Saturday, June 15, 2019

Lost Mountain Park

I forget who's Strava I was looking at, but a while back I noticed that someone rode at Lost Mountain Park. I'd ridden by it on the road dozens of times over the years, and driven past it on the way to Allatoona, but I never knew there were any trails there. It's somebody's job to keep me apprised of such things! Damn you, anonymous slacker!

I kept meaning to run by and check it out after work, but the opportunity didn't present itself until a couple of Sundays ago. I felt like I'd been beaten with a hose after the previous day's work party, needed to get in some recovery miles, and a spin around some local flatness seemed like the right thing to do.

I got to the park, meandered around the various lots, looking for a kiosk or a carsonite post, or something, but there was nothing. There was a walking trail, labelled "Walking Trail", that some kids were riding on, but nothing else as far as I could tell. Was I wrong about there being a trail here?

I eventually looked up a map online and it set me straight. You have to head toward the tennis center, then take this random, unmarked dirt road up around a hill. Upon cresting it, though, you're greeted with a familiar-looking lot...

...and a beautiful pond.

Now, we're getting somewhere.

As I got ready, a loudmouthed guy got out of his car and started walking around the pond with his family. I could hear him shouting and complaining about every little thing someone else was doing from the lot until about halfway around the lake, where they apparently decided to turn back, because I could then hear his ridiculous voice just getting louder again as they approached. When they got back to the lot, they left. A guy who had been fishing looked at me, and the two of us simuntaneously shook our heads with the same mix of relief and disbelief at what we'd just seen.

Time to hit the actual trails.

I'd recently started using my brother's eTrex 20, and I figured it would be a good opportunity to learn its ins and outs. Boy, was it. At first, the trails were incredibly confusing. Just a total spider web. I had marked a dozen waypoints before I'd ridden a mile. I hoped the whole system wouldn't be like that.

Thankfully, it turned out no. Before long, I figured out how you're supposed to perceive the system. There's a hub, with 3 loops off of it - Backwoods, Bigfoot, and Hawthorne. There's also a connector over to the walking trail coming off of the loop. What was confusing though, was that the lot is partway through the Hawthorne Loop. In fact, the trail leading directly away from the lot cross-cuts the loop. The loop itself actually crosses perpendicular to that trail. If you bomb downhill on that cross-cut, you actually have to take a right or left to get on the loop, but it looks like you ought to just keep going. Doing that, though, puts you on some non-system trails that eventually connect-up with Bigfoot.

Super confusing!

But, once I had it figured out, it was all shred.

Like 4.5 miles of shred.

That is, until I almost ran over a chunk of barbed wire that someone had strategically placed in the dead middle of the trail!


I rode the whole system, then went back to check some little side trails that I'd marked. One basically followed the spillway from the pond. The spillway was armored in concrete, which someone just had a great time decorating.


I managed to flat crossing the spillway, and then spend the next 15 minutes fixing it because I'd failed to pack a spare. The tube that was in my pack turned out to be the one that I'd flatted on Aska Road during that last ride. Patches to the rescue, but it really slowed down the process.

When I got rolling again, I followed every little side trail I could until I was satisfied that I'd explored everything worth exploring. Then, I headed out.

Cool system. Well built, fun to ride. Reminded me of Allatoona, which I guess makes sense given its geographical proximity. I wonder if I could put together a Tabor - Lost Mountain - Allatoona loop.

Hmm... that might be fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment