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9 of the Best East Coast Mountain Bike Descents

Oak Knoll, Carrabassett Valley, Maine

In recent years, the trail system in Carrabassett Valley has grown to nearly 100 miles of trails for mountain bikers to enjoy. There are a number of descents worth checking out, which include everything from fast and flowing with bermed switchbacks to technical, black-diamond descents. The 2.8 mile Oak Knoll trail, with a 700-foot elevation change, tops the list.

Trails maps are available at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center in Carrabassett Valley. To access Oak Knoll, park at Campbell Field Parking area, across the road from the Outdoor Center. Ride across the bridge to the Narrow Gauge trail, and immediately turn left onto Mile’s Mile. This trail along the Carrabassett River serves as a pleasant warm up. At the end, turn left on Narrow Gauge again. A short distance ahead there is a doubletrack to the left with signage for Maine Huts and Trails. Turn here.

Keep a lookout for the entrance to Oak Knoll on the left. For those who prefer to make a loop rather than up and down Oak Knoll, continue straight past the start of Oak Knoll. This route goes up the smooth, bermed switchbacks of Newtons Revenge, and leads directly to Oak Knoll.

Descending Oak Knoll, riders will pick on speed on the smooth switchbacks with stunning views of Sugarloaf Mountain, the Bigelows, and other surrounding peaks. Sections of stony trail and small drops will keep riders on their toes. Be sure to watch for uphill riders and hikers. The descent crosses a gravel service road twice, and during the fall foliage season, the scenery from the trail is breathtaking.

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