Other Great Indiana MTB Trails > Fantastic 4

Trail Conditions

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I rode at Valley Branch last night,  I have to say it was alot of fun,  there was no sign of any recent mountain bike activity.  I had the place to myself, rode 2hours, cleaned garys gulley including a 20" high downed tree.
Sure,  there were a few motorcycle ruts,  but they added to the charm and challenge and were not a distraction.  It's amazing how much different the feel is to BCSP (steep hills) rough trails, off camber.  I really appreciated having full suspension and gears, which are two things I've been down on lately.

So In all the place is in pretty good shape,  go,  you'll enjoy it.

As noted, Nebo from the north to the south trail head is in pretty good shape since the trail work was done a few weeks back .  For those who aren't aware, you can easily access the Hickory Ridge system by heading west at the south end of Nebo on the paved road(1000 N).  Follow that until you come to a bridge on your left where the road splits (Maumee bridge over Littel Salt Creek).  Cross the bridge and then turn right immediately on the gravel road.  Follow this about a mile staying to the left while looking for a trail marker sign on the left hand side. The trail marker has a a map.  This is "20" in the Hickory Ridge system and T's into 18.  Take a right on 18 until you to come to a gravel road.  Ride gravel for a few miles and turn right on 19 which is a nice couple of miles of trail. Havwe to keep your eyes peeled for this, but it is marked. When you hit the gravel again, go to your left till you hit the bottom of the hill and turn right.  Follow till it T's at the cemetery and turn right.  You will end up back at the Maumee Bridge.  From there you can go right back to the south trailhead of Nebo or turn left and follow the gravel which will take you to Combs road/creek and will dump you out on Nebo just a little before the final decent to the North Trail head of Nebo. 

I ride this route quite a lot. Typically around 4 hours give or take depending on conditions and effort.  100oz of water and food needed on warm days.  Trails Illustrated has a nice topo map that you can get from USDA stations and I think that some of the bike shops have them.  Titled "Hoosier National Forest - Selected Trails".

I mention this because it's a good distance for many riders and the trails on the north end of the Hickory Ridge have very little horse traffic, and... the trail just needs more tires on it. 

Mortimer (Ron) and I rode Hickory last night.  We kicked it old school and did a counter-clockwise "loop" around the Hickory trail system.  We parked at east end of Nathan Avery (19).  Rolled west on 19 and then down the road to 18.  West on 18 to 4.  Took 4 to 10 and then past Hickory Grove Church.  10 to 11.  11 to 3.  3 across the pipeline to 13 crazy climb.  Lightning and thunder.  13 to road to 15.  15 past Callahan Cemetery to 16/17 loop counterclockwise (more lightning and thunder).  14 climb out to road.  Road to 20.  20 downhill to road.  Gravel back to car through the rain.

Trails were in pretty good shape.  There were the usual mud holes and horse poop here and there, but overall, the trails were about as good as these trails ever get.  We saw a few other tire tracks here and there.

We didn't time it.  We don't know how long it was.  There were not heart rate monitors, GPS units, or computers utilized in this venture.  It was hard.  It was long.  My legs hurt.  Ron's legs hurt.  There were no racers pre-riding the course.

Allen Edwards:
I'd be happy to show you around Nebo, Hickory Ridge, or wherever.  I'm off weekends and Tuesdays and can be off on Friday afternoons with a few days notice.  The trail permit is a daily fee; a tag you hang on your bike to show that you've paid.  They're $5 daily or $35 for an annual pass.  Here's a link to all the info, including where to pick one up.  Beware that the list may not have been updated recently.


Let me know if my schedule works for you.  I'm reasonably fit but not a racer-type either.

Pilot, try this and feel free to add to it, but remember you still gotta get back on Nebo. Take  road 1050(end of Nebo) to the right ,go to Maumee Bridge and go left over bridge. Take a right on gravel road just on other side of bridge. Follow for 1/2 mile or so on left and pick up trail#20 near a pine forest. Up 20 to 18 intersection , go right to top of 18. Intersect road at top and continue out on 18 to 4 or 10 or take road to right and pick up 19 to complete a loop back to road to backtrack to Nebo. There are maps at the intersections so you can roll whatever. Nebo to 20/18/19 and back is 30 or so. The options are endless, you just gotta put up with the ponies and frigged up trails in Hickory.


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