The entrance of the trail was wide and smooth and seemed welcoming enough. As it raised slightly and travelled parallel along the road for a short ways all of a sudden the real welcome mat came out. Rocks! Lots and lots of rocks.
While there are no real extended climbs, there are several short, punchy climbs topped off with rocky switchbacks. Several sections are tight and techy. A couple of miles in I stopped for a breather and thought to myself, “self, what have I gotten myself into?”.
I soldiered on though and in between the rugged, rocky sections there would be short “smooth” downhills. Not knowing the trail though, and having experienced some surprising and challenging turns, I was a little hesitant to really open up. I could see once familiarizing myself, there are some fast and flowy sections to enjoy, if only briefly.
The entrance/exit trail leads to a loop that can be ridden in either direction. Total mileage is around 6, but it’s a real workout. I recall seeing pictures online that showed a sign reading “easy” & “hard” with arrows. I didn’t see the sign and chose clockwise. If it was the “easy” way, the “hard” way must be a real treat.
While the rocky entrance was a eye opener, the rocky climb out was a beast. I stopped one time and let out a “whoo!” before getting back in the saddle and finishing it up. If you want a rocky, fun, challenging trail, Jackfork should be on your list.