulch
Oil Well Flats: Fun Desert Singletrack
Mountain Biking Lookout Loop and the Crater
Canyon Creek Loop: Mountain Biking in the High Country
Alpine Mountain Biking on the CDT: St. Elmo- Alpine Tunnel- Tincup Pass Loop
Mountain Biking the Silver Creek- Rainbow Trail Loop
Mountain Biking the Triple Rainbow Route

Cycling the Carriage Roads of Acadia National Park
Another Great Day Mountain Biking the Sugarloaf Area Trails
Mountain Biking the Sugarloaf and Bigelow Region
The Ups and Downs of Mountain Biking in Maine
Moose Mayhem on Mountain Bike Ride and Sasquatch!
First Mountain Bike Ride of Year=Misadventure

Mountain Biking Helena, Montana: Mt Helena Ridge and South Hills Trails

Moab Mountain Biking: Klondike Bluffs
Mountain Biking the Porcupine Rim in Moab
Klonzo Trail System Mountain Biking in Moab
Mountain Biking Navajo Rocks in Moab


  1. Troy, are there any mtb trails near Howard? By 'near' I mean a couple of miles, something suitable for a short ride out the door.

    1. My go to ride in Howard is a loop on BLM land. I usually start at the end of Sand Gulch Road by Turkey Rock. I follow Sand Gulch Rd veering left at the Sand Gulch/ Sand Rd Split. Following this by staying on the main road, this will end in Wellsville. From Wellsville I follow the CR 45 along the river back to the start. This loop is all double track and jeep road but a good workout with a fair amount of up and down with some nice views of the northern Sangres and southern Sawatch. This loop is 20ish miles but a relatively fast 20 miles.

      If I'm looking for a quicker ride, I will park at the CR 45/47 intersection and ride upstream on 45. The first few miles are dirt road. After passing through "downtown" Howard, It becomes more of a doubletrack jeep trail close to the river. I usually ride this to Wellsville. Once in Wellsville I ride behind the lime mine and up Wells Gulch to where it is gated. Up Wells Gulch it becomes rougher and climbs steeply at the start. Wells Gulch is also a good place to see Bighorn Sheep. All the way to the gate and back is 20ish miles but make the ride as quick as you like turning around at any point.

      Watch for snakes, particularly along the river. If you want more specific directions on the first ride let me know.

    2. Thanks. I'm looking for a home in Salida, but might consider Howard too. MTB out the door is a requirement.

    3. Salida definitely has more MTB out the door. S Mountain and Methodist Mountain both have trails rideable from town. There isn't any worthwhile singletrack in Howard but Salida is 15-20 minutes depending where you live. Canon City is less than an hour from Howard with riding most winters.

  2. I spend a lot of time in Salida, and was looking to try a new place to camp in Buena Vista. Do you know of any campgrounds where you can mountain bike from the site? I was looking at Ruby Mountain campground but I am having trouble finding out the difficulty of the trails in the Browns Canyon National Monument. I am somewhat a beginner mountain biker. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for checking out my blog. I've hiked at Browns Canyon and have a blog on here from December 2016- you can find it under the "Hiking" Page. I don't think Mt bikes are allowed in the National Monument. One of the better beginner rides in Buena Vista is the Midland Trail which runs from the park along the river downtown towards Trout Creek Pass. There are some campgrounds accessible off of US24 between Johnsons Village and the pass. Unfortunately I'm not too familiar with them but this can give you a place to start looking. Hope that helps.

  3. the "black" Miracle Mile Trail on the front of the mountain. Based on the difficulty of the blue, it was probably the right decision given the fact that I didn’t have pads. best hydration packs