Wild Turkey Trail
Gobble up the Wild Turkey for a great add-on to your Heil ride
This is another great new trail in Boulder County's quiver of trails. They built it out a few years ago and a good portion of it is silly, fun singletrack. Compared to bone-rattling Ponderosa Loop that it connects to, this is like melted butter. Wild Turkey is a great ride for the intermediate rider to work on cornering skills on some really cool swoopy turns - do like Maverick and Goose and "turn and burn." Oh, and the name of this trail ain't no joke. In the spring and summer, you can regularly see wild turkeys.
If you are coming to this trail from the Heil Valley Ranch trailhead, you'll be getting onto this from the eastern side of the Pondy Loop. If you're coming from the Picture Rock trailhead in Lyons, you'll be coming in at the lowest point of the Wild Turkey and will be going uphill either way.
How to get your groove here:
This trail is pretty sweet all around, but you can divide it into two sections - the southern section (south of where Picture Rock meets up) is steeper and looser/rocky, minor butt-whooper and the northern is smoother, twistier and flatter. The nice thing is that even though the steep part is rocky, there are some great lines for going uphill where you won't spin the rear wheel and eat the handlebars. The northern section of this has one section with, I swear, may be 300 yards of the silliest, funnest singletrack you'll find anywhere. Don't get me wrong, the rest of the northern section is sweet, too. But that section is like the miracle mile (well, miracle 300 yards) for giggles. If you want the snicker fest, ride this clockwise.
Riding Clockwise (north to south if you don't have one of those old-fangled clocks with hands)
Start at the Overlook and take the trail furthest east (the other two are part of the Ponderosa Loop) and head off on this super smooth trail that follows the rim of the canyon with Hwy 7 below.
The trees of death
If you're riding this trail clockwise from the overlook, the first quarter mile or so is a zippy, easy trail. Just when you think it's safe to hit the overdrive, there's a couple of super sharp turns with big, hard trees looking for love in all the wrong places. The trail's pretty loose here, so it's the perfect conditions for close encounters of the ouch kind.
After your escape the aforementioned fairly gnarly winding tree section, things get a lot more straightforward. You're going to get some moderately exciting large bouldery-rocky-slabby things to ride over and then before you know it you're going to get to the happy place of joyous turning and burning. Enjoy every one of the 30 or so seconds of this and get ready for a bit of a rough ending. There's a small rock garden at the end of this that won't knock you off the bike, but it will kinda harsh your mellow if you're not ready for it. After that, it's just a couple hundred yards to the Picture Rock Trail.
Crank it up the hill
Now that you're at the bottom of the trail named after Ben Franklin's choice for the national bird of the US it's time to put on the game face and grunt up the south side! Like I said before, it's loose and rocky, but not bad and there are some good lines. That doesn't mean that I haven't gone over the bars here, going uphill, going less than 4 miles an hour, while attractive members of the opposite sex were jogging towards me, but as long as you're not me, you'll probably be just fine.
2nd Verse, do it in reverse (south to north)
Doing this trail from south to north (as if you were coming up from the Wapiti Trail and took a right onto Ponderosa Loop and then a right onto Wild Turkey) you get to ride down the steeper, looser section of trail. It's a great way for intermediate riders to build skill and confidence on looser terrain as the trail is open and pretty straightforward. When you get to the Picture Rock Trail, hook a left turn to stay on your trail (Unless you want to turn right. I'm not the boss of you.). The rest of this trail is a gradual climb with a few easy rocky sections all the way out to the overlook, where you'll meet up with the Ponderosa Loop again.
|Wild Turkey GPX File||78.68 KB|
|Wild Turkey Google Earth File||2.94 KB|
|Heil Valley Ranch Kiosk Map||1.7 MB|
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