Ball Mountain Loop - Trail, Jamaica, Vermont

Ball Mountain Loop - Trail, Jamaica, Vermont

DESCRIPTION

There aren’t many decent places to ride in southern VT (that I have found at least). This place is a fun ride, roughly an 8 mile loop with a good amount of steady climbing once you get on the trail. After you park, head north along the river on the rail bed. The rail bed has lots of foot traffic and is roughly 2 miles long. At the end you’ll get to a small bridge that kind of signals the start. Cross the bridge and head up through a short steep section that is slightly technical. At the end of this section you’ll find yourself at the foot of the dam. Head up the switchbacks to the top. Cross the dam and follow through onto the paved road. You will travel on the road for roughly ½ mile. Begin to look for a trail head on your left. There is a locked gate with barbed wire on each side. You’ll have to crawl under or over the gate to get in. Continue up the fire-road for 100 yards and you’ll need to make a sharp switchback to your right. From there on out it is pretty easy to follow the trail. Look out for downed trees and the occasional bear. There are some sketchy downhill sections in the last half of the ride, so keep you eyes peeled. The ride ends off the left of someone’s backyard (say hi if they are outside). Follow the trail to the driveway and proceed all the way to the end when you’ll find yourself ending at the park entrance. Now go for another loop.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-3 of 3  
[May 14, 2014]
Trailice
Downhiller

This trail is still there!
And it is good!
A lot of work went into this trail.
The builder is gone, but the ride continues.

Customer Service

from state park go over river and take 1st right, go 1 mile to gate, go to next gate, go left, go to opposite corner of airfield!?!, go left up hill following 4 wheeler trail up for a while and keep looking right for singletrack,follow singletrack to the house at the bottom of the hill you started from, repeat.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[May 29, 2007]
Jerry wolfert
Weekend Warrior

This has been my favorite trail in Southern Vermont. I showed it to some of the bikers from Mt. Snow and they loved it. Recently, there was some tree remoaval and the trail needed to be rerouted. Its now been complete and is again awesome. The uphill is steep and then levels off, only to become steep again. The downhill has stream crossings with planks, tight switch backs and narrow ridges. Southern Vermont is in dire need of more trails like this one. The trail ends in the backyard of a very friendly Vermonter.

Similar Products Used:

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OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 10, 2007]
Randyman
Weekend Warrior

First of all, let me say how thrilled I was to find a write up about this trail. That “someone’s backyard” is my uncle Ken Query’s house. The mountainous part of this trail (state park / rail bed / dam / road excluded) is about 50% on his property. He designed the trail for all to ride. I ride it every time I make a summer visit to the property and have found it to be some of the finest single track in Southern Vermont. I’ve coined it the “Query Iron Man Loop” and posted it on www.dirtworld.com. The description of the trail above, which includes the rail bed trail along the West River and Ball Mountain Dam, is quite clear. However, the upper portion of the trail can be accessed for a shorter loop if desired and you can avoid the Jamaica State Park fee. (see "Recommended Route")

Customer Service

On the way to Jamaica State Park, there is an elementary school on the left. If you start by biking up the dirt road to the left of the school, ride all the way up to the end of the road. The end will be on someone’s property with an abandoned house and there are “no trespassing” signs, but it’s rare that you will run into the property manager. In the rare event that you do, just claim you wanted to see where the road would take you. Climb over the gate on the right and soon you’ll come to a huge clearing that was supposed to be an airstrip at one point in time. Bike all the way to the other far end of the airfield and the trail will continue into the woods on the left. It will meet up with the sharp right as described above, but with this alternate approach, you will bare left instead to continue on the first woodsy climb. Here, the fun technical stuff starts and you can catch quite a groove as the trail snakes through the woods with mostly short climbs for the first half and rewarding downhills the second half, complete with a few bridges and a few switchbacks (one of which I still have yet to not biff on)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Apr 12, 2007]
Randy Artiglere
Weekend Warrior

First, let me say that I'm thrilled to find this loop online. The house at the end of the trail before descending back to Jamaica State Park is my uncle's house, Ken Query. The upper mountain portion of the loop is mostly his property and he designed the trail. I've found it to be some of the best single track in Southern Vermont. It has some great technical-skill building climbs all very do-able for the novice as well as some great descents with some bridges and tight switchbacks (which I still have yet to not wipe out on!). There has been some logging done on the property which cut right through the existing trail in a few places, so it's difficult now to navigate where the trail continues to. Some re-routing still needs to be done. Hopefully this season (2007). All riders are welcome... that's why he created the trail.

Customer Service

If you want a shorter version of this loop to exclude the train bed / Ball Mountain Dam portion, (and exclude the Jamaica State Park fee), park at the elementary school right before Jamaica State Park and start with the climb up Wardon Road to the left of the school. Climb the hill to the top where you'll see an abandon house with "No Trespassing" signs. (We mountain bikers aren't trespassing... we're just passing through!) There is a gate to the right. Climb over the gate and soon you'll come to a huge open field which was an air strip at one time. Ride all the way to the end of the air strip and the trail will continue off into the woods on the left. This will meet up with that sharp right described in the original description of this loop, although it won't be a sharp right now... it will be a slight left to start climbing. When you pass the house, say hi to Uncle Ken and Auntie Suzannine. Tell 'em Cousin Randy sent you.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 26, 2005]
menachite
Downhiller

The description above is spot on. The trail AKA "Farmer John" and "The Farmer John's Cousin" all leave from the Ball Mountain Dam area. Ususally most riders will park and pay the day use fee at Jamaica State Park and ride in up the railbed, up the dam, and into the forest. You can get into the trails from the dam entrance too.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-3 of 3  

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