“A great technical run with lots of steep climbs and a peaceful solitude that feels like being in the wilderness.”
— Ian Shafer
Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · Lake · Spring · Views · Wildlife
A very fun run that features a few steep climbs that seem to last forever. There's also roots, rocks, and logs spread throughout the path that requires attentive footwork and focus. The park is close to town, but it also has a nice "middle of nowhere" feel. To keep on track with the navigating, keep to the right at each intersection as you follow this challenging trail.
For a counter-clockwise loop, turn right at the log cabin and start a gradual climb. Pretty soon the grade flattens and follows a slightly rolling cadence before the second climb. On the other side, a very technical singletrack descent leads runners through a series of switchbacks to reach the bottom of the drainage.
This is followed by a long and steep climb that is peppered with switchbacks, logs, rocks, and tree roots to make things more challenging. The next section gives runners a chance to recoup as the Alley Trail follows the top of a flat ridgeline for a third-of-a-mile. Up next is a short but steep descent that plunges down to a slow, steady climb through boulders and a very un-manicured section of narrow singletrack.
Continuing on, the trail descends past two small ponds before starting in on the final climb at the other side of the drainage. After cresting the low forested ridge, it's time for a mellow descent that travels past Lake Loretta to end on the park road.