The people who built the FINS trails in the Estrella community of Southwest Phoenix are up to their old tricks again – but this time, they seem to be building new Estrella trails with the blessing of landowners.
I went out to FINS in late April for one of my rare West Valley forays; it’s a bit of a haul, and the FINS network doesn’t have a whole lot of mileage. But some fun on Kimurel’s Hurl – one-third of a mile of crazy fun complete with wooden bridges – appealed to me that day. I had my GoPro charged and was ready to go.
My day took a turn for the way better after knocking off one lap around the outside perimeter of FINS and run down Kimurel’s Hurl. After that, I struck up a conversation with a dude resting after taking a lap.
I always grill locals at FINS. It’s how I find out cool things, which sometimes are enough to turn into stories for mountain bike magazines. This particular stranger clued me into miles of new Estrella trails to the east (see the video to get a look).
As I questioned my new friend, I learned that the FINS crew worked with the people who own the land that comprises the Estrella community. They designed and carved the trails, which are well marked.
But nobody – and I mean nobody – is talking about these new Estrella trails. This is happening on the downlow.
Now, the signage for the new Estrella Trails is far from complete. I would’ve been flailing around without my tour guide. You may have to question a few locals to link everything together. And there’s a giant gap between the southwest end of D-Votion and the FINS network.
I’ll tell you what, though – there’s some fine stuff east of Estrella Mountain Parkway. We’re talking long, grinding climbs. Switchbacks. Tons of options. The kids from the Estrella Foothills High School mountain bike racing team will definitely benefit from these trails. The Wolves have a perfect training ground right in their collective backyard.
D-Votion itself isn’t quite as steep. But it’s full of flow and switchbacks.
Flow – that’s the mysterious quality that reveals who built a trail, isn’t it? When a trail flows, you can bet mountain bikers built it. Or at least had input.
So, two things are on my mind after riding these new Estrella trails.
First, it’s awesome that the developers/landowners see the benefits in engaging trail users.
Second … why so quiet? What else are these trail builders up to? Why has the Estrella Trails Club website gone offline?
My Spider Sense tingles: You won’t find a map that shows all these trails online yet. The best I found was a half-assed D-Votion map, and one on this page that may plug the hole between D-Votion and FINS … but it has none of the new stuff to the far east side.. Something is afoot, and these new and untalked-about Estrella trails are just the beginning.