Breckenridge Bike Guide: V3 trail (video)
SUMMIT COUNTY — V3 is one of the wildest trails in the French Gulch network. Found on the south side of the dredge-rock field and titular gulch, this advanced slice of singletrack branches off from the mellow B&B Trail to give riders a quick taste of switchbacks, log bridges and dirt berms. It’s a relatively short ride at less than 1 mile, but like the surrounding trails, it can be combined with a near-endless series of loops and routes to stay in French Gulch or venture into Breckenridge. Now drop your seat post and check your front fork — you’re in for one hell of a ride (for a few minutes).
The French Gulch area is a hot spot for mountain bikers, hikers and moto riders, although V3 tends to attract only cyclists. Always look a few turns ahead on descents and watch out for dogs.
All trails in the area are well-marked and maintained throughout the summer, but be ready for loose, sandy dirt on descents and in sharp corners from July to the end of the season. V3 is typically ready to ride by late May or early June. No overnight parking is allowed at any of the trailheads along French Gulch Road.
The out-and-back trail is 0.9 miles with two connectors: one on the B&B Trail, the other on Barney Ford Trail. The trail can be ridden uphill or downhill, but thanks to berms and other downhill-inspired features, it’s much more enjoyable as a descent.
From the Barney Ford/V3 junction, ride along historic flume trails and portions of brand-new singletrack as V3 weaves through old pine stands. The trail occasionally pops into clearings, but the majority is tight and narrow, with short rock sections and berm-lined switchbacks.
V3 is accessible from two trailheads: B&B Trailhead in French Gulch and Carter Park in Breckenridge. For the B&B route, head east on County Road 450 (found just north of downtown Breckenridge) and bear right at the junction with Forest Hills Drive.
Continue another 0.5 miles over several speed bumps to the stop sign. Take French Gulch Road and continue through the neighborhood until the road turns to dirt. From there, drive about 1 mile to the B&B Trailhead lot. Parking is on the right in the dredge-rock field. Take the B&B trail east (uphill) for about 0.25 miles to the V3 connector, or pedal another 0.5 miles until you reach the Barney Ford/V3 junction.
For the Carter Park route, drive south on French Street until the road ends at the park. The paved lot adjacent to the park tends to fill up on weekends and holidays. Take the Carter Park switchbacks to Moonstone Road, then connect with Barney Ford Trail for a 2-mile uphill ride to V3. Return to Carter Park via the same route, or ride the Wellington Trail.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in July 2015 and is annually updated for accuracy.
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