By: Liam Wescott
This is a short (around 15 miles) but very taxing, difficult ride that
can be a three hour endurance fest. Depending on whether it is a
wet or dry year, you may very well be out on the trail for longer than
hours. You have several long, brutal climbs and one very steep
requiring some degree of skill to successfully descend at speed.
is also really properly a winter ride. If the conditions are
in winter (i.e., thick snowpack recently packed down by snowmachines
dogsleds) a determined rider or group of riders could easily finish
ride in under two hours. In the summer, it takes closer to three
to finish and may be longer depending on the condition of O'Connor
trail. You will do somewhere around 2100 feet of elevation gain
the course of the 15 miles of this ride.
Start at the Ivory Jack's parking lot on Goldstream Road. Ride up
Jones Road to where it becomes Waldheim. There should be a little
trail going off down the hill to the right, following a section line.
Take it and descend for a few hundred feet until you intersect a
north-south at a T intersection. This is O'Connor Creek trail.
north (left) here and follow this trail for the next four miles or so.
You will have to slog through several very long, muddy stretches
where you will have to get off your bike. There are other
stretches of this trail that are eminently rideable. In the
winter, the entire thing is rideable. There will be several short
uphill sections, two stream crossings, and
finally, a swamp crossing that is rideable in a dry year. In a
you will have to carry your bike through this swamp. You should
about four and a half miles into the ride at this point.
Finally, you emerge on the other side of the swamp, at the last stream
crossing and the trail starts going up a gradual hill for a little bit.
come to a three-way intersection with a trail going straight up the
to the left, one going directly up the hill in front of you, and
one going off uphill to the right. Take the right fork here!
left fork ends in a driveway and the middle fork is a VERY difficult
up the hill. The right fork ascends, slowly at first, then
steeper and steeper toward the end. Eventually, after about a
mile or so,
the trail tops out on Old Murphy Dome Road. Stop, take a
gather your strength, and turn left. You climb a little hill on
Murphy Dome Road which ends at a cul-de-sac where the subdivided
of Old Murphy Dome Road ends. The road itself continues on to the
albeit unmaintained. Follow this road for about a mile or so.
You drop down, climb a short hill, then come to a fork. Take the
left fork. You descend down a fast descent then do a short climb
where you come to another fork. Again, take the left fork and
a three-quarter mile grinding climb up to a powerline trail that goes
over to Moose Mountain. This is the only trail that spurs off of
road. Turn right here. Follow this trail for the next two
or so. You will have a couple of fast, neat, technical descents,
couple of short, grinding climbs, and a few level sections in between.
you come out at the top of Moose Mountain. You could take the
Mountain road on down, but why bother? The trail you are now on
into a fast, fun, and amazing double-track that drops down alongside
Mountain road and eventually comes out on a subdivision road.
across the street, down a new driveway (as of 2003), there is a section
Follow it straight down the hill for a quarter-mile descent that
sure to give your brakes a workout!
You come out on a road. You can turn left or right. Going
left takes you over to a trail that eventually turns into Waldheim and
puts you back onto Jones Road. Going right, you climb a little
and then go down several subdivision roads until you finally come out
Ivory Road. Cross Goldstream Road here and take the four-wheeler
alongside it back to the parking lot. Congratulations, you have
completed the O'Connor Creek Ride!