Note that this is a very popular trail with mountain bikers. I don't recommend running the southwestern half or if you should choose to run it, be aware of your surroundings.
Built in 2014, Merlin View followed the successful build of Bobcat the previous year; it has consistent grades for easier climbing and gentle descents, banked corners and technical features (for mountain bikers), and rolling topography. It has some good views too!
Easily accessed from the trailhead via Braggin' Rights, Merlin View is a loop that combines seamlessly with Braggin' Rights to create a fairly easy run. You could also add Merlin to the traditional Northern Flow loop (15km) for some extra climbing. Choosing to run Merlin View counter-clockwise gives you the shorter (2km, 9%) climb and the longer (3km, 6%) descent.
From the Braggin' Rights/Reconnect junction head West into the long meadow/cut-line and turn Right to begin the climb (if you're running counter-clockwise). The trail follows this cut-line for the next kilometre, snaking back and forth through the trees on either side, until it reaches a big meadow. There, a bench made from boulders that offers a chance for a rest at this mid-point on the climb, and you can take in the views to the South & East.
The trail then enters the trees and after a short, rock-armoured section it climbs to the summit before following the ridge for 500m. It dips briefly and crests another minor summit before the descent begins in earnest - and it continues for the next 3km!
Eventually, the trail emerges into a meadow/cut-line again, and finally climbs (via one switchback in the trees) up the cut-line back to the Braggin' Rights junction. Take the Right turn there to return directly to the trailhead.
Shared By: Paul Lindfield