FEATURE — St. George has a great technical trail in town – though it’s not recommended for beginners: Kentucky Lucky Chicken, or K.L.C. for brevity. And when I say in town, I mean in town! It’s situated on the top third of Webb Hill, which is the anticline that juts up from the Virgin River in the Bloomington Hills area. You know, the one with the radio towers (more on those later).
To get there, take River Road to Fort Pierce Drive, then turn south on Bloomington Hills Drive, then surprisingly enough, back onto Fort Pierce Drive going west (it’s sort of a loop) and finally south onto Hillrise Drive. The road soon turns to dirt and can be pretty choppy, so those with low clearance vehicles may want to park here and ride up the last eighth of a mile or so to a wide spot in the road where the trail starts and ends.
There is a map at the trailhead and the trail has some good signage, so finding where to park is no problem and finding your directions is simplified. Since Kentucky Lucky Chicken is surrounded by the city, it’s what I call a “ride-to” trail and many people can access this one using the myriad bike paths in our area. Pretty cool!
Back to the radio towers. Apparently, in order to not disrupt reception to the towers, houses cannot be built any higher up the hill, which leaves this wonderful open space. An open space owned by the city, which graciously allowed the Dixie Mountain Bike Trail Association to build K.L.C., giving people a great opportunity to get outside while still being close to home.
I know this is a mountain bike article, but even if you’re into a bit of hiking, this trail affords some pretty amazing views. You never quite escape the din of the city, but it’s removed enough from it that it remains wild.
Once at the parking area you can choose your direction, since the trail begins and ends on either side of the road. The preferred direction seems to be clockwise (the south side of the road) because you’ll be heading a bit more downhill as you circle around, but as most good trails are known for, it’s quite rideable in either direction.
This trail is considered intermediate, with some advanced moves thrown in. It’s definitely one that takes a little learning to figure out all the problems it throws at you, but that’s part of the fun. If it were easy it would be less interesting.
Also, K.L.C. has been marked with signage and paint dots, so figuring out lines will be a little easier. Walk the stuff you’re not sure of and work your way up! Frustrated with that rock step-up? Take a look around for a moment … the view is fine!
If you’ve ridden Washington County trails before, you’ll be familiar with the type of riding that’s encountered on Kentucky Lucky Chicken. By virtue of our geology, we end up with more rock (sandstone mostly) than dirt, which tends to make our trails a challenge to build.
As you ride K.L.C., most will never realize how much work went into making this happen. Many, many man-hours and many rocks moved! Unfortunately, there haven’t been any new trails built there yet, but some interesting “b-lines” have cropped up to add to the adventure.
So why is it called Kentucky Lucky Chicken? Let’s just say a discarded bucket of K.F.C. was found during a build day, and jokes ensued.
This article was first published in St. George Health & Wellness magazine and updated for current publication.
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