Sunday, June 24, 2007

Krug Race Loop

Krug.... This is a tough course by all standards. It can be confusing with multiple trail crossings, and the 5.5 miles in the loop can seem like 10 or more. Hills are long and steep, and left over from a time when trails were built straight up and down the contour of the slope. Washed out and rooty climbs/decents are the rule. Even still, once the subtle charm of the trails are realized, a love affair with this trail system quickly blooms.
Summer is a tough time in Krug park though. Idiot teenager vandalism, and massive spider-webs every 5-10 feet at face level can ruin the experience of this trail pretty quickly. However, between the months of November and May, Krug park is some of the toughest, best mountain biking you will find in Saint Joseph, or anywhere.


lansenm said...

Start the Krug Loop on the trail head just to the northwest of the cabin in the clearing at the top of the park. Follow this trail across the main horse trail then take a hard right as soon as you cross the main trail.

Follow this tight twisty section until you get to the rutted secondary main trail. Hang a left up the hill. Tak your first left off the main trail onto a degraded asphalt trail. At the fork, head left. Trail forks again at the top of a brief climb, turn right and ride through a clearing.

After the clearing, go over a bridge and take an immediate right, head down the hill staying to the left. Go over a plank bridge and curve left at the fork. Climb up this trail and you will see the "tree house" at the top of the section (ride it if you can). Now you will decend off of the hill you just climbed, it is curvey, fun, and has a couple steep decents. There are 1 or 2 forks in this section, stay to the left on each. Follow this section of trail all the way down to the waterfall, staying left at every fork in the trail.

When you get to the waterfall, there are several trail heads converging, take a 180 degree right turn and head up the main trail toward the parking lot. You will curve along the wide packed trail, stay on this trail do not turn off. You will go over a creek bed and up a short rocky climb. As you come out of this rocky washout, you will be on the primary main trail that leads up to the parking lot. Pursue this climb until you get to the first left turn. Take it.

This left will send you down a sharp drop, up a steep short climb, down another sharp drop, then at the bottom of the second drop you will stay right at the fork and climb the steep washout. At the top of the washout you will begin a long rooty climb. At the top of this climb there is another convergence of 3 trails. Stay left. This trail will curve down the hill with 2 more cross-roads. Take a hard right on each. You will curve around some more, over a rock garden and back to another cross-road, take a hard left. Take it easy down this hill because you will take the first left that you see. This trail will take you down a steep rooty washout, be careful. Follow this trail until you get to the bridge on your right, cross it. If you get back to the waterfall, you went too far.

lansenm said...


Cross the bridge and take a left. (Note: taking this bridge cuts out the "bridge trail", which is shown on the map. Some of bridges are under repair right now.)

After crossing the bridge and taking a left, follow the creek for a short time. When the trail turns to the right 180 degrees, instead of following the trail, ride up the steep hill. Half way up you will hit a cross road, keep going up, and stay on the trail to the left. This is a rooty climb and you have reached the top when you hit a multi trail convergence. Stay to the hard right and head back down the hill.

You are now on the broken neck trail. Be careful. This is a steep, fast, rooty unpredictable trail. Halfway down the hill, you will hit the same trail cross-roads you crossed on the previous climb; stay left and you will traverse the side of the hill.

This trail follows the side of the hill, until it starts a rooty climb to the top. There are a couple over grown shortcut trails on your right as you climb, don't take them. At the top of the rooty climb stay to the right for the next few cross-roads. After 2 or 3 cross roads, you will curve your way to the extreme top of the course. You will know you are at the top when you get to a very bushy fence line.

The fence line follows the top of the hill for a while, then it begins to decend. The decent will get faster and faster until you get to the chute. Take the chute to the bottom of the course and another creek crossing. Cross the plank bridge and begin climbing again.

You will curve through the woods for awhile until you get to a four trail cross roads. This is shown as "two way traffic" on the map. Stay to the left and cross the bridge.

For the rest of the course, you will only turn left at cross roads. There are some steep hills and technical decents in the up coming sections. You will go through a "rock garden" at the top of a hill. You will take some tight twisty tree sections through a sharp "dip". You will climb a long steady hill (stay left at top). You will decend to the creek and cross a long pallet bridge, then start a shorter steady climb with slippery roots near the top.

At this point you might be kind of tired, and you get to go through "hell". The trail can be cut short here, but if you continue making left turns at the trail convergences, you will twist up and down through some interesting hills for a short time.

You will know you are out of "hell" when the trail opens up again and follows the side of the hill for a short time. Take it easy here, as it drops off sharply. At the drop off, you will turn hard left at the bottom, then cross a pallet bridge to the right. Right after crossing the bridge, turn left up the hill.

You will climb over one easy riser hill, decend, then you will climb the last big hill. If you make it up this one, you are doing better than me on most days. At the top of this last insult to your body, take a left and follow the gently climbing trail back to the trail head off of the park road.

Note: There are a number of side trails and sections that are not included in the map, or this description. Some of them have been damaged by storms or have erroded and not repaired by the local trail working group yet. Please feel free to explore them (some are really cool), but be careful and don't get lost!