The Rosie Creek Ride
By: Liam Wescott
This is a fairly
rigorous but enjoyable ride that can be done in two hours by a
or group of riders. If you want to be mellow, you can do it in three
easily. The route described here is about 20 miles long. Note:
this is not a particularly difficult ride (with the exception of the
descent down Rosie Creek logging road) however, if it is raining when
you start the ride and/or it has rained recently, don't bother doing
this ride because you will not be able to descend down the Rosie Creek
logging road at all. Your bike tires will become completely
mucked up with mud and you'll end up dragging your bike down to the
bottom of the hill It's best to do this ride when it is DRY and
Start at the intersection of Cripple Creek Road and the Parks Highway, approximately two miles past the turnoff to Ester (the Old Nenana Highway, that is). There is a large, clear area by the Cripple Creek/Parks intersection, which is to your left as you are coming up the hill. Park there and either ride up the Parks Highway or take Parks Ridge (right across the highway from where you park) on up to Rosie Creek. I am told that there is also a powerline that goes up the hill between Parks Ridge and the Parks Highway, though I have never ridden on it.
The fastest way up the hill is by way of the Parks. You go uphill for about three miles, then level off and approximately 5.6 miles after the Cripple Creek intersection, the road levels off and there is a woodcutting road going off to the left. This is Rosie Creek Road. You will know you are getting to it when you pass the upper intersection of the Old Nenana Highway (on your right) about a quarter-mile before you get to Rosie Creek Road.
You then begin a five-mile+ descent down a badly rutted, sometimes muddy, usually very dusty double track that in places is really single track. NOTE: THIS TRAIL CAN BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! Very serious crashes have occurred on this road and it appears that you can go very much faster than you really can safely go. Be VERY careful coming down this trail. Even experienced cyclists have had serious crashes here, so play it conservative coming down.
The road drops down for about a half-mile or so then forks. Take the left fork. This begins a long shallow descent down to another fork probably a mile or mile and a half later (this fork goes to the left). Keep on going straight. The road levels off for a bit then comes to another major fork. Take the downhill (left) fork. This then becomes a very technical course with lots of ruts, puddles, dusty spots, etc. Eventually you come down into the forest (the area you are going through was the site of a major forest fire in 1983) and at the bottom, there are a couple of very steep, short little hills. These can be ridden all the way down, but if you are in any doubt about your cycling abilities, walk down them.
Finally, you emerge at the bottom of the hill at the Quist Farm. You come out into a swamp for a couple of hundred yards or so, then come out onto a road. Go on up the road for about a mile or so until you come to a fork. The right fork goes on up the hill and the left appears to go straight on in front of you. I have never taken the left fork, but I am told it is swampy, muddy, and boggy for a mile or two until it intersects with Kallenberg Drive.
If you take the right (uphill) fork, this puts you on a winding subdivision road for about three miles or so. This subdivision road becomes Kallenberg after a while and eventually you come up to the end of Cripple Creek Road. From here it is about four miles or so of gently rolling hills (now paved for most of the way) back to the cars.
The total distance is just over twenty miles and as I say can be done in two hours if you push it, three if you want to go slow and easy.