Tucked away in the pastoral outskirts of Comfort, Texas, the Upper Loop of Flat Rock Ranch offers an 11-mile ride that's an absolute treat for intermediate-level mountain bikers. With steady climbs, fast descents, and live ranch atmosphere, this trail packs a punch. Those willing to tackle Mt. Park's elevation will be rewarded with a sensational ride back down.
The Upper Loop is predominantly an intermediate trail, with a few sections that could require hiking. The ride starts with a steady climb up Mt. Park, a rigorous ascent that warms the legs and lungs. Once the climbing is done, there's a shift to roller-coaster-like undulations that add variety to the trail. The final ascent is a slick rock section—a true test for those looking to prove their mettle.
Descending from Mt. Park is every bit as rewarding as the climb. The downhill sections are filled with speed, complete with a few small drops that add an extra level of excitement.
It's not just about the trail; it's about the environment too. The trail loops through a working ranch, so expect to see live stock. There are bulls and even a variety of deer and sheep (seemingly Icelandic!). A word of caution: don't mess with the bulls. Even though they may appear calm, they can get pretty riled up.
Most of the ranch gates are self-closing now, but make sure to close any that are opened. With lots of open ground, the trail is quite exposed—sun and heat can become a significant factor during the summer months.
Exit off I-10 at exit 523 (US-87) and head south to FM473. Go east for a mile until you reach Flat Rock Creek Road. A 5-mile drive will lead you to the ranch. Make sure to shut the gate behind you.
All in all, the Upper Loop at Flat Rock Ranch offers an intermediate-level biking experience that perfectly blends natural beauty, challenging terrain, and ranch life. Those looking for an ascent that pays off big time with a thrilling descent have their playground here. Just keep a wary eye on the bulls, and make sure to hydrate; this Texas heat takes no prisoners.