Monday, July 03, 2017

Breckenridge Bike Guide: Blair Witch Trail

#Breckenridge #Colorado
Summit Daily News Photo

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 Found off Tiger Road in Breckenridge, the Blair Witch trail is one of several routes spiderwebbed across the thickly wooded hillsides on both sides of the road. The road itself weaves past secluded neighborhoods and the Breckenridge Golf Club before turning to dirt, where it opens up to three mountain drainages teeming with Jeep roads and alpine meadows.
Like dozens of bike trails in Breck, Blair Witch passes by abandoned dredges and other relics of the town's mining past — spooky indeed. Early on it also crosses paths with the fabled Summit County stretch of the Colorado Trail. The scenery is impeccable, with views of the lower Swan River Valley near the trailhead before leading to the serene, peaceful pine corridors of Horseshoe Gulch. Sadly, no one has yet come across the titular witch, but on a stunning ride like this, it's easy to overlook everything except for the scenery and singletrack.
The trail is relatively dry at the moment, and the uphill section is more than ready for ripping, but be aware of standing water in the first 1/2-mile near the dredge pond after rainstorms. It's also a popular stop for trail runners, so keep your eyes peeled when pedaling through the first mile of rocky blind corners.
The out-and-back loop takes riders 3.3 miles through Horseshoe Gulch. From the Tiger Dredge Trailhead on Tiger Road, pump past the pond and over dredge rock for about 1/2-mile along a windy, looping trail. The early section crosses two foot bridges over the Swan River before heading slightly uphill to a brown metal gate.
From the gate, continue straight as it crosses the Colorado Trail and pump another 1 mile to a flat intersection buttressed by spurs. Take the left fork leading uphill. For the next 1.5 miles you'll be in the heart of Blair Witch as it twists and weaves through pine forests littered with deadfall.
The loopy singletrack eventually reconnects with the Colorado Trail at a "T" intersection. From there, turn left and descend for about 1 mile until reaching a river crossing. Bear right shortly after the bridge and return to home base at the trailhead.
From I-70, drive through Frisco on Highway 9 and continue south toward Breckenridge for about 5 miles. Turn left onto Tiger Road (by the Breckenridge Golf Course) and drive up 2.5 miles. Shortly after the pavement turns to dirt, turn into the Horsehoe Gulch/Tiger Dredge parking lot on the shore of a pond containing the remains of a historic dredge boat (across the road from a log fence).