Ever heard the old adage, "make hay while the sun shines?" Well this winter it's been make tracks while the mud is frozen - I'm still working on that one. Anyway, the ride was the result of literal weeks of rainfall and mild winter temperatures. Kentucky received a pretty good cold snap, bitterly cold, and I saw it as an opportunity to hit the trail without having to fight mud the whole time.
This was my first real ride out in the Cave Run Lake area on a mountain bike. I did a short ride out in the Zilpo area a couple of years ago but it was more of a get out of the house trip rather than a go hit the trail kind of ride. Anyway...
The trailhead is located in a bottom next to Triplett Creek just off US 60 between Salt Lick and Morehead. The trail begins by crossing the creek via a swinging bridge or low water crossing - it was 18 degrees out so I opted for the bridge.
The railing on the bridge was too narrow for my handlebars so it takes a little finagling. Before I go any further, yes this is a designated biking trail, even if the bridge to access the trail is too narrow for most bicycles. Take a look at the Cave Run Nonmotorized Trails map posted on the USFS website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/dbnf/recreation/?cid=stelprd3793019. This is designated as the Limestone Connector Trail 109A which takes you to the top of the ridge where it meets the Sheltowee Trace Section 100:8.
At the fork, in the picture above, I hung a right and continued along the ridge. Most of the ride up to this point has been doubletrack (or at least that's how it appeared with 1.5" of snow on it). The ridge trail winds along some beautiful scenery of Bath and Rowan Counties until and drops to the side of a point and turns into some narrow singletrack - nothing technical, just narrow. This bit of singletrack brings you to the next fork in the trail and probably the best view on the entire ride.
I hung a left at this fork and followed Lakeview Ridge Trail 122. This trail is a fun, fast downhill - at least in this direction - with a lot of opportunities to catch air. This downhill will spit you out at wooden bridge and onto some doubletrack that brings you out to 801. I made the short sprint down 801 to the wildlife viewing area for a Clif Bar and to gather up a little gumption to hike-a-bike back up the hill.
At this point it was time to turn back around and retrace my steps. The long, fast downhill becomes a long, slow, tiring hike-a-bike (I'll blame the snow). Again with the old sayings but this route is literally uphill both ways, so beware.