I heard the idea of a climbing trail by Toady’s Tour discussed by various Kingdom Trails staff for over a year now. After a long wait, it is finally here. The new trail, Burrington Bench, climbs from the base of Cat Box Hill to Bemis. The trail is just over a mile long and climbs a little more than 400 ft., at least according to my GPS/Strava data.
The ride itself is pretty good. The entrance to the trail doesn’t look like much, but it quickly improves. The only steep sections are found early on and are very short. From there, the trail gradually gains elevation. Switchbacks? If you wanted switchbacks, you’ve come to the right place. There are at least a dozen switchbacks helping to stretch out the climb into a more gentle grade. Once you get rolling, the trail allows you to keep a pretty good pace – even to the point where some of the switchbacks might need a little more berm. The entire trail is a comfortable middle-ring affair. It reminds me a lot of the West Branch climb from the bottom of Sidewinder.
A ton of work had to go into making this trail. Most of the trail is benched, which means that the trail crews had to spend a lot of time digging things out.
If I could make any changes, it would be the brief section following the doubletrack at the top. I’d much rather stay under the tree canopy and wind through some more single-track right to the end. Still, it’s only a few hundred feet and hardly enough to justify complaining about. Once the logging is done in the area, the little bit of log road should firm up and be fine.
This new trail makes a great addition to the trail network on the west side of Darling Hill. Prior to this, if you wanted to ride Troll Stroll, Tap n Die or Toady’s more than once you either had to climb back up River Walk or River Run or ride all the way down to the south end of West Branch. River Walk and River Run have some pretty steep sections and are pretty much in the “not fun” category, as far as climbs go. With Burrington Bench, we can more easily do repeat loops on these downhills. Hopefully, we won’t be wearing out Troll Stroll as a result.