TRAIL RATING PROTOCOL BY COLOR
Looking for an easy path, a challenge, single track only? Just pick your favorite color and go…..
Green Trails (Easiest)
The easiest of the ratings in the difficulty scale, some green trails will connect whole trail systems together. Beginner riders should use these until their confidence increases. Green trails are used by riders of all abilities, leading to more difficult sections of terrain. The steepness of uphills and downhills is short-lived, and top out at around twenty percent grade in places. Four-wheel drive is not needed, unless after major periods of rain. Riders might have to contend with small ruts, shallow water crossings, rocks and some mud holes, with most having routes around them. Some off-camber riding could be expected, but is minimal. Switchbacks are to be expected, with some that might require a three-point turn, depending on the length of one’s vehicle.
NOTE: The Tams Loop is a 20+ Mile ONE WAY Loop.
Blue Trails (More Difficult)
Blue trails have steeper grades and more off-camber terrain. This requires more weight shifting and dexterity from the rider. People riding these should be confident in their riding abilities, and know their machine. Hills can easily be twenty to forty percent in grade. Even just one steeper incline/decline can keep the blue designation, depending on grade. Exposure to steep sidehills is also a factor, along with deeper ruts. Four-wheel drive might be needed in certain places along blue trails. Some must-make moves might need to be made. Many deeper mud holes and creek crossings may be present, possibly with options around. Needed weight shifts might be needed with steeper, off-camber slopes. The frequency of steeper switchbacks with the possibility of three-point turns will increase on blue trails.
Black Trails (Most Difficult)
The hardest to navigate of the three trail ratings. Four-wheel drive is required and often employed. Users of black trails should be avid riders with extensive experience in navigating difficult terrain. Regular patches of bigger rocks, greater off-cambered and steeper pitches, deep ruts, and exposure all come into play for black trails. Grades past forty percent are common. Big mud holes with deep bottoms may be present, with no options around them. Depending on the grade, more than one steep, technical feature will designate a black trail rating. Quick decisions need to be met on all black trails. Winches cannot be ruled out, as they may be needed to pull riders out of situations. Some creek crossings could be deep. Switchbacks could be technical and off-cambered, with three-point turns in some places.
Red Trails (Singletrack-Motorcycles Only)
The terrain in this spectrum can go from a wide, flat path, to steep hill climbs or descents with exposure on the downhill side of the trail. One could possibly encounter rocks, steeper switchbacks, logs, drainage spots, tight tree squeezes, ruts, mud holes, and steep inclines/declines. All singletrack is one-way to reduce any user conflict.