There are many ways to skin a rat. You can start from Ridgway Town Park and ride the bike path. You can park at the giant eagle and begin in Weaver Park (which has a great short loop). You can park in Ridgway State Park and cross the highway. You can climb CR10B and access trails. Or you can park at the RAT parking lot on County Road 10 about a mile down the road once you turn off Hwy 550.
However you get there, you be glad you did. From the RAT parking lot, there is one trail that takes you into the system–The Big Cheese. It’s a 1.5 mile climb with 13 switchbacks that ultimately takes you to the top of the entire network. Off of the Big Cheese, in first come first serve order, you can make a right and continue to climb up Speedy Gonzales (which is a great way to lengthen your climb–it’s pretty sweet) to Splinter to the top of the trail system. For less climbing and more gnar, just stay on Big Cheese and make a left onto The Exterminator, a double black diamond descent that is riddled with steep drops and tight turns. Another option is to simply continue climbing on the Big Cheese to the top—what we call the 4 corners.
Once you get to the top of the system (aka, 4 Corners) you can hit Ratical or Speedy Gonzales (both amazing descents). Ratical brings you north into the system to pick up trails like the Plagueground and Speedy brings you towards Splinter and back to Big Cheese. Also from 4 Corners you can grab Rat Trap or Rattus Maximus, either one brings you north into the system. Ride the Rat Trap all the way down and you’ll experience one of the finest, longest single-track downhills around.
Instead of starting at the parking lot, you can climb 0.5 miles on the gravel pit access road (County Road 10B)–your first left after Second Chance Animal Shelter. From here you can pick up Rattus Maximus or the Maze. Rattus climbs you all the way to 4 corners and links up with Squeaker (a super fun swoopy descent), the Maze, Rat Trap and Double Crosser.
Of course, ride them all if you can–you have many options once you are in the system.
Some trails are MUCH better as descents:
- RAT TRAP
And our Standard Climb Trails are:
- The BIG CHEESE
- RATTUS MAXIMUS
Here’s a few selections for various abilities:
Expert: Starting at the trailhead in the parking lot—BIG CHEESE>EXTERMINATOR>RATTUS MAXIMUS>DOUBLE CROSSER>THE PLAGUEGROUND>LOWER DOUBLE CROSSER>RATTUS CLIMB to 4 Corners>SPEEDY GONZALES>SPLINTER>BIG CHEESE descent (~ 15 miles).
Intermediate: Starting at the trailhead in the parking lot—BIG CHEESE to 4 Corners>SPEEDY GONZALES>SPLINTER>BIG CHEESE (only the top 1/3) back to 4 Corners>SPEEDY>RATICAL>PLAGUEGROUND>LOWER DOUBLE CROSSER>RATTUS (climb)>RAT TRAP (descent)>LOWER RAT TRAP>SQUEEKER>THE MAZE (~12 miles)
Beginner: Start near the top of the gravel pit road where Rattus, the Maze and Squeeker all meet—CLIMB RATTUS MAXIMUS TO 4 corners>RATICAL>DOUBLE CROSSER>RATTUS MAXIMUS Descent (~6 miles miles)
To the right of this text is a detailed map of the trail system, updated as of May 31, 2016. Click on the map to enlarge. Please be aware that construction continues on the system daily, and we will update this map as new gps data becomes available.