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By: Liam Wescott

This is a very technical, fairly difficult, but fun ride that is not very long distance wise, but can take some time to complete. You should be in fairly good shape before attempting this ride and it is not recommended for beginners.  Total distance by this route is around 15 miles and can be done in less than two hours by a determined rider or group of riders, between two and three hours if you want to go slow and mellow.

Start at the gravel pit at 2 mile Murphy Dome Road. There are two ways to start this ride. One (the VERY hard way) is to take the powerline straight up the hill. This powerline goes all the way up to the top where it intersects Moose Mountain Road and is not an easy climb. Only the very strongest riders are capable of riding it all the way to the top. Most people will have to push their bikes up at least part of the way.

The much easier (relatively speaking, of course) way to get to the top of the hill is to ride out Murphy Dome for a little bit to Spinach Creek Road. Turn right and then left at the intersection with Moose Mountain Road. Ride over to the ski lodge, go past it, then take an old access road up the hill. This road doubles back the same way you just came, only going uphill. Follow this road up the hill past an intersection with Moose Mountain Road until you get to the powerline mentioned earlier. Turn left and climb up about 200 feet or so until you get to Moose Mountain Road.

You can continue all the way up Moose Mountain Road if you so desire, but the more fun way to get to the top is to take a little double track that goes off to the right alongside Moose Mountain Road. Eventually you come to the parking area at the very top of the hill. At this point, you have done about 80 percent of the work, but covered perhaps a third of the total distance.

Take the powerline that goes off beyond the parking area. There are a couple of fast descents, a couple of tough little hills, but about three miles later, you come to an intersection with a road. Turn left and take a fast downhill for three-quarters of a mile. Then you meet up with Old Murphy Dome Road. Take a sharp left here, and follow a fast, technical descent for the next two or three miles until you come to and around some big puddles.

You can either continue on Old Murphy Dome Road all the way up to the sudivision (another half-mile), keep on going another three miles to the intersection with Spinach Creek Road and take that all the way down to the bottom of the hill (which is a fun, fast descent!) or you can take the cool very technical 'Rabbit Trail' that goes off to the left. This trail is a little ways after the puddles you passed earlier. It is well marked now, but is easy to miss if you're not looking for it.

This trail drops down the hill in a fast, technical descent that comes out at a powerline. Follow it for a while to a double track which parallels Moose Creek and finally comes out on Moose Mountain Road. Then it's a quick ride back to your car.

Congratulations!  You have completed the Moose Mountain (Short) Loop!