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New Trails that Have Always Been There

I have been to Wilder many, many times and thought I had ridden all of the trails. I happened to be looking my consolidated ride map in Google Earth and noticed some trails that I hadn't ridden. I made a mental note to ride these trails on the next visit to Wilder. As luck and hot weather in the valley would have it, I didn't have to wait long.

It wasn't that these trails were hard to get to or hidden. Rather, it was more an issue of falling into rut of riding the trails that we knew and enjoyed. When starting from the coast, we almost always head up Wilder Ridge Loop or Zane Gray Cutoff.  Every once in a while, we would return on Engelsmans Loop, but we don't usually ride up that way.

First, we rode Cowboy Loop. It was clearly there on the Google Earth view, but for some reason we had never even noticed it was there. It was a pretty nice ride except for one gut-buster climb in the middle. It was short and steep, so it was over quickly so we could enjoy the rest of the loop, which ended right where it started.

Next, we climbed up the western (inner) leg of Engelsmans Loop looking for another trail that was visible from the overhead view. The trailhead wasn't too hard to find as it is now the official detour for Engelsmans that now has a center section that has been restored to a natural state to reduce erosion. This trail looped back to Engelsmans but also joined Wild Boar, which we rode up to the Old Cabin junction.

We found a few other trails that have been there all along but somehow we had ridden past them as part of our familiar routes. We all enjoyed finding these newly discovered aspects of an old and familiar friend. I suppose this is just another lesson to teach me that "tried and true" sometimes prevents me from discovering something new.

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