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FATMAP difficulty grade
This loop combines a lot of the best trails near Military Reserve in the lower foothills.
As mapped here, it begins from Freestone Creek trailhead, but you could just as well start from another parking along this road.
To start out, use the road or Mountain Cove trail to get to Military Reserve connector.
This is a steep and somewhat sandy climb that puts you on Crestline.
Then it’s a much easier and more scenic uphill to Sidewinder. On Sidewinder you’ll really feel like you’re getting up there in the foothills.
It twists along a panoramic ridgeline with views into the creek valleys on either side.
This smooth trail makes a good downhill as well, but is more commonly used for climbing. You’ll lose some of that vertical on a quick and fun descent on Motorcycle Trail, then hop onto Fat Tire Traverse for a real treat.
This benchcut singletrack dips through gullies and curves around hillsides that are so steep, some of the turns feel like there’s air underneath them.
It’s easy riding, but you’ll want to be sure to stay in control! Next comes Freestone Ridge, which is a fast and very scenic descent.
It’s not as smooth as it could be, due to washboarding and ruts, but it’s still a good time.
At the bottom you have several options for finishing the loop.
The route mapped here adds some more action with Shane’s Loop and Central Ridge.
To get there, turn and go up Three Bears, which is a dirt road that turns into narrower trail.
This becomes a pretty steep climb, but for a short distance, before tipping downhill and meeting Shane’s.
Shane’s Loop is smooth singletrack that curves around a hill, through idyllic grassland and with great views toward Table Rock.
It then takes a sharp descent with some rocks, and meets the big trail junction at the top of Central Ridge. Central Ridge is a super fun downhill, with a steep section pointing directly at a vista of downtown Boise.
It’s very popular with walkers and also uphill riders though, so you might not be able to hold all the speed you want.
A good alternative is to take Bucktail, an easy flow trail, to go downhill instead and return to the start.