“A mellow trail through the aspens and willows next to the stream. A good opportunity for some solitude close to town.”
— Nick V
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Wildlife
Bikes are not allowed on the top ~1/2 mile of the trail. No camping is allowed off of this trail. Dogs should be leashed.
There are lots of big down trees to straddle over in the last mile, which will definitely slow down your pace. If you take the biker's loop instead of going to the top, this isn't a problem.
This trail leaves from the bottom of the Wildernest neighborhood and connects to the Lilly Pad Lake trail at the top. It starts out very easy, low grade along an old two track dirt road. Wander through the willows and aspens by the creek (watch for moose!) for the first 1.5 miles. Then follow the sign to stay on Upper Salt Lick Trail, take a left turn across a bridge.
The trail changes to singletrack and starts climbing on moderate gradients into the lodgepole forest towards the end at Lily Pad Lake trail. This trail connects into a network of social trails leading up to the homes in Wildernest (in general keep to the left to stay on Salt Lick Trail). This is a very nice trail for easy mountain biking, near the top the trail splits and no bikes are allowed on the last 1/2 mile of the trail, which makes this section a bit easier to run. This trail sees surprisingly low use considering how close it is to town. You'll be largely alone until you get to the busy Lily Pad Lake Trail.
Once you get to the Lily Pad Trail at the top, you're only about 1/4 mile away from the lake, and it's a worthwhile trip!
Flora & Fauna
Riparian aspen / willow at the bottom. Look for moose and lots of birds down here. Lodgepole forest at the top, squirrels and grey jays. If you continue on to Lily Pad Lake you'll be greeted with a lovely lily pad covered pond with ducks. If you're quiet and don't disturb them, you'll hear the loud croaking of boreal toads in the pond (they're skittish and will go silent if they sense you).