Tuesday, June 11

I'm Proud of My Eagle Scout

What is it:

Dirty goodness.  8.5 miles of trail in the woods of Kentucky near a big ole lake.
The Pulaski County Park Eagle Scout** Trail system offers easy, moderate, and difficult terrain in a beautiful setting.  Just west of Somerset, this park has the potential to become a mountain biking destination in southern Kentucky akin to the draw of the Bluegrass region’s three crown jewels: Veterans Park, Capitol View Park, and Skullbuster.
This has been a four-year project constructed with a $50,000 grant from Kentucky’s Recreational Trails Program, funded by the Federal Highway Administration, and built with assistance from Cumberland Cycles, William McIver – Troop 170 in Somerset, and Pedal The Planet in Lexington.  The trails have been designed for non-motorized use, trail running and hiking.  The grand opening was just a few weeks ago and while there is still a little work to be done on the Playhouse Loop the system is totally rideable now.
The trails labeled “Advanced Terrain” (particularly Piney Grove and Ye Olde Trails) on the trail maps are interesting in that they appear, for the most part, to be older hiking trails and not intentionally designed for mountain biking.  What this means is that they don’t meet IMBA standards, they aren’t necessarily tweaked for riding, and they incorporate some unrideable features (such as a suspension foot bridge guarded by slippery stairs).  Be forewarned.  Those “expert” trails don’t necessarily flow well.
There are no current plans to improve those trails, but with an infusion of grant money or volunteer elbow grease who knows what could happen?
The easy and moderate trails seem to flow really well.  There are a number of MTB-friendly bridges on the newer trails, but ‘ware the mossy, worn wood in the back 40!  Also, if you can clean the suspension footbridge I’ll buy you a Krampus.*

Where to find it:
From Somerset
1. Head southeast on US-27 S toward Bobtown Rd
220 ft
2. Take the 1st right onto Bobtown Rd
7.6 mi
3. Turn right onto Park Dr
479 ft
4. Turn right onto State Hwy 3189/​Pulaski County Park Rd
Continue to follow State Hwy 3189
1.1 mi
5. Turn left onto CR-1493K
33 ft
6. Take the 1st left onto CR-1493N

From the west (Exit 78 Cumberland Pkwy):
1. Head southeast on KY-80 E/​Bobtown Rd toward CR-1828
5.1 mi
2. Turn left onto State Hwy 3189/​Pulaski County Park Rd
Continue to follow State Hwy 3189
1.2 mi
3. Turn left onto CR-1493K
33 ft
4. Take the 1st left onto CR-1493N

What to expect:
2.3 miles of beginner trails
2.9 miles of intermediate terrain
3.3 miles of more difficult terrain

8.5 miles total

This area will probably not be as crowded as VP or CVP on a weekday or even a weekend.  There has definitely been traffic though.  Elevation gain isn’t drastic, but there is some climbing on the intermediate trails.  While I chose poorly of the two access points, you can learn from my mistake and just go ahead and shoot for the more accessible and serviceable western trailhead.  Your insurance adjuster will thank you.
Also, see this.
And now for some photos:

Near the eastern "trailhead"

Western trailhead

* Not necessarily manufactured by Surly Bikes.

** It has occurred to me that in light of recent developments in the Boy Scouts of America that the title of this post could lead people here on a completely different search.  I assure you that there are no underlying meanings in my post title or the content of this post.  I reserve my opinions to myself of the decision of the BSA to allow openly gay boys.  This blog is not the most appropriate place for me to share those views. 

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