Trail Report: Cub Run – Runkles Gap, Early Morning Ride

Trail Report: August 26, 2012

Cub Run at Runkles Gap. 

I parked at the entrance by the National Forest sign on one of the pull overs. 

I was in a bit of a time pinch on Sunday but wanted to get in a ride so I decided tohit up this tried and true ride, nothing fancy, but pretty close to home and I knew what to expect.  I decided to keep it as simple as possible and I stuck to the fire road, heading straight up to the top and back. 

It was raining lightly when I headed out and we made good time with a forward pace all the way up, with the rain breaking about midway up. 

This is the part of the forest that burned in the spring (I have a blog about it) and it was cool to see the growth coming back. You could also smell ‘camp fire’ lightly when the rain cleared out.

At the end there is a trail known as Batman Trail, which heads up a pretty grueling climb and creates a nice loop back to the parking area.  If you look on googlemaps, there is even a marking called Batman Road in the general vicinity of this trail.  I am not sure of the correlation but I suspect there is one.  Apparently this trail was on old National Forest maps, but was removed at some point.  There are markers at the entrance in the form of metal FS signs banning motorized vehicles, and a berm to enforce this. 

Unfortunately about two years ago the Forest Service closed this trail by downing trees all along it, in a controversial move to prevent it from being used.  There was some heated interaction, some riders got lost in the woods trying to figure out what was going on with this heavily used trail, some finger pointing and accusations, a few meetings between locals and the FS, but in the end, the trail has gone mostly unused. 

This is the end of the fire road and the entrance to Batman Trail.

Sadly this was a heavily used trail, and a very popular riding location in general.  There are also a lot of equestrians who have property that joins the forest in the area as well.  I have seen riders, both local, and trailered in, since the trails closure, but not nearly the numbers it used to attract. 

A shoe with borium on it hanging in a tree towards the beginning of Batman Trail. Notice the color changing in the background. ahhhh, fall is coming.

This Sunday I did not see any riders, although I did see a lot of fresh horse tracks. 

The bottom gate on the fire road was open. About half way up there is a second gate, which was closed. The FR gets a little more rural after that, but is still in excellent condition.

I  wondered around at the top of the fire road and checked out the beginning of Batman, and then headed back down to the trailer, keeping up the same progressive pace. 

Headed back down the fire road, still pretty close to the top of it, and the rain had ended and the sun was out.

Simon seemed content with the face paced and invigorating ride and Daisy was ready to hop in the truck when we got back, and I felt a little tension in my muscles the next day.  It was a good ride. 

Some color coming in.

And there was a little color coming out in some of the trees.  Which makes me excited for fall.  Gosh I love fall.  It’s the best time to get out in the woods and enjoy the colors and the cooler temperatures.

 Some Googlemap Images

Cub Run ~ Runkles Gap, After the Burn

Simon happy to greet us in the morning.

Simon spent the night in the dog yard and nickered at the house every time he heard me or Rich in the house.  Rich put up a saw horse and bin of dirt to keep him from pushing his way into the actual house.

I find it a funny that Simon is in the dog yard, and Daisy is in the background outside of the dog yard. You can also see part of our garden in the background behind the dogyard in its own fence.

In the morning we got tacked up and headed off to one of our regular quick ride spots, Cub Run at Runkles Gap.  It had burned due to arson recently and had just opened back up.

This is what Cub Run looked like while it was burning. 

Upon entering National Forest there is a fire road that bares off to the right.  Below the road is mostly private property.  Above the road is National Forest.  It mostly burned above the road.  The fire only hopped the road in a few spots, and we could see evidence of the forest service cutting the forest to prevent it from spreading on that side where it did skip over.

It was a nice, relatively short ride.  I am interested to return sometime this summer and see how the forest recovers.

Rich took a turn riding Simon.

We saw this turtle crossing the fire road.

There is a lot of dumping at Cub Run.  You can see tons of bottles here that survived the fire.  Gross.

We stopped at this swim spot on our way back out.

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