|5.5 miles||Loop System||2.8 Total Climbing Miles||600' Max||7.6% Avg Grade|
|21.28 Climb Index||95% Singletrack||2.7 Total Descending Miles||449' Min||27.3% Max Grade|
Overview: Lee Creek Reservoir is made up of three loops and one out and back trail, Cemetery Loop, Crack in the Rock Loop, Homestead Loop and the Dam Overlook Trail. The Cemetery Loop so named because of the old grave sites it encircles. From what I understand these are graves of soldiers who fought a battle here during the Civil War, not sure how true that is but I remember reading it somewhere. The trail starts off with a little bit of a climb that might put a few folks off their bikes. The climb is well worth the effort once you get to the top, there the trail runs along some bluffs with a great view of the lake and the gully below. After that it is pretty smooth ridding with not too much in elevation change. The trail down off the ridge is pretty fast and short and not very technical at all.
The Crack in the Rock Loop starts at a creek bank and then runs along the edge of the creek bank. There is one spot where the creek opens up into what looks like a really nice swimming hole. A little ways after this swimming hole you come to a very steep, rocky and brutal climb that will put a lot of riders to foot. Once at the top this trail meanders on the edge of a bluff for a ways and is a little tricky in spots. You eventually come to the name sake for this trail a huge rock with a rather large crack running through it. After that trail winds through the woods with a few technical areas. It will eventually bring you back down an old dirt road back to the creek where you started.
The Homestead Loop is by far the biggest of the loops out here. Head straight up the old dirt road until you come to a trail near the top of the hill and to your right, here you jump on half of the loop and follow it back down to the bottom where you started. This little section of this loop has some really fast and fun downhill on it. There is one section where you come to a bluff with a very sharp turn so be careful, it would be very easy to overshoot this turn and wind up in the creek about 40 feet below. Once at the bottom ride back up the dirt road and just past where you turned right there is another trail going to the left, this section is a little longer than the previous section. Most of this section is pretty nice and not too difficult. There are a few scenic areas and a little bit of a ridge ride. One place in particular to watch out for is a very steep and rough descent down a hill, you will need to get way back off the saddle for this one. Once at the bottom of this hill there is a tree there that looks like a horse’s head sticking out of the trunk of the tree. There is a little bit more climbing on a ridge after this and some riding near the lake but other than that it is all pretty gentle.
The Dam Overlook trail head is just before you get to the parking lot on the left as you are driving in. It starts out in a rolling field and eventually goes into some woods. There are a few technical places and a little bluff riding but for the most part it is an easy trail and the scenic overview at the end is pretty awesome.
I personally really like this trail and I don't know why more people don't ride it. It is a little technical in places but it is still a really fun trail to ride. I did forget to mention that the trail leading up from the wooden steps at the start is very rough with lots of big roots crisscrossing the trail.
Recommended Route: Stay straight at first Y and do Cemetery CCW. Go back to Y and turn right, come to creek and follow trail near creek, do not cross creek yet this is the Crack in the Rock Loop going CW. Back at creek, cross creek and go straight up old dirt road, take trail to right near top this is half of Homestead Loop. Back at creek take same road again back to near the top and take trail to left this is the other half of Homestead Loop and will bring you right back to the creek where you started.
Rating: The Cemetery Loop would probably be alright for novice riders once they get past the climb.The other two loops I would recommend for advanced beginners and up. The Dam Overlook Trail would probably be okay for most people.
Van Buren, AR