|6 miles||Loop System||3.0 Total Climbing Miles||1,781' Max||6.8% Avg Grade|
|20.4 Climb Index||100% Singletrack||2.8 Total Descending Miles||1,322' Min||31.7% Max Grade|
Overview: This trail is made up of six trails which unfortunately are not all loops. In order to ride every trail out there you will have to go back over some trails you have already ridden. With that said this is still one of my favorite trails to ride and each trail offers something a little bit different than the other. The Inner Loop and Carriage trail are probably about the easiest trails out there. The Inner is all single track that twists and turns through a meadow and tree line, it is fast and flat and a great place to start a novice out on. Carriage Trail is an old dirt road that is slowly being taken back by Mother Nature. This trail is short and does not make up a loop unless you use the Settler trail to create what we call the Outer Loop. Carriage is a fairly flat and non-technical trail with very few turns. If you are traveling from the north heading south on the Carriage there is a nice little berm at the end which makes for a nice place to catch a little air. Using the Inner and Outer Loops makes for a great novice ride, recovery ride or speed work.
Settler Trail runs south to north connecting Fern Loop to the Earthquake Ridge Loop. For the most part this trail does not have much in climbing, it is a little rocky in places and has a little drop off nothing a beginner could not handle. It does run through a section we call the Pine Needle Floor because of all the Pine needles that cover the trail, a little caution here as those needles can make the front tire wash out.
Earthquake Ridge Loop is the most demanding of the trails out here. If you go CCW be prepared for a sustained one mile climb that has a few steep but short hills and a little bit of technical riding. Don't ride what we call Slick Rock when wet. Unlike Moab this rock is actually slick when wet and will drop you like a hot potato. You will know it when you come to a large rock that is flat with a slight slant to it. If you ride this loop CW the climb is not sustained but it is a little longer. Either way you ride this loop the downhill is fast and very fun. There are a few tricky sections but most beginners should be able to handle them. This loop has some mild drops and rocky sections.
The Southern Loop connects Earthquake Ridge Loop to Fern Loop. This section of the trail system is a gradual downhill if riding CCW. Most of it is pretty smooth with a few rocky sections. There are few sections where you can really get up steam but watch out for rocks and some pretty good sized roots. Just after you cross Hwy 88 there is a nice berm to catch a little air.
The Fern Loop is like twins that are completely different. You have the Upper Fern which is fast, flat and fairly smooth until you get to the steep switchbacks that take you down to the Lower Fern. The Lower Fern has gentle switchbacks, lots of rocks and roots, quick ups and downs that makes for a bone jarring ride that will test some rider’s technical skills. Overall Earthquake Trail System is a really fun trail to ride. It is a little short but when added with the Rich Mountain Trail a person can get a couple of good hours of riding out there.
Recommended Route: We normally ride the entire trail counter clockwise starting at the V.I.C and taking the south trail head.
Rating: The Inner Loop and Carriage Trail are good for novice riders. The rest of the trails I would rate for advanced beginners and up.
|Athens Big Fork||Glenwood||9.5 miles||Int|
|Big Brushy Complex||Mena||15.5 miles||Int|
|Eagle Rock Loop||Glenwood||24 miles||Int|
|Fourche Mountain||Mena||26 miles||Int|
|Little Missouri||Glenwood||16 miles||Int|
|Ouachita Trail||Mena||104 miles||Int|
|Rich Mountain||Mena||8 miles||Int|
|Wolf Pen Gap||Mena||42 miles||Int|
|Womble||Mount Ida||35 miles||Int|