Ridge Runner (Noblett Lake Loop) - Trail, Willow Springs, Missouri

Ridge Runner (Noblett Lake Loop) - Trail, Willow Springs, Missouri

DESCRIPTION

This challenging singletrack loop is criss-crossed by a doubletrack horse trail. Lots of deadfall, difficult routefinding and steep, loose hills prevent this from being a good beginner's ride. The east half of the loop (by the lake) forms the northern end of the 23-mile Ridge Runner section of the Ozark Trail which ends at the North Fork Recreation Area. The frustrations of this trail are more than offset by the beauty of its surroundings, the adventure of an unfamiliar and remote ride, and the great view of Noblett Lake from the amazing downhill at the end of the ride.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-5 of 5  
[Nov 22, 2009]
hesston
Cross Country Rider

Rode all the way to the Horton trail head...where it starts into the Wilderness area. Lots of downed trees. 1 waist deep creek crossing, 1 knee deep creek crossing...some nice views over the deeper creek. Some really, REALLY technical downhill stuff...practically impossible to ride down. The first miles is amazing...enough that I got over confident and crashed pretty hardcore...but good.

The trail does disappear because of downed trees, would recommend taking a trail map just incase...mostly you can anticipate where the trail is going to go...But there are a few spots with side trails where there are junctions between unmarked side trails that make it easy to get lost. If you go to Horton it turns into a Wilderness area (i.e., no bikes allowed)...although this was the nicer part of the trail...but there are bear signs...kinda freaky.

Customer Service

left at sign in...take long loop to Horton then swing back up to Large loop back to trail head.

Similar Products Used:

Ozark Trail Pomona, Devils backbone wilderness (West Plains Area)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Feb 04, 2008]
rmb_rider
Downhiller

fast and dont have to push much one big hill creek side of lake(non dam side) is super fast and tech. love it cant get enough, they are cleaning trail right now

Customer Service

at sign in box at trail head go toward sign in box and keep going

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Apr 10, 2000]
Barry

There is a doubletrack horse trail which crisscrosses the trail several times - especially in the first half of the trail. The trail itself was so covered with leaves and deadfall that I succombed to the doubletrack for about a mile where the trail paralleled it just a short distance away. If you get caught on the doubletrack, just keep your eyes open and the trail will eventually cross it again. If you see trail markers with brown a horse and rider, you're on the wrong stuff.

After about 3 miles, you'll come to a sign at a 3-way junction -- unless you want to ride 23 miles to the North Fork Rec Area, you'd better turn right on the "short loop"

Regardless of which way you go, you'll have some portaging and some whiteknuckle descents. On the whole, it's an adventurous ride in a beautiful setting.

I wouldn't drive 3 hours just for this trail. But, as part of a two or three day stay, including biking the North Fork Loop or the entire Ridge Runner, and some fishing, canoeing or hiking, this area is a great destination.

I strongly recommend getting the Ridge Runner trail map from the Willow Springs office of the Forest Service at (417)469-3155.

Customer Service

Go clockwise from the Noblett Lake parking lot (not from the "official" trailhead). This will let you end your ride on a wild downhill with a great view of the lake.

Similar Products Used:

North Fork Loop

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 04, 2000]
TINMAN

I rode this trail in May and it was not ready to ride. I had checked with a Forrest employee and bought the topo map for the area, so I thought I was ready. The first mile or so from the trailhead was promising, but the trail disappeared twice. I had to search on foot both times for over 20 min. before I picked up the trail again. About 3 hours into the ride the trail disappeared again, but this time I was unable to find where it went. I ended up hiking for another 4 1/2 hours through very dense forrest in order to get back to my truck. The trail is scheduled for a clean-up by the Forrestry service later this year or next year (dependind on funding). The trail has potential, but it was unridable as of May.

Customer Service

See the details for this information.

Similar Products Used:

Unknown

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
[Dec 19, 2002]
Ian

This place is hardly ever maintained, which I enjoy thoroughly. Lots of fallen logs crossing the trail, two in particular having about a 2ft diameter. Nice to practice trials skills on and hop off of. Lots of old doubletrack Jeep trails that lead to some nice scenery and hidden prairies. Don't ride on them, though. As I understand they are for equestrians only. Oops. Anywho, the tight turns, rocky ledge trails, fallen logs and one fast-ass downhill make for a damn fine ride. I eventually want to ride this trail from the Noblett trailhead to Norfork. If Norfork is anything like Noblett Loop, this would be a fabulous specimin. Riders of all levels could have fun here. My parents and my wife are beginners. They went with me and weren't intimidated. Just an all-around fun exploration in excluded territory type of a thing.

Customer Service

From AP heading south, turn right at the wooden sign indicating Noblett Lake. Shortly after the turn, you'll see a dirt parking lot on the left. After parking, you'll see doubletrack heading right and singletrack heading left. Go left. You can also start from the picnic area which is a result of turning right before the dirt parking lot. There is a small wooden footbridge behind the restroom area that leads to this singletrack. I liked starting from the dirt parking lot because you can eventually loop back to the singletrack behind the restrooms in the picnic area. It's nice to take a crap after a ride. Few things cause such nirvana.

Similar Products Used:

Busiek, Chadwick, My Grandmother's land where I'm building North Shore stuff (but you can't ride there, anyway)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-5 of 5  

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