Don't be fooled by the wide, casual trail from the parking area to the bridge crossing. The trail on the other side is chock full of roots and steeps. Take a left just before the Davis Trail and get ready to grind up an entrenched channel peppered with roots, rocks, and water diverters. Even when the grade backs off occasionally, the obstacles keep coming.
As you pedal or walk the legions of challenging roots, the forest envelops the trail in beautiful foliage and tall trees. Plummer Trail
and a number of unmarked paths will make appearances through this greenery but the signage is easy to follow. A tight corner with a small bench marks a short, easier section that feeds into a rooty patch right before a split in the Gold Creek Trail.
Keep right, to follow a narrower section of gravelly singletrack with a few technical turns. Gold Creek Trail soon connects back to itself and the remaining trail is well benched. Obstacles are minimal except for a craggy but doable rock face before the clearcut. There's a small bench here if you want to take in the panorama, but the view is actually a little better just a few feet further down.
Not far from the edge of the trees is an intersection with the top of the Beaver Pond Trail
. Keep right for a loose, gravelly climb back into the trees. The grade steepens a bit, but nothing compared to what you've already pedaled. Gold Creek Trail soon ends at a triangular intersection with the Wildcat Trail
and Vista Trail
As it heads into the clearcut, the trail descends over a loose and gravely path to the intersection with the Beaver Pond Trail
. Head left into the woods for a zesty little rock face before continuing onto a well-benched segment. Just don't overcook this fast and playful section as there are tight trees and corners along the way.
When you reach the split, take the Gold Creek Alternate
to the right for a steeper twisting descent. There are a few tricky corners early on before things back off a bit.
Once you're back on the main trail, follow the entrenched channel as it snakes over roots and loose corners. Sight lines through the corners and foliage are very tight so check your speed and make some noise to alert others. All too soon, this coarse and punchy descent fizzles out at the Gold Creek crossing. Follow the wide and easy route back to the trailhead.