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Name: Rail X Trail (for kids and beginners) Author's Rating: (as a beginner trail). More advanced riders may find it a little boring (though you can find more technical trails in the area)
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet
Type: Bike Difficulty: (The trail is non-technical beginner trail that’s great for kids just learning to mountain bike. There are some places with moderate sand which can be ridden or walked. No major hills or technical sections)
Time: 1 - 2 hours Region: SE Arizona
Length: 5 miles (total out and back, but can be as short as you want) Elevation gain/loss/change: +178 / -178 ft / +0 ft (out and back)
Type: out and back Avg Elevation: 3300 ft
Best time to go: fall, winter, spring Fees: NA
Fitness rating: Low-Medium Educational Merit: Low
Danger/fear rating: Low Scenic Beauty: Low
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: March, 2011
Short Description: A great beginner trail for kids just learning to mountain bike
Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area. Rail-X #1; Tugie's 5k
References / Contact Information: SDMB
Points of interest: A nice kids trail. Windmill
Special Considerations: May require a State Trust Land permit (see update on permit page).
How to get there: Take SR 77 (Oracle Rd) north out of Tucson, past Oro Valley and Catalina. As you leave Catalina (and just before the road turns into a true divided highway), turn left onto Edwin Rd (Waypoint turn). You’ll see a sign for Rail-X Ranch and it’s just after a nursery. Go through the cattle guard and drive 1.5 miles on the dirt road to a large parking area on the right (Waypoint 001). The trail heads off north of the parking area. Click here for directions.

Trail Description

This is a great trail for beginners and kids. It follows a two-track road through some fairly flat desert just north of Tucson in Catalina. It’s wide enough for kids not to be too nervous about crashing into a cacti and offers enough sand, small rocks and whoop-dee-doos to let them hone their skills before trying out singletrack. All-in-all, a super trail to help the young ones start mountain biking!

General Information and History

There are miles and miles of four-wheel-drive, ATV and biking trails in the Rail-X area. Some of the trails are just perfect for beginners, others are extremely sandy and more attuned to ATVs and four-wheel-drives. The trail described here is only one out of hundreds. You’ll see many branching off as you’re riding it, feel free to explore and have fun.

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The Trail

From the parking area, ride north along the two-track road. There are stretches of the trail which can get moderately sandy that are about 100 yards long. My oldest rode all of these, my youngest crashed once in the sand and decided to walk the rest until she became more proficient. The trail continues north, stay on the main road. At Waypoint 004, there’s a cattle tank and windmill off to the right. If you’re interested, you can walk (or ride) down the hill, though this is probably more difficult than most beginners want to tackle.

After the windmill, keep riding north until Waypoint 002 where the trail intersects another major trail that follows the power lines. Keep heading north for a few hundred yards, then break left off the power line road.

Again, follow the main road north until you reach Waypoint 003. This is where we turned around, but you can keep going if you want.

Now all you have to do is retrace your ride back to the parking area. If you want a little change of pace, you could probably take the power line road back to Edwin Rd, then ride it back to the parking area.

And that’s it. Close to Tucson, this is a great trail to take kids and beginners out on to learn the ropes!

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