The trail begins heading East along the edge of the Cherry trees, then heads North along the East Beltline. Follow the trail around the school and then the singletrack proper begins. Take care here to mind your pedals. The trail is a 6” deep rut and it’s easy to catch a pedal or let your tire ride up the side of it.
In this first 2-mile section, you’ll quickly see now what this trail is all about. Keep your climbing gear handy! With a lack of visibility due to the lush undergrowth here, the short steep climbs will surprise you. Very near the beginning of the singletrack, you’ll come to the top of a small climb and it will look like you can go left or right. Go right to find the older section that was re-opened last year. And – surprise, surprise – get ready to climb. There is a lot of trail packed into a small area here, and they’ve done it by winding the trail back on itself with plenty of switchbacks and tight turns. This isn’t a fast, open trail ala Cannonsburg State Game Area or Luton Park. This is a more claustrophobic experience. Some trails may lull you to sleep, but not here. You’ll be on your toes trying to see ahead of the next turn. There are some good climbs in this section. They’re not lung-busters, but you may need to stand up to grind up some of the steeper ones. Due to the “rough” nature of the trail, always be on the lookout for downed trees and limbs. The folks at the orchard are pretty good about keeping the big stuff off the trail if people let them know about it.
After this first gallop through the woods, you’ll get a little breather when you’re spit out into the orchard again. Follow the trail the best you can here. You’ll be travelling perpendicular to the rows of trees, through the heart of the orchard and heading South, until you see the small blue arrow signs. From here it’s easier to follow. The trail takes you almost back to where you started. You might be tempted to head back to your car. Don’t do it! Take a right at the two-track and enjoy the screaming downhill into the second forested section.
More tight, twisty trail and some bigger climbs (and descents) wait for you here. About halfway through this section, you’ll encounter a terribly rutted washed-out descent. Only the bravest souls will try to ride this out. If you go for it, stay right to avoid the wheel-deep washout, then stay high on the berms left and right all the way to the bottom. If you’re anything less than an expert technical rider, you’ll probably walk your bike down here. After this, there are some longer climbs. What they lack in distance, they make up for in pitch. As it should be, the last climb is the biggest. When you come out at the top, you’ll be riding behind a row of houses and from here, it’s an easy spin back out near the road, along the cornfield and back to your car. A second lap, anyone?
If you like technical trail, and want to improve your shifting and bike handling skills, Robinette’s is perfect. If you don’t like feeling like you’re in a Central American jungle and like your singletrack smooth and fast, this is not the trail for you. It’s probably not a good place to bring beginner riders either. It’s the “littlest toughest” trail around.