The last couple of days I have been hitting up Harwood Mills Parks in Newport News. This is another fun area with a little over six miles of single track that flows really well and makes the most use of the natural terrain.
This place is pretty much flat, with the picture above being pretty much the most elevation change you will see at one time.
This is the toughest obstacle in the trail system. On the other side of this ramp there are two chunks of this log used as steps.
So while the trail is not tough at all, it was of little concern to me as it was just fun to get out and go on this trail. The trails really scream at you to see how fast you can go. The three loops out here are all one-way trails with the novice trail being closest to the trailhead and the expert the furthest away from the trailhead. I have to say that the grading criteria for the “advanced” and “expert” are not what I am accustomed to seeing. I’m guessing that the rating system is based how much skill it takes to maintain a fast pace on the trail. The expert trail has much tighter turns than the novice trail. None of the trails has much in the way technical drops, really large roots or challenges beyond the log roll pictured above. Going fast seems to be the primary challenge. I’m pretty sure a novice can get through all of these trails if they take thier time.
When not trying to rip through this place, it is a cool woods just to take a look see around. These woods here are good deer habitat and I saw about 20-25 deer over the course of two rides here. I even got to see about half a dozen fawns will thier spots still. It was a real treat, just like this trail system for a post-workday quick escape into the woods.