Nestled in the quiet corners of Lafayette, Indiana, the Murdock Park MTB Trail is more than meets the eye. Meandering through a rather compact area behind Murdock School, this 4-mile loop is a treasure for those looking to challenge their technical prowess. With roots, tight switchbacks, and quick power climbs, the trail is no playground for the faint-hearted or the novice.
To find this clandestine cycling destination, take 18th St. and turn into Murdock Park. The next left will guide you to a parking lot located behind a school. A short paved path from the parking lot serves as your gateway into this wooded labyrinth.
For riders looking to up their game, Murdock Park MTB Trail delivers:
These features make this trail a concentrated dose of challenges, despite its relatively short length.
It's easy to get disoriented on this course, given its multiple converging paths and modest markings. Don't be surprised if you find yourself heading back to the parking lot when you thought you were exploring a new section. Keeping track of the orange flashes—added to show direction—might mitigate some of the confusion. The loop is intended to be ridden counter-clockwise.
Murdock Park MTB Trail is an intriguing but challenging trail for intermediate cyclists. If technical intricacies excite you more than speed, then this trail has plenty of elements to keep you engaged. It may not be a smooth or well-marked ride, but what it lacks in finesse, it makes up for in gritty, technical riding experiences. Just remember: it's always a work in progress, so your patience, and maybe even your constructive feedback, will only make it better.