FATMAP difficulty grade
While Granite is easily the best mountain bike trail in Jacksonville's Forest Park, after a few rides, you might be looking for a change of pace.
The Deadman Trail, also known as Lower Secret Squirrel, might provide the perfect change of pace. To get to Deadman, pedal the same climb up Rail Trail and the dirt road as you would use to get to Granite.
At the top of Granite, turn left and then keep pedaling up the doubletrack moto trail.
After a bit of steep climbing, you'll reach the top of Deadman. Instead of the swoop and flow of Granite, Deadman offers a rocky, technical high-speed straightaway that rips down the mountain at top speed.
Since this section of trail is moto legal, you can expect to encounter some substantial tech obstacles and the occasional rut. The top straightaway is over all too quickly, but you'll drop back into the lower section of Granite, enjoying a few flowy corners, along with some sniper jumps and blind drops. After finishing the fast descent down Granite, the terrain mellows out, but the descent continues on the non-technical Ol Miner's trail.
While the trail corridor on Ol Miner's is much tighter than Granite, reflecting the nature of most of the singletrack in Forest Park, it's still quite rideable on a mountain bike.
A few of the short, steep descents back toward the trailhead can be tricky, but overall this is a beautiful trail through a deep forest that provides a nice, relaxing finish to the day. Even though most of the trails in Forest Park might not be very enjoyable on a mountain bike, gems like Deadman and Granite make exploring this area worthwhile!