The MERA Loop

The eponymous trail connecting the larger MERA trail system together.

Mountain Biking Moderate

Distance
12 km
Ascent
363 m
Descent
363 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1 km
High Point
1.2 km
Gradient
The MERA Loop Map

The eponymous MERA Loop anchors the greater trail system, providing a spine that all of the other trails connect to in some way. In addition to connecting the entire network together, this trail epitomizes the style of mountain biking that’s most popular here at MERA.

Description

The MERA loop is comprised of buff, fast, flowy dark dirt singletrack snaking through the deep forest along the steep sides of Mount Emily. Tight turns and switchbacks punctuate the high-speed straightaways, and even for a so-called cross country loop, there’s plenty of climbing and descending to be had. Despite being classified as a died-in-the-wool XC trail, swoop and flow is the name of the game on the MERA loop with rollers, berms, and a delightful undulation to the trail at all times.

While some trails in the MERA trail system tend to get overgrown, the singletrack on the MERA loop stays wide and largely free of undergrowth. This is largely due to the popularity of this trail. While the convoluted network of singletrack on this mountainside can sometimes be difficult to navigate, the standard MERA loop is well-marked and easy to follow. Consequently, plenty of people follow it, making it one of the most popular trails in the network.

For a bit more climbing and descending, try incorporating the Sasquatch Trail into your ride, and possibly starting from the Igo Trailhead instead of the Owsley Trailhead.

Difficulty

Moderate

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability, with unavoidable obstacles 8in/20cm tall or less. Other obstacles such as rock gullies and steep sections may exist. Ideal for lower intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Flow
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Jumps
  • Roots

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area