Ever since I have heard anything about the AHT and bikes being allowed at some point, I have been very interested in checking this place out. All the reviews talk about being rugged and back woods. They also follow with telling you to make sure and be prepared. After some talking with Scott who has done the loop in 6-8 hours. I found out where he thought the worst of the downed trees were and set off with a plan to ride as much as I can. The steed of the day was the new mullet. I was not sure how well I would be able to climb or how long my hands would last, but it was the bike I was taking.
I went in figuring that the loop would not be completed, but good times would be had. I was not disappointed. We ended up riding a little over 16 miles or so. We started at AHT Post 6 and went CCW until we crossed paths with the mtb trail. We then rode that to the loop and around the long way. We then took the trail up to the camp ground to see what the plan was going to be. We ended up getting back on at AHT post 2 and riding CW. I wanted to check out the Iron Bridge to see if it was a possible parking area in the future. Once we hit the mtb trail again, we took that up to the fire tower. A nice little road ride back to the car was a good way to finish the ride. I didn’t check the time when we started or finished, but I know we were out there for a good while. There were a ton of trees down. Some you could ride, some you couldn’t and even some that you do, but shouldn’t. There were crazy steep ups and downs. I rode a lot of stuff that I didn’t think I could and there were a few downs that once you got started there was no turning back. Plenty of hike-a-bike sections and trees to climb over.
This trail is by far some of the toughest trail in Indiana. It will test your ability and your legs. I have found another great place to get in prime Pisgah condition. My legs have not burned that much since my last hike up black for the start of PMBAR. I will head back down to check out the rest of the loop as soon as I can. I also hope to ride some of the stuff that I already did ride again. I will have to attend some work days this winter too and maybe clear a few of the big trees that keep the travels slower. I am not sure about parking at the bride since it is a very small beam that you would have to walk on to cross the bridge. It was not the safest thing to do much less carry a bike at the same time. I will have to see how much of a drive it would really cut out.
My body it beat up and wore out, but I am ready to go back for some more.