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Level: Advanced
Length: 31 mi (49.9 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +963/987 ft
Total: 67 riders

Mountain Biking Ellicottville Epic

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#6 of 294 mountain bike trails in New York
#470 in the world

This is an IMBA certified Epic Trail in New York. Located an hour south of Buffalo, Ellicottville is home to some of the finest mountain bike trails on the east coast. Built by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers, and easily accessed from town. The climbs are long, steep and plenty. The descents are rocky, rooty and fun.

This is singletrack designed by bikers for bikers (although it is great for hiking, too). For example, some of these trails are used for the annual 6 Hours of Power and the Roots Rocks and Ridges MTB races. It is also designed to be sustainable without lots of maintenance: it has built in dry areas and plenty of effective drainage designed in.

These new trails are often the driest around for riding when it is wet elsewhere. The trail systems can be broken down into the East McCarty Hill area (Big Merlin), the Mutton Hollow area (Porcupine Trail, Mutton Hollow Trail, Yukon’s Lunch), and the newest sections which provide greater connections to Rock City State Forest (Pale Ale Trail, Rim Trail). These trail systems are great and have more than one access point to allow for varied loops.

While these systems can be readily accessed from Holiday Valley via the singletrack behind the top of Eagle Chair lift on the race loop, there's more riding further toward the south extending to and past Little Rock City. The FLT (which is open to bikes in this forest, but is always under threat of closure) and the new Pale Ale Trail takes you there and back, and loops can be made with some of the dirt roads. Suffice it to say there is way more riding than you can do in a day or two. Go here and ride!!

First added by Devin_P on May 20, 2009. Last updated May 10, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Take 219 to Ellicottville. Trailheads include the "training center" at Holiday Valley or if you're lazy, from the top of Mutton Hollow Road.
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Ellicottville Epic Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail conditions

Good (on Jul 13, 2019)
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Camping & Lodging

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Ellicottville Epic videos

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Ellicottville NY Pale Ale Endo
Ellicottville NY Bent Rim Trail-Fuller
Ellicottville South Pale Ale and Billygoat…
Ellicottville WNYMBA MTB Fest 2010 Buzzards…
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Ellicottville, New York

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Rider questions


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  • michaelschafer01

    Lots of rain this year means the roots are protruding more than ever. These trails are a work-out but totally worth it. It will feel like you've ridden farther than you have and the "easy" climbs feel tougher than they are. Fantastic network. Finish at Holiday Valley for a shower by the pool and have a dip, some grub and a craft beer. (Poolside waitstaff is awesome)

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  • Plant-powered

    This trail system is long if you're looking to get in plenty of miles; however, it is inundated with roots, so you better stay focused, especially when the trails are damp. Porcupine, Yukon's Lunch, and Mutton will challenge your endurance and work your suspension. Very few obstacles (other than the roots!) and a few rock gardens. I can't figure out why this trail is labeled as advanced; I'd consider it intermediate. Perhaps it's because of all the roots.

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    Awesome riding parts are very technical lots of roots which on wet days are quite slippery would not recommend for beginners ,but if you have some experience riding I would totally recommend riding theses trails .The trails were also very well maintained

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  • Robertrose   ✓ supporter

    Very technical terrain. Not a lot of vertical climbing but still quite difficult. Lots of rock and roots. This weekend the rocks were covered with leaves and it rained the entire day so it was quite slippery. You have to be prepared to "go for it". If you are tentative over rocks you will hike a bike a lot.

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  • Ryan W McCarthy

    I grew up near Buffalo and rode these trails often. I now live in Ellicottville and have the pleasure of riding these trails every day. There is a vast variety in this network and something for everyone. Make sure to stop into the local bike shop Bike and Bean and the owner/rider Dennis can point out a good route for you on the map. It is definitely possible to get lost so pick up a map and talk to some of he locals about where to ride for your ability level.

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  • Eric Foltz

    This is a really fun trail system. Unfortunately, when I rode there I only had limited time due to a storm moving into the area but could see that these are some great trails where you can easily put together some really long rides.

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  • stumpyfsr   ✓ supporter

    Excellent trails! Eagle Trail climb will punish even seasoned bikers, but also pit a huge grin on the way back.
    Trails are rooty, rocky, twisty and flowy. It's a true Epic ride.
    A few trails were not rideable because of deadfall and barely visible though. Wish I had my portable saw this time with me. Otherwise very well built and maintained trail system that everyone should put on Wish list.

    The best place to begin and finish ride is from Eagle Rd off Hwy 219 before school (if going North). Maps are available at bike shop on Washington St.

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  • mheary

    Back in the area today. Tried pale ale trails. Rim trail. Very rocky. Wet leaves. I believe this trail to be a little to rocky for my taste. Would be more enjoyable in dryer less leaf ridden conditions. I still have not found better trails than north park outside of Pittsburgh but I will keep looking

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  • mheary

    Road the top of Mutton road. Appeared to be top of the mountain. Weather was wet and cold. Terai was slippery. A lot of roots. Massive amount of trails. Look forward to returning under better conditions

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  • jabautn

    One word: AWESOME. Technical, twisty, rutted, smooth, flowy, just the most beautilful singletrack in NYS. Period!

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  • centaur

    After hearing so many great things about Ellicottville a group of us made the 5 hour trip out there for a 3 day excursion.
    To start let me say that the WNYMBA has done an amazing job getting the permission from NY state and executing the construction of these trails.
    Our group rode close to 30 miles of trails over the 3 day period. The Rim, Bent Rim and Pale Ale trails are probably the most technical. Lots of rocks and roots should humble all but the real masochists. This group of trails doesn't have a large elevation gain but other parts of the McCarty Hill section do.
    One of our other rides consisted of more than a 500ft climb right out of the gate. And the most of it consisted of long sections of more than 15% grade. Tough going. The down hills were also quite long and steep. Flow to me means the up and down hills have it along with the side to side flow. Not so much on this section. Breaks in the up and down flow would have made for a more enjoyable trail system. (this was the Eagle, Sidewinder and Big Merlin section 3.25) We give a 4.5 to the Rim, Bent Rim section.
    Be prepared to get lost as well. Signage was great near the start and pretty much non-existant elsewhere. The topo maps you get of the trails don't have elevation data on them.
    Overall a good experience. But not likely to be repeated anytime soon. If you go bring a local guide or your GPS.

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  • Phieagles1976

    These trails are absolutely perfect! Everything you need to truly experience an epic ride indeed when IMBA puts their name on it you know they did it right. You could easily spent a couple days out here to ride their 30+ miles of singletrack. When your done riding swing down into town and hit up the EBC Brewing company they have amazing selection of brews including one called Pantius Droppus this place is worth the trip in itself go out for the day or stay a while it's a great place!

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  • kstoddart

    Unreal. I was so happy that I brought my bike home back to Buffalo when I visited this summer. "who knew" was the thought of the day. Who knew this trail was in Ellicottville? I sure didn't. We didn't see another bike the entire 3 hours we were out there. The climbs were painful, but very rewarding on the way back down. It was great to ride my Trek Top Fuel on the same trails I ride my Lib Tech snowboard. I'll never forget this ride.

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