Basic map

3-D view

Elevation profile

The Moose Mountain (Long) Ride

By Liam Wescott

This a longer version of the Moose Mountain ride that is (according to certain hammerheads and hard-cores) a rather more wussified version.  It starts and ends at the same gravel pit as the other version.  However, this version has a somewhat different route that the other version, which will be described shortly.  The route mapped and described here is the original course of the Moose Mountain Ride, before we decided to take the access road up to Moose Mountain Road and the Rabbit Trail shortcut off of Old Murphy Dome Road.  A determined rider or group of riders could probably finish this ride in under two hours, but most people will take longer to do it, say around three hours or longer, especially if it is wet and/or muddy.  This is a fairly grueling ride, so be prepared.  Pack an energy bar or two, lots of water, and be prepared for quite a bit of climbing (around 2500 feet of elevation gain all told) and around 17 miles of riding.  This version is about three or four miles longer than the other version and has much more elevation gain.

(Note: the weird vertical crease in the 3D map and those weird vertical drops in the profile are just artifacts of the mapping software)

Start at the gravel pit about 2 miles down Murphy Dome Road.  Start riding up the power line that goes up the hill to the northeast.  This power line can be ridden for the first little part of it but it very quickly becomes very steep shortly after you cross the first subdivision road.  Only the very strongest riders are capable of riding all the way up this power line to Moose Mountain Road.  Most riders will have to push or walk their bikes up all or at least part of this power line.  However, this route is a shorter distance than going the other way.  Keep on grinding up, up, and up, for the better part of a mile or so until you intersect Moose Mountain Road.  A couple hundred feet before the intersection, the trail that the other version of this ride uses comes in perpendicular to this power line, on the left.  Finally, you come out on Moose Mountain Road.

You can either take Moose Mountain Road up to the top of the hill from here (as is mapped), or you can continue on the trail next to Moose Mountain Road up to the top.  However you get there, you'll top out at the summit of Moose Mountain.  Stop, rest for a bit, take in the expansive view, and then follow the powerline over to the old Nike Missile site road, about two or three miles away.  You will go along straight for a bit, then drop down, climb back up, level off for a bit, drop back down, then climb back up again until you get to the old missile site road. Note: the power line over to the old missile site has several deep puddles and ruts and in a wet year and/or if it's rained recently, you can count on getting your feet wet and/or walking your bike around or through these puddles and ruts.  Turn left at the old missile road and drop down for 3/4 of a mile until you get to Old Murphy Dome Road.  Turn left again and follow Old Murphy Dome Road for about two miles or so.  If the road is dry and you know what you are doing, you can bomb down the descents, through the ruts, gullies, etc.  If you are not sure of yourself, don't ride real fast here.

Finally you drop down to and around some deep puddles, then you start climbing again.  The other version of this ride then takes off down the "rabbit trail" that goes down the hill to the left.  This ride continues up along Old Murphy Dome Road for a half-mile or so until it emerges at the improved subdivision section of Old Murphy Dome Road.  Turn left here, drop down fast and quick, and then ride a couple of rolling hills until you get to Spinach Creek Road.  Turn left and drop down a VERY fast descent, first on gravel, then on pavement.  Spinach Creek then levels off for a bit, you climb a couple of short little hills, then you bomb all the way down back to Murphy Dome Road.  Turn left and ride back to your car, about a quarter-mile away.

Congratulations!  You have just finished the Murphy Dome (Long) Ride!  Now, get back on your bike and do the other version of this ride.