I know it is mid-October but there are still some beautiful colors on the trails. Yesterday I parked at Diamond Peak Mountain Sports where I unloaded my bike and hit the paved path toward North Arm Trail. North Arm Trail is a great beginner trail. The first section is treed and the slopes are gentle. There is one very short but tough climb and two tight switchbacks. Perfect for practice. The trail rolls out of the first section onto a service road and then back to single track as you approach the private boaters club on the left. This is my favorite section because I love speed. You can fly through this part of the trail. At the Boaters Club entrance you will pop up onto the the road for just a few feet before the trail continues on your left. This section is another fun, easy section but without the trees. After exiting the trail into the boat launching area, continue to the south end of the parking lot where the trail picks up again. I love North Arm because it is quick, easy, and you have access to four bathrooms along the way!
If North Arm is enough for you just turn around and head back. If you need more time on your bike head towards the dam spillway on the road. After crossing the spillway turn down the canyon just a few yard then cross the busy road and drop into the Wheeler Creek Trailhead. This trail is well used and several cars will probably be parked on that south side of the canyon. The trail is wide and rocky. Most of the rocks are embedded so you just need power to get up the canyon. The ride isn't long but is mostly a constant climb with a few rocky lung busters just to make it interesting to climb and descend. Wheeler Creek is just the beginning of many trail systems above. From here you can get to Ice Box Trail, East Fork Trail, and Maples (all of which branch off to other trails).
Both North Arm and Wheeler Creek fall under the "easy" category (although Wheeler Creek took me a long time to finally make it up without dismounting) and can be completed fairly quickly. A nice ride on a day when you don't have much time. If you have more time just keep climbing adjoining trails.
Stephanie and Debbie, stay-at-home moms who don't stay home.