The fall is here, the leaves are covering the ground, and the days are slowly getting shorter and shorter. This is by far the best season for hiking, because the days are also much cooler, and the biting bugs have finally gone away. Ever consider trail running in the fall of the year? This is also a great time to pick up the pace and head out to hit the trails in a different fashion; maybe even try a new sport.
The Whiteface Region is becoming well known for their mountain biking destinations, but what many don’t realize is the opportunity that lies on the mountain biking trails – they are also perfect for trail running. Mountain bikers and trail runners tend to enjoy the same type of terrain with steady climbs, crazy descents, tight turns, and various difficulties in terrain. So please read on a bit further and learn a little about the mountain biking trail systems found in the Whiteface Region, and then go play!
The Wilmington Flume Trail System is located off Route 86 between Lake Placid and Wilmington and has around 8.0 miles of trails in total. These trails were developed by BETA (Bark Eater Trails Alliance) in cooperation with the NYSDEC.
16 different trails make up the Flume, and with this many options there is sure to be a trail for you. Each trail offers different terrain and difficulty and when combined with one another the loops are almost countless. Keep in mind that some of these trails are very steep and often narrow. The Flume Knob Trail and the Bears Den Mountain Trail are only recommended for hiking or advanced runners. All other trails in the system are good for beginner to intermediate trail runners.
Beaver Brook Tract
This trail system is practically running distance from the center of Wilmington, but a car would be much more efficient if you didn’t want to pound pavement. The Beaver Brook Tract Trail Network is around 8-miles of trails over varied ability levels. These trails are also built and maintained by BETA.
The trails at Beaver Brook are of a wide array of difficulties and terrain. For trail runners these trails make for a wide variety of loop possibilities. The Coniferous Trail is one of the easier loops within the system and requires very little change in elevation. Twisted Pine is a bit more aggressive with moderate elevation change over the course of the loop. For a much more aggressive run consider the trail named Good Luck. This loop will bring you over the height-of-land on a steep course over slab and slippery rock to outstanding views along a ridge. As you drop down there are also a couple of short steep pitches where the conditions can be a bit aggressive.
This trail network is always under construction and maintenance and new trails may be added. Be sure to keep up to date on the progress to see what else pops up.
This trail system is rather large and is expanding every year. The network consists of almost two dozen different trails. These trails can be combined for countless loops over countless terrain combinations. One major trail going through the area is the Jackrabbit Trail; many of the others can be accessed from this as well. Many of the trails are rather short in length, and at times, nearly loop back on themselves.
A trail map is very important for navigation of this trail system; it is very easy to get turned around here. Keep in mind these trails are very narrow in areas and consist of sharp turns to keep you on your toes.
Remember these trail systems were built for, and are shared with, mountain bikers; we don’t want any collisions or fender benders. With the multitude of trails and loops available here, you can run for months and not make the same loop twice. With that being said there are trails here for all abilities and interests. If you find yourself in the need of some gear or running shoes, be sure to stop by a local outfitters for some great deals.