Will White Ride
This ride can be summed up by saying it was rocky. Our ride was 22 miles with 2652′ of climbing topping out at 9600′. Most of the ride was technically doubletrack but there are so many rocks and roots, branches and debris that it’s not even really singletrack in most places. Plainly put, this is a very tough ride that earned it’s black diamond trail rating.
We rode up Willie White Trail, which is a jumble of rugged rocks with barely any solid surface to ride on. The going was slow but it’s all rideable. At the junction with Wills Canyon Trail we turned left and rode that to Upper Wills Canyon Trail. This section climbed 3 miles up a canyon on a slightly easier tread with a pretty expansive grassy green meadow on the left the whole way up. At the “top” we hopped on a forest service road for a short section and then connected to Upper Hubbel Canyon Trail. More of the same… rocky rocky rocky loose rugged trail.
We didn’t see anyone else out riding here, I imagine most of its users are atv riders. The quietness of the backcountry was enough company.
Cloudcroft Exploration Ride
Well, it happens sometimes. We found a ride on Ridewithgps.com that looked good. So, from our boondocking spot off we went. Our ride was 28.3 miles with 3453′ of climbing topping out at 9142′.
The first part was on rocky and gravely forest service roads to the North of Cloudcroft. They were quiet roads; only a couple atv’s passed us as we climbed up into the mountains. Eventually we came to a forest road closed to all vehicles and motorcycles and it got a bit more primitive. We passed the Wofford Lookout and then descended into Zinker Canyon and an extensive valley of grassy meadows.
After crossing over the highway and riding up a nice county gravel road, we descended the backside into the community of Wimsatt. We had to pedal up a REALLY steep section to get to Sullivan Canyon Trail. Right about here we got worried. After passing 2 signs that said the road was open to landowners and guests, no ATV forest access, we came to where our turn was supposed to be. The trail looked like it hadn’t been used in over a decade. But, undeterred by a little wildness, we headed up. Really, there is no trail here. We were just riding trying to follow the obvious contour of where we thought it would be. Up we went. And then after a bit of hiking as well, we came to a dead end at private property. A giant barricade and fencing made it pretty obvious our route was over.
Back we went to the highway where we rode for 7 miles back to camp. You can’t win every day. Plus, the ride wasn’t a total loss. It’s never a loss when you get to ride through the forest and along meadows, see beautiful countryside, and breath in life.