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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Couldn't really figure out where to put this, so I'm sticking it here. Have been reading some of the regional forums and I'm frankly amazed at how crowded some of the trails you guys ride seem to be. Maybe this is to be expected if you're near an urban area. But frankly, to me, it seriously detracts from the overall experience of mountain biking. So I'm curious, where do you live and how crowded are your favorite local trails?

My own experience, I recently moved to Colorado's western slope. I've been trying to ride my local trails at least 2-3 times a week to get back into shape. Yesterday I did a ten mile ride, mostly on single track. I saw zero riders. Zero hikers. Zero dogs. One rabbit. In the year I've been riding these trails I don't think I've ever seen more than 3-4 people on a ride, at least once I get away from the trail head/main parking area.

Yeah, I realize I live in a pretty rural area, but before that I lived outside of Boston for 35 years. My local "trail" was frankly not great mountain biking. Very few trails that were even remotely technical and not a ton of single track. But it was less than 2 miles from my house. Over the course of the 15 years I road these trails (off an on) I almost never saw another mountain biker. Hikers (with their dogs) were more common. But I'd maybe encounter 1-3 hikers every other ride.

I have a feeling that my experience is not the norm, but I'm interested to hear what others experiences are?
 

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The well known/popular trails? Grand Central Station.

The actual good trails? I rarely see a soul. I had an entire mountain to myself today.
 

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Would you like to see more riders?
Maybe your network is not on trailforks and other aps?
Being retired i ride when many works so i rarely see riders.
Since i live close to the trails i ride early so weekends i start seing riders on my way out.
Summers i ride unpopular trails with too many bad rocks so i see some runners, some
walkers some with a dog and occasionaly a 15 year old who must ride there(no car).
This is my situation, without a car i do not ride the best single trails but i am an
outdoor guy so i am happy. Winters with rocks covered i see some fatbike riders.
With covid the outdoors activities got about 30% more users.
We had so many walkers the snow was packed the season was great!
There is a nice network i go to occasionally and with limited parking mostly
residents use the trails and they keep their mouth closed.
So put your trails on an ap if more riders would make you feel safer
or do not mention where you ride.
I ride in Canada, good luck finding me ;)
 

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Im in Phoenix and have tons of trails out my back door, and almost never see other riders. Maybe a couple a week, if that. If I go 15-20 miles down the road to South Mountain, I end up getting stuck behind 500 people camping out on features on National trail and driving around for who knows how long looking for parking. It's madness.

I get it, National trail is a really good ride, but I agree that the abundance of people ruins it for me. Lucky for me I live way out in the west valley where people don't like to drive to. On top of that, a lot of the trails over here are more rugged and loose. Which is great for me because I like remote, busted up old school feeling trails better.
 

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Being retired I can ride in the middle of the week when it isn't very bad. There are people on the trails, but nothing like the madness on the weekends.
 

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Two main ones (locally) get a few people... walkers & runners use the climbing trail(s).

Signs advise them to stay off DH tracks.

Doing a 50 min drive tomorrow to hit some semi-local stuff.

Hardly ever see anyone up there.

Stat day tomorrow though... might be one of two others.

Sent from my Asus Rog 3
 

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I also like to stay still but on my fat in winter. With the moskitos
moving is a good thing in our area. ;)
 

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Colorado Front Range: We have a large concentration of people and most are outdoorsy so our trails and trail heads are pretty crowded. I usually ride from home and typically ride pre-dawn and midweek so I don't feel the effects of the crowded trails or trail heads. When I do drive to ride, I head off the beaten path onto stuff most people don't ride.
 

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It is and isn’t crowded on our trails. I live in Missoula MT, some of the most popular spots on the first really nice weekend of the season will be packed. Probably not the amount of people that a large city would see though and once you leave the trail head the crowd thins rapidly. On other trails that are remote I can ride for hours and not see anyone. I have ridden out of my driveway hit the trails 2.5 miles from my house, ridden for three hours on the trails and not a single biker or hiker were there. There are countless trails in western Montana that are spectacular and desolate. It is a beautiful thing but a little bit scary too. I have a riding group I sometimes ride with. When I’m not alone I’ll push harder and of course I got hurt. It took 3 hours to get me off the mountain with a broken femur. If I was alone I could have laid there for hours before someone came by and if it was a remote trail that would be days or I would have to drag myself out. So the upside is wide open trails and the down side is having to refrain from pushing and going fast because it is too risky if you get hurt. I’ll take it over crowded trails anytime though.
 

