The Madrone Trail at Canyon Lake, Texas, offers an 8-mile loop that promises more than just your average bike ride. Positioned as an intermediate-level route, the trail has a smorgasbord of terrains that range from technical rocky sections to smooth single tracks. While the ride may not be a cardio-burner due to its frequent rough patches, it doesn't lack in thrills. Before you venture out, let's dissect the ins and outs of this popular trail.
How to Get There
- Starting point: New Braunfels
- Directions: Head west on Hwy 306 for roughly 20 minutes until you reach Canyon Lake. Take a left on Canyon Rd.
- Landmarks: Look for an Exxon station at the intersection where Canyon Rd begins.
- Parking: A parking area will appear on your right, just past a small beach and tall telephone poles.
- Note: If you hit a tollbooth, you've ventured too far.
Key Points for Navigation
- The trailhead starts with a small incline and leads you to an intersection. Take a right here; it also serves as the loop’s end.
- The trail crosses paved park roads multiple times. Use your instincts to find the continuation across the road.
- Ribbons often mark the trail. Specifically, in sections enveloped by canopy or near overgrown roadsides.
- The second half of the trail is more shaded, offering a respite from the sun.
Terrain and Obstacles
- Elevation Changes: The trail features considerable elevation shifts with technical climbs and descents.
- Rocky Terrain: Expect a rocky route that requires skilled line-finding.
- Drops: A few exhilarating drops add spice to your ride.
- Safety Gear: Due to the rocky terrain, flat tires are common. Bring a repair kit.
- Signage: The trail has little to no markers. Instinct and the natural flow are your best guides.
- Amenities: No restrooms on-site. Plan accordingly.
- Weather Limitations: The trail may close for season hunting or due to flooding.
What Cyclists Are Saying
- "Highly technical, but fun. Needs better signage."
- "My favorite trail so far! Loved the log feature."
- "Great for someone who likes rock gardens. Almost like a mini Georgetown lake."
- "Bring water—the sun is relentless. Also, padded underpants recommended."
The Madrone Trail isn't for the faint of heart, but if you're looking to challenge yourself and enjoy the rugged beauty of Texas, this trail should be on your list. Don't forget to check the official website for seasonal changes and regulations.Happy trails!