The Bible of Bike Tests Gallery: Trail

An extended photographic look at our trail bike testing grounds.

Photos: Dan Barham

Big Rock-Cedar Rock Loop – Dupont State Forest

We tested our trail bikes on Dupont State Forest's Big Rock-Cedar Rock Loop. From the Corn Mill Shoals trailhead (off Cascade Lake Road), you ride a few hundred yards before turning left on Big Rock Trail and immediately begin ascending. This is tough, technical climbing; think big rocks, challenging ledges and a dose of roots. Soon, however, the trail opens into exposed granite "slick rock". The traction? Outstanding. The views? Breathtaking. Big Rock winds through a few forested sections before intersecting with Cedar Rock Trail atop the mountain's granite dome. Marvel in the 360-degree views before turning right and bombing down Cedar Rock Trail (keep an eye out for hikers, of course). Follow the stone cairns as you bullet train down the pock-marked granite. There are a few technical bits near the bottom, so stay on your game. All too soon, Cedar Rock dumps you out onto a double-track (Little River Trail). Go right and wind your way back to the beginning. It's a short (roughly four mile) loop, but it packs a hell of a lot of great climbing and descending in a small package. A must do. -Vernon Felton