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There are some trails that are seeing congestion, but there are others that aren't too bad.
I rode with a few friends at a fairly popular trail yesterday (Saturday) and was shocked to see how few people were in the parking lot when we came and went.
I'm not sure what is making one trail head congested and one not terribly congested, but while others are complaining about their trails being too busy, I'm still enjoying my ride experience.
 

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There are some trails that are seeing congestion, but there are others that aren't too bad.
I rode with a few friends at a fairly popular trail yesterday (Saturday) and was shocked to see how few people were in the parking lot when we came and went.
I'm not sure what is making one trail head congested and one not terribly congested, but while others are complaining about their trails being too busy, I'm still enjoying my ride experience.
From my experience many say they love to ride.
People living in the city want 3 thermopumps.
One to regualate their house, one for the car, one for the pool.
They look at the network predictions and days are crowded because predictions are good,
I am by the trails, i ride and nice week end days are filled with tourists.
Thanks for the mondays, i hear the wind, the water, the birds.
 

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Of the 35 or so trails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, more than half of them can stay busy. Maybe a quarter or so of them stay what I'd consider real busy. At least toward the end of weekdays, and on weekends. Well, at least they would be if it would ever stop raining! Trails have been closed for a month now, some longer.
 

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Of the 35 or so trails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, more than half of them can stay busy. Maybe a quarter or so of them stay what I'd consider real busy. At least toward the end of weekdays, and on weekends. Well, at least they would be if it would ever stop raining! Trails have been closed for a month now, some longer.
Too bad for you. In Quebec our last summer was drier then usual and since april we could use some rain.
I look at the river and mostly i see rocks, the bottom. We might lack drinking water.
That climate thing is now.
I have no clue what veggies will be like in 3 months.
 

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They've become super crowded at times. Irony in that is being one of the people who've been at trail work for decades and taking steps to make the sport sustainable and a better trail inventory.

The right time of day can still get me plenty of privacy. I'm not going negative as some are because it's got families doing great stuff.

I'll offer this for anyone frustrated. I've started rides connecting trail areas with roads on a rigid drop bar bike. That's plenty of solitude and plenty of challenge. A whole lot of ride just leaving your own driveway with a bike, food and water.

 

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My neck of the woods remains extremely BUSY and CONGESTED. So much so that our decision on where to ride is completely dependent on how busy we think the trails will be. We purposely try to ride off hours and the crowds remain.

The thread (above) includes some replies relevant to this OP's inquiry.
 

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I feel as long as I avoid the well known state/county park trails on weekend mornings, crowded trails are never a problem. I actually prefer late afternoon/early evening rides. It's really peaceful on the trails and the temps are cooling the further into your ride.
 

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a lot more crowded

now I have the vaccine, i care a lot less about it. frickin WHEW
Still have a mask and can yank it up in seconds...but so happy to have improved my odds with covid.
 
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I lived outside of Boston for 35 years. My local "trail" was frankly not great mountain biking. Very few trails that were even remotely technical and not a ton of single track. But it was less than 2 miles from my house.
You should have ventured just a little farther; you missed out on an incredible amount of trails, including tons of technical singletrack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You should have ventured just a little farther; you missed out on an incredible amount of trails, including tons of technical singletrack.
I can't really disagree. Did occasionally get to some of the better known trails - F. Gilbert Hills State Park and Vietnam in Milford. But at the time I was riding primarily for fitness, had a full time job with 50-60 hour work weeks and a family, so riding was primarily done in the early evening (in summer) when I could squeeze it in or on weekends It was just easier to ride on the 2-3 trail systems that were within a couple of miles of my house. Plus I was riding a 25 year old steel hardtail, so I wasn't going to be doing super technical stuff in any event.
 
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