Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
The Next 100 Miler
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is very exciting to announce the new McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Gooseneck Trail that connects, via single track, the northern 15,000 acre Brown's Ranch, the southern 15,000 acre McDowell Mountains and the 21,000 acre McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

The new trail starts at the Fraesfield Trailhead in the southeast corner of Brown's Ranch (Dynamite and 136th). For 3/4 of a mile the trail runs west paralleling Dynamite and then crosses Dynamite at the 128th St. intersection.

The Gooseneck is an S shaped piece of land that runs north and south along the west side of 128th for the first two miles and then crosses over to the east side of 128th and runs along the McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Connector trails to the County Park and the Pemberton Trail are coming soon.

In the south end, the trail currently stops 100' short of the Rock Knob trail and provides access to the Tom's Thumb trailhead and the Pemberton Trail via Rock Knob.

After you ride the trail, please provide feedback here. Enjoy!

Riding North to South

Below is a Garmin map of the trail from North to South. A few things to note:
  • Trail signs south of Dynamite are not installed yet. It is a good idea use GPS navigation or be prepared for some exploration. GPX files are linked below.
  • The trail cut in the northern section is getting overgrown with grass and wildflowers. The trail can be hard to see. Keep in mind this is a north-south trail, don't be diverted by the older east-west trails.
  • The center section of this route is still on old single track and old Jeep roads.
  • There are some sharp edged wash crossings with deep sand - be cautious.
  • The southern most 100' of this trail is not complete. In other words - the connection to Rock Knob trail doesn't exist yet, please walk your bike through the desert to get to Rock Knob.
Click here to download the GPX file from Fraesfield to Tom's Thumb

 

·
The Next 100 Miler
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Walt.

The City wanted to get everything done before opening the trail, but there is concern that the grasses and flowers are growing in so fast in the north section that the trail would disappear without some traffic on it.

I rode it again yesterday and the little yellow ground cover flowers are stunning.
 

·
...
Joined
·
1,473 Posts
great to see that connection completed.

Mark,
Any word on the connector from the top of Sunrise to Fountain Hills? I had heard early this year. That's going to be a biggie since it will allow us to go around the mountain without dealing with Hidden Hills.
 

·
The Next 100 Miler
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
great to see that connection completed.

Mark,
Any word on the connector from the top of Sunrise to Fountain Hills? I had heard early this year. That's going to be a biggie since it will allow us to go around the mountain without dealing with Hidden Hills.
I have been focused on the northern trails, but I believe I heard one of the trail builders is going to start working in the McDowell's soon, not sure which trail(s).
 

·
How much further ???
Joined
·
2,371 Posts
Sweet. I was just planning a 50-60 mile ride out there for this weekend and was planning on using 128th and 132nd to get between the two systems. thanks.
 

·
I am Walt
Joined
·
6,393 Posts
Park at Tom's Thumb, head north and do a perimeter loop around Brown's Ranch, back to the car for water/food and then do the Fat 40 race loop from Tom's Thumb with a water stop at the Pemberton trailhead. That puts you in the 75 mile range.
Without any HAB or blow-yourself-up steep/sustained climbing...gonna have to try that!
 

·
livin' the dream......
Joined
·
1,969 Posts
I did some exploring today and parked at Tom's thumb with the goal of finding the new trail, and rolling north to Granite and back. I forgot to double check the thread before heading out, but I had a good idea of how to access the new stuff. I rolled out, and did not see the trail and made it down to the gate to enter the county park. I rode back up to the intersection with Marcus Landslide, and spun it around, and slow rolled it down and found it. I carried the bike a short distance and got on the new trail and began to ride. I could see several sets of tire tracks and some foot prints and pressed on, taking in some new scenery and enjoying some wildflowers.

The trail was slowly working west, when I finally came up to the standard McD pipe fence and horse gate. I followed the trail north along the gate and rolled some fun singlegtrack with a bit of surprise uphill. The trail is well built, and they used the terrain to make this a fun section. Further on, to my surprise, I came to an intersection (trail post, no sign as MarkP stated) and was stumped as which way to go, left or right? I went left, knowing I had to cross 128th St. at some point, and figured that was the logical way. Kept on rolling, but started drifting east, through some really cool rocks, and then I could start to see houses. I saw the Jomax & 130th street sign, and again, more trail posts (meaning this will not just be a N/S option, looks like there will be loops off Gooseneck?

Anyway, I eventually crossed 128th, and things looked familiar, but I missed the right turn about 100 feet past 128th, and rode double track to almost to the fence line, and found yet another trail post, and new trail going north. I really enjoyed this section, cool granite rocks, tons of wildflowers and great views. I eventually found the trail becoming 'grown over' as MarkP also mentioned, and found myself riding a thin ribbon through a carpet of yellow flowers. Super cool! I finally hit Rio Verde and crossed over, and was in familiar terrain, lapped Granite Mountain and headed up the way I came. When I hit 128th, needing to save time, I just pointed it up the access road and was quickly back at the car.

Cool ride, was fun to explore and see some new stuff. I was surprised at the amount of options I 'think' we will get once these trails are competed. It looks like much more than a N/S connector!!

Thanks MarkP for sharing this info!!:thumbsup:
 

·
The Next 100 Miler
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Further on, to my surprise, I came to an intersection (trail post, no sign as MarkP stated) and was stumped as which way to go, left or right? I went left, knowing I had to cross 128th St. at some point, and figured that was the logical way. Kept on rolling, but started drifting east, through some really cool rocks, and then I could start to see houses. I saw the Jomax & 130th street sign, and again, more trail posts (meaning this will not just be a N/S option, looks like there will be loops off Gooseneck?
You are correct, there are some east/west loops off of the main north/south trail. At the first intersection you mentioned above, a right turn will take you on a loop down toward Pemberton (no gate yet). You can also go straight (north) from that intersection and catch some of the old fun single track that loops back (north then southwest) to the 128th St crossing.

Glad you enjoyed it!
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top