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If you're looking for a technical smorgasbord of a mountain bike ride at Jakes Rocks, look no further than this loop anchored by the fantastic Ursus trail! The ride as mapped begins from the visitor's center on the lakeshore, quickly climbing up to the top of the mountain via the Deerfoot Trail.
While the Deerfoot Trail is very approachable and climbable, it will still force you to work for the elevation, demanding some sweat equity to reap the rewards of the fantastic downhills! After connecting across the top of the mountain on the beginner trails, you'll eventually reach the first big descent of the ride: Ursus.
Don't be tricked into thinking that all of the trails at Jakes Rocks are smooth because they were primarily built with the use of machines, because Ursus will prove you wrong.
This trail mixes rock gardens, rock slabs, and stunning rock formations together into an unbelievable rip down the mountain! The chundery rock gardens provide fantastic flow and technical challenge, all at the same time.
Rock lips provide kicker and drop opportunities, sometimes allowing you to gap straight over the rock gardens.
At times, you'll be faced with A and B lines, with some of the difficult side hits providing substantial hucks.
Be sure to scope the features the first time on your way down. If you can slow down enough to soak in the scenery, you'll notice that this trail is routed through an unbelievable zone filled with towering sandstone formations, babbling creeks, and beautiful woodland.
Ursus makes the most of this by winding between the sheer rock cliffs, over rock slabs, and crossing beautifully built bridges. After climbing back up the mountain, this route leads you to yet another beautiful area that you can savor a bit more as you pedal through slowly.
The Three Sisters zone features even more sheer-sided rock formations, with a singletrack snaking slowly between them. The final downhill of the day comes on the Black Snake trail, the marquee jump line here at Jakes Rocks.
This short but sweet flow line features beautifully-banked corners, expertly-sculpted tabletops and doubles, rollers that can be gapped, and the occasional ledge drop.
Note that a few natural rock slabs have still been worked into this trail, so it isn't a manicured bike park flow trail.
It still retains some of the natural feel found at Jakes Rocks, which adds a delightful dose of character to this fantastic line!