ATTENTION: Due to development and transfer of land, this trail is no longer accessible.
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You might not think a
mountain bike trail that is part of a golf resort to be anything worth
writing home about...think again. Tapatio Springs Golf Resort and Conference
Center could quite possibly be considered one of the finest trails the
Hill Country has to offer. With that in mind, this is not even close
to suitable for beginners.
Check in at the resort’s lobby, sign the waiver and grab a map. Soon you will see that Tapatio Springs can be summed up in one word, technical. You name it, Tapatio Springs provides it: winding singletrack, rock gardens, large roots, and loose rocks, switchbacks both up and down, ample off-camber singletrack, numerous drops and steps, and downhill opportunities to match the climbs.
If you left your climbing legs at home, you will regret it at the start, as the first 1/8 mile is a steady, leg-burning climb along doubletrack that exposes you to the driving range. Soon after, however, singletrack abounds! This trail is not for the timid, mind you, and unless you consider yourself at least a good intermediate rider, you might want to hold off on riding here; after-all, there’s good reason you have to sign a waiver Tapatio Springs. Here your ability to choose the right line is critical; failure to do so might just help you become one with nature.
(Note: by nature we mean trees or rocks)
Around the 3/4 mile mark you’ll cross the first of two road crossings. At the 1 1/2 mile mark the trail splits: the right is designated for 12 and under, while the trail to the left is for “all others.” The 12 and under trail offers challenges no different than the rest of the trail, just in a slightly less technical manner and is much shorter in length. The trail ends at the road about 50 yards from the previously noted road crossing, so it’s easy to ride it again or follow the road back to the trailhead. Make the left, however, and you’ll find yourself smiling for another 3 1/2 miles. The entire trail may span a mere 5 miles, but with very few “slow” points, Tapatio Springs is more quality than quantity.
With the exception of the initial start, the climbs throughout the trail aren’t overly difficult, but are very much well complimented by the descents that follow and the quality of the singletrack throughout. From off-camber dirt, often mixed with loose rock, with unhealthy drops to your right, to smooth rock sections that dare you to be distracted, if only for a second, the singletrack here is beyond sweet. Tapatio Springs saves the best for last, though. Hit the 4 mile point and you will find yourself riding singletrack that just flows so well that you wish it would never end. When it does, however, it’s like the grand finale on the 4th of July. Flying downhill, facing switchback after switchback after switchback (that’s half of them), it’s going to be hard to wipe the smile from your face when you hit the second road crossing – the official end to the thrill that is Tapatio’s mountain bike trail.
Cross the road to the golf cart trail and follow it, make a left through the parking lot, turn right and you are headed right back to the trailhead. Repeat.
~ MountainBikeTx.com (July 2008)