MTB in autumn around Tauț

Our last bike tour of 2014 happened in Tauț in Arad county. This is the place where I used to go swimming and fishing when I was little in Tauț Lake. It’s just 55 km away from Arad and this time we came here to explore the woods and the hills in the area.

Brief useful information:
Date: 9th of November 2014
Route: Tauț Lake – Minișu de Sus – Văsoaia – Minișel – Tauț Lake
Distance: 32 km
Duration: 4.5 h (breaks included)
Slope: +410 m / -410 m
There used to be a camping in Tauț when I was younger. There were hundreds, if not thousands of people, sunbathing on the shores of the lake especially on the concrete panels that you see in the image above. The lake was also full of fishing boats or just tourists glad to be rowing. I’m curious to find out if the fame of Tauț has remained intact nowadays. It’s true that when we did this trip it was November, so there was no surprise everything looked empty and abandoned 🙂
Well it’s time to get it on with. We start on a very shaky gravel road heading to a village called Minișu de Sus. It’s uphill but the slope is very gentle, we hardly notice it. Finally we arrive in the village but, once again, nothing much seemed to happen. Maybe because it was Sunday and people usually rest on Sundays 😀

We pass the village and enter the woods. The gravel ends and a dirt road begins. Actually not dirt, more like mud :)) Yeah, this was the case unfortunately but we managed to avoid the critical sections by going through the woods on the side of the road. This mud here is only the start! :))
By now I was already in a bad mood because of the MUD. I think I forgot to mention that I HATE MUD! :))) Fortunately my companions were almost enjoying it as far as I could tell. While I was mumbling about the situation we got to a crossroad. Until now the main road was obvious but now it was a bit different.

We had to choose between continuing ahead on what seemed to be the main road or to head left, uphill on what seemed to be a disastrous road: even more mud, which seemed to be quite soft with large ditches across the surface. Well, of course that we chose the easier one although, as we pedalled forward, my GPS watch showed me that we weren’t exactly on track  :))
Soon after the crossroad we hit a dead end. Not a dead end per se but a huge puddle of mud with a steep hill to the left and a more mud to the right. So we had no way of going forward and this actually “saved us”. We now even considered turning back to the cars but once we reached the crossroad we decided to try the route we disconsidered earlier.

The mud was really soft, I nearly lost my shoes a couple of times in it. I admit I hated this part but in the end it was worth it. We almost reach the top, but we pass the muddy bit and decide to stop for a lunch break.
After this well-deserved lunch break we manage to get to the top of the hill. We now have a tremendous view over the Zărand Mountains. This definitely put a smile on our faces. Soon our trail was cut off by some sheep and the sheep dogs which saw us as a menace.

We waited for a couple of minutes for them to get out of our way and in the meantime we got to admire the hills, the valleys, the beautiful autumn colours. We forgot all about the mud and effort we put in to reach this place. We were truly happy here! 🙂 We continued to roll on the short grass on the top of the hill with smile on our faces 😀
We met these two elder people when we entered Văsoaia (above image). They were chatting under a beautiful walnut tree. The picture was now complete with them sitting on that bench. I think they live a simple life, with less problems and in a more honest way. We told them our plan and they gave us some useful indications. I say goodbye to you old people and leave you in this peaceful place with no noise and no pollution.

We continued through the village and finally got to another gravel road (which looked prepared for asphalting) which shook us again. Then, to our surprise, we hit asphalt. Brand new, perfect asphalt. The smile reappeared on our faces even though we were going uphill. Once we hit the top, at 580 m altitude, a nice descent begins. We were thrilled as you can imagine 🙂

Here is the part where you must be careful in order not to miss the right turn towards the woods and the way back to Tauț Lake. This right turn is approximately 1 km away from the top-most point. Check the map at the end of post for details.
After we turned right, approximately one kilometre away from the top-most point, we enter the woods again. The trees are shaking their leaves off and they cover the ground just like a multi-coloured carpet. Autumn is so beautiful! The trail is pretty wide and not very bumpy. It’s untouched since the leaves are disturbed only by us for the first time. Here we find the best down hill forest road we ever did. It’s very thrilling and very fast. We loved it! :))

Finally we meet with a dirt road leading toward Minișel. This road crosses a creek at least 10 time. It can get annoying :)) It’s pretty nice around here too since we’re still surrounded by woods. After we get to Minișel there’s nothing special to report only that you go a on a pretty flat dirt road until you meet up with the DJ 708A road which takes you back to Tauț Lake.


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