Contrary to its name, the Mountain Bike Loop is a multi-use trail that often draws many of the folks that come to the Fells to do things other than mountain biking. This is due to its overall easy doubletrack terrain. You're certain to see people, dogs, bicycles, and any combination of the aforementioned.
The trail generally avoids the best parts of the Fells such as Wright's Tower on the Skyline Trail
and Bear Hill Tower on Bear Hill Road
. It opts for tame doubletrack terrain interspersed with bouts of mainly erosion-induced singletrack ruggedness.
However, if you're looking to complete the full loop around the western reservoirs of the Fells and aren't quite ready for the more challenging terrain of the Skyline Trail
, the Mountain Bike Loop may be a good launch pad for introductory running. The Mountain Bike Loop also makes for a slightly more intuitive, more confident loop in less-than-ideal conditions such as in the dark or in a rain storm.
At the end of the day, if you're running on the Mountain Bike Loop, you're not pounding pavement; and that in itself can be a great success and can bring your passion for running to new levels.