Length: 1,535 ft. • Difficulty: 4 (stretches of soft moss coupled with roots; one steep grade)
Terrain: Peat, stones, roots
If you’re looking for a little bit of everything, from riding on the fringes of the forest through light brush to plunging into the depths of the trees and having to maneuver around natural obstacles, Lynx Trail is worth a try, especially if you’re not a hardcore rider.
Lynx begins on the west side of Main Road, a little more than 300 feet past the intersection with Shannon Drive, and emerges from the center of the forest on Loop Road about 320 feet from Loop’s northern intersection with Main.
Mild vegetation on both sides of the trail will greet you at the beginning as the trail gradually descends for the first 200 feet as it curves gradually to the right. The Grade 2 slope is manageable. At 152 feet into the trail you’ll encounter a bunch of stacked logs that, depending on your skill, you may have to carry your bike over.
After passing the logs, the trail narrows as it goes over some exposed stones, which are manageable, before going through some brush that has flourished since the city’s forestry department thinned some of the trees in this area.
A slight incline that lasts for 200 feet lies beyond the brush that narrows the trail. After the trail tops off for about 60 feet, it then descends rapidly for another 200 feet. You must use extreme caution in this section of the trail because stones become slightly larger, roots become more pronounced, and the grade will cause you to pick up speed. Near the bottom of the rapid descent the trail forks. If you hang to the left, you will be on Bear Trail. If you hang to the right, you’ll stay on Lynx. If you fail to hang either way, you will meet a thin spruce tree.
About 100 feet beyond the junction of Bear Trail, the forest canopy becomes thicker and the ground softer. You’ll probably encounter some standing water in the middle of the trail that will cut down on your momentum. The mud and softer ground will make it difficult for some riders to make it over a short section of ledge that rises a few feet from the ground.
On the left, west side, of the trail, you’ll see grasses and ferns in a small section of wetland. Be on the lookout also for the occasional pink lady’s slipper.
The trail soon encounters larger stones and roots and becomes bumpier just before encountering a survey line, which you will recognize by trees marked with orange paint. The line runs southwest to northeast. Stay to the right and head northeast, back toward Main Road. If you try to follow the survey line to the southwest, you won’t get far before running into large mounds of peat moss and wetland that will slow you to a stop.
You might want to take some time to look at the trees and leftover debris from the cuts in this area, for you will see some branches on the forest floor stripped of bark, most likely by deer. You might also see some evidence of male deer rubbing their antlers on trees still standing.
After turning northeast to stay on the trail, you’ll go straight for about 95 feet. If you continue going straight, you’ll be on Hare Trail, which will take you to Main Road in about 300 feet. To continue along Lynx, turn left at the birch tree. The ground in this area is laced with large roots and is very rocky.
After going due west for a few dozen feet, the trail then straightens and heads northwest through several acres of thinned forest that has enabled black spruce trees to rise. The trail narrows through this last stretch of about 500 feet before ending at Loop Road.
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