The name alone conjures up fear; but for the mountain bike enthusiast, Dark Mountain trail at Kerr Scott is the real deal. Fear, for sure, but it is so much more. This series of single track trails is considered by most to be challenging, yet doable. I must admit to carrying my bike on some sections; but as they say “if you ain’t hiking…. you ain’t biking”. J
It is hard to imagine that nearly ten years have passed since I was introduced to the idea of building trails at Kerr Scott. I was approached by a friend (Jim Horton, loving known as the Trail Boss) who was building the trails by hand and was seeking funding for a walk behind grading machine. I encouraged him to seek a grant from the local tourism authority and Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club received $10,000.00 from them and another $2500.00 from the Hampton Inn. The rest is history. Many hours of hard work by local volunteers and Dark Mountain trails were underway. (Kudos to BMCC and all the volunteers that have made this a reality!!!)
The trails gained national attention and soon the Burn 24 Hour mountain bike race was moved to this location and has remained here ever since. This 24 hour endurance race is held annually in late May and begins at noon and ends at noon and is a crazy workout for those brave enough to tackle it. I have only watched.
Dark Mountain Trails contain 7.5 miles of ups and downs that some have called a free roller coaster ride. The trials are located at the end of Reservoir Road across the Dam. Cross the Dam, turn left and go down the hill to the parking lot, unload your bike, put on your helmet and prepare for the challenge. For your convenience, a free bike wash station is located at the end of your ride. Enjoy.
Overmountain Victory Trail (OVT)
OVT is 9.5 miles of pure mountain biking pleasure. Generally, this series of trails is doable by most every skill of rider (at least some portions). For me, the most fun is Shiners Loop, a loop trail constructed around a peninsula of land that gives the rider great lake views and absolutely gorgeous wooded scenery. The trail is challenging, but flows like a mountain stream… the downs power the ups and the ups give way to gentle grades that wind through the wooded ridges. It is better than it sounds!
OVT is accessible from the parking lot at the Kerr Scott welcome center located on Reservoir Road. Park in front of the building and the trails are directly across the entrance drive, look for signage. Except for Shiners Loop, OVT is an out and back trail, so watch for oncoming traffic. (I have had more than a few near misses)
Warrior Creek is the newest of the trail segments and is located north on Hwy 268 some 4 miles from Reservoir Road at the Warrior Creek Campground. Totaling 17 miles and still growing, Warrior Creek offers a day long ride that is challenging enough for any rider. These trails are downright fun! The banks switchbacks are a thrill and the downhill runs are breathtaking.
One cautionary note, I left my left shoulder on these trails, so ride within yourself and let other folks do the same. There are certainly some areas that intermediate riders need to walk J. Rock Gardens are also a challenge on these runs, so be wise and stay safe.
6 Hours of Warrior Creek (6WC) is held here in early April and sold out in 10 hours this year. This event is nationally known and draws the best riders from across the nation. I have had a great time just picking a spot along the trail a just sitting and watching. Of course, as each rider goes by I think…. “That will be me next year”. Not!
Anyway, with over 35 miles of excellent single track trails, KST offers the best of mountain biking to everyone. From novice to expert, it doesn’t matter; just get on that bike and ride. The trails are calling, are you listening?
Check out the web-based map at this link -