Basic map

3-D view

Elevation profile

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 three hours.  You have several long, brutal climbs and one very steep descent requiring some degree of skill to successfully descend at speed.  This is also really properly a winter ride.  If the conditions are right in winter (i.e., thick snowpack recently packed down by snowmachines and dogsleds) a determined rider or group of riders could easily finish this ride in under two hours.  In the summer, it takes closer to three hours to finish and may be longer depending on the condition of O'Connor Creek trail.  You will do somewhere around 2100 feet of elevation gain over 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 trail going north-south at a T intersection.  This is O'Connor Creek trail.  Turn 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 wet year, you will have to carry your bike through this swamp.  You should be 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.  You come to a three-way intersection with a trail going straight up the hill to the left, one going directly up the hill in front of you, and another one going off uphill to the right.  Take the right fork here!  The left fork ends in a driveway and the middle fork is a VERY difficult climb 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 breather, gather your strength, and turn left.  You climb a little hill on Old Murphy Dome Road which ends at a cul-de-sac where the subdivided portion of Old Murphy Dome Road ends.  The road itself continues on to the west, 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 again where you come to another fork.  Again, take the left fork and begin a three-quarter mile grinding climb up to a powerline trail that goes off over to Moose Mountain.  This is the only trail that spurs off of this road.  Turn right here.  Follow this trail for the next two miles or so.  You will have a couple of fast, neat, technical descents, a couple of short, grinding climbs, and a few level sections in between.  Eventually, you come out at the top of Moose Mountain.  You could take the Moose Mountain road on down, but why bother?  The trail you are now on turns into a fast, fun, and amazing double-track that drops down alongside Moose Mountain road and eventually comes out on a subdivision road.  Directly across the street, down a new driveway (as of 2003), there is a section line.  Follow it straight down the hill for a quarter-mile descent that is 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 thence puts you back onto Jones Road.  Going right, you climb a little hill and then go down several subdivision roads until you finally come out on Ivory Road.  Cross Goldstream Road here and take the four-wheeler trail alongside it back to the parking lot.  Congratulations, you have successfully completed the O'Connor Creek Ride!