Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Buck Hill, Levis Mounds, Wisconsin

This trail is a part of the Levis Mounds trail system.   

The Hill

The words "Buck Hill" denote a large hill far from the main Levis Mound trailheads, situated in the opposite corner of the wooded square that contains the majority of the trails.  (The only trail past Buck Hill is Goat Dance.) There is a major confluence of trails atop of Buck Hill, and seems to be a mandatory resting spot for everyone traveling through. Yellow Jacket ends there, Upper Hermosa begins there, the Moundbounder ski trail goes up and over the top, Fox Hole Hill junctions with Upper Hermosa on the side of the hill, and the epic Sidewinder trail begins and ends on top of Buck Hill.  When riding Levis, this is a place you need to know.

Buck Hill location.

The Trail
 The words "Buck Hill" also denote a trail by the same name that drops off the top of Buck Hill. It swoops down Buck Hill's back side in big swooping switchbacks bested only by those on Upper Hermosa. As the trail reaches the bottom of the hill, it hangs a sharp left and straightens out into a gradual but fast descent toward the junction with Fox Hole Hill at an orange gate. Alternatively, don't turn left but instead go right to access Goat Dance.

While the Buck Hill trail is often bypassed by riders on their way out on Yellow Jacket to Goat Dance, I personally always loved the rooty but flowy descent down the swoopy Buck Hill trail.  Little things like the turns on that descent are what set Levis Mound apart as an Epic trail system. The thing of it is, there are a ton of this little jewels scattered all throughout the trail system that have made a memorable mark in my mind.  While there are many such exhilarating sections of trail, they all seem to have a different flavor when ridden.

Levis is not one of those trail systems that contains 20+ miles of great singletrack... but singletrack that all starts looking the same after about 7 or 8 miles.  No, the variety of the trails here both in the ride and the scenery set this system apart.  That is why I am doing this as a series instead of a single post.

Your Turn: If you've ridden Levis, what is the one little section of trail that you always hold up as your favorite? (Not saying that is Buck Hill for me... we'll get to my favorite later.) If you haven't, is there a section of a different trail that has just left an impression on you as being spectacularly unique?

3 comments:

edge June 9, 2010 at 8:42 AM  

My favorite- Sidewinder, bar none. It isn't the longest singletrack, but it does have the most "visually challenging" sections. If you fall, you WILL get seriously hurt. I try not to fall. It is the last whole trail to be built at Levis and the one with the best layout-it willlast for many years, and it has the best features-rock, drop offs, several levels of elevation. It is the only way way trail, which made building it easier and creating a "flow" simplier.
Second choice would be Cliffhanger-again, re-designed after many years, it just has a "colorado" look in some parts. ALways ride it top to bottom.
Best "Micro-section?" Is "plummers crack" on Toad Road. The rock chute has been there for thousands of years and I think I looked at that spot for as long trying to figure out how to get a trail down deep inside there. Finally I just started pin flagging and cutting. The wood bridges and ramps that squeeze thru the stone walls turned out well.

Brett June 10, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

I allways love yellowjacket as a warmup before i hit the big hills. The bridges and a couple obsticles make it fun while it is still pretty flat at some parts. Otherwise, since im too afraid to do sidewinder, id have to say upper mosa. Altho, i did have my first serious fall there yesterday. Lets just say I didnt fall toward the mountain, and i rolled alot. The bike is fine other than the ripped leather seat and turned handlebars. but i banged myself up pretty good. and im defanately feeling it today. haha. Btw, what trail has that small, steep switchback section? I cant remember, but that is allways fun to hit too.

Greg June 10, 2010 at 6:03 PM  

@ edge, good choices, all! I hope it's ok if I pull a couple quotations out of your comment when I write those trail descriptions... you summed Sidewinder up especially nicely!

@ Brett, It may be Goat dance that has the short, steep switchbacks. Switchback (the trail) has a long section of switchbacks that have been bypassed, but are still rideable to my knowledge.

My personal favorite micro section may be that rock on Cliffhanger that you have to ratchet the pedals to get over. Cliffhanger is probably also my favorite trail... although Sidewinder is probably the coolest.

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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for Singletracks.com. He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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