Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 73

Thread: Iowa Trails

  1. #1
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    521

    Iowa Trails

    I'm looking to get back into mountain biking here in Iowa. (My wife drug me up here kicking and screaming) I could use some info on some of the trails, specifically:

    -Seven Oaks in Boone

    -Three Fires Lake in Bedford.

    I've already ridden Banner Lake and Central here in Des Moines, but what else am I missing? I enjoy the challenging stuff but the easy stuff is fun, too. One thing I don't enjoy riding is gravel. Anything else goes.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: fjtort2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    179
    Boone is technical! One of the best trails around! Lots of climbing and switchbacks.

  3. #3
    Always Learning
    Reputation: BruceBrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,980
    Quote Originally Posted by Barheet View Post
    I'm looking to get back into mountain biking here in Iowa. (My wife drug me up here kicking and screaming) I could use some info on some of the trails, specifically:

    -Seven Oaks in Boone

    -Three Fires Lake in Bedford.

    I've already ridden Banner Lake and Central here in Des Moines, but what else am I missing? I enjoy the challenging stuff but the easy stuff is fun, too. One thing I don't enjoy riding is gravel. Anything else goes.
    Close to Des Moines - Peterson Pits north of Ames is flat and challenging due to the sand. Lake Ahquabi (6 miles south of Indianola) is non-technical, but a bit more challenging with all of the climbs if you utilize the backwoods trails in addition to the main trail. Boone, as you mentioned, is a short drive and the trails are always a nice challenge with the climbs and excellent off camber singletrack.

    If you follow where the Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series holds their XC races further away from Des Moines, there are nice trails at Ida Grove, Camp Ingawanis just outside of Waverly, Sugarbottom in Coralville, Beverly Park in Cedar Rapids, a lot of fun stuff over in the Council Bluffs/Omaha area. And if you go to the opposite ends of the state, right across the border from Sioux City in Nebraska you'll find Ponca, over in the East by the Quad Cities you'll find Sylvan Island, Scott County Park, Sunderbruch Park, Illiniwek Park. Northeast brings in the trails in Decorah.

    The same driving distance from Des Moines will take you south to Landahl Park in Missouri, or you can hit the trails at Smithville Lake north of KC as well. The same driving distance going north would take you to Mt. Kato in Manysoda.

    It all depends on if you want to drive 30 mintes, 45 minutes, an hour, 2 hours, or up to 3 - 3 1/2 hours to hit what is available for dirt. There are more I'm sure I've failed to mention, but if you have car and will travel - there is a nice variety of things to tickle your dirty needs.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    106
    Brushy Creek south of webster city.......just watch out for the horses

  5. #5
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    521
    Thanks for the input. I already have Landahl on my radar. Driving down there isn't a big deal because my folks live in Harrisonville so I can just stay the night there and drive up to Blue Springs. That place looks to have a ton of singletrack, so I could probably make that a full day or 2 ride.

    I'm going out to Lake Ahquabi today for the first time. I'm still trying to get my fitness level up, but it's hard in this heat. I'm betting that Boone will have more elevation than anything around here, but looking to try it this summer as well.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10
    +1 for Seven Oaks (I rode it for the first time yesterday)! Very technical and it's 7+ miles so a guy could make a good morning out of it.

    Let me know how Lake Ahquabi was, i'm interested in making a trip down there.

  7. #7
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    521
    How much climbing is involved at Seven Oaks? I want to make sure my fitness level is high enough before I go out there.

    Lake Ahquabi is great. The main trail goes all around the lake, about 5 miles or so. It's got a lot of good climbs if you go clockwise, one of them is gravel so I had trouble keeping my traction. Next time I'll go counter-clockwise. It's got a great view and is doubletrack, so plenty of room to wiggle. There are also some smaller trails off the beaten path. Most of them are simply paths mowed through the grass, but are somewhat fun. The main path sticks close to the lake and can be difficult to find between the beach and campground. I guess that's the fun of exploring.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10
    There is a good amount of climbing at Seven Oaks, there were a few times I had to get off my bike and walk to the top. I'm by no means an excellent biker though.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    34
    Quote Originally Posted by maaland View Post
    There is a good amount of climbing at Seven Oaks, there were a few times I had to get off my bike and walk to the top. I'm by no means an excellent biker though.
    I have been meaning to get out there to ride.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    106
    if anyone is gonna ride this week, please let me know.......im on vacation and dont have a whole lost going on.....something about plans falling through for that big ride thats going on......

  11. #11
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    521
    Quote Originally Posted by killarbb View Post
    if anyone is gonna ride this week, please let me know.......im on vacation and dont have a whole lost going on.....something about plans falling through for that big ride thats going on......
    I am planning on spending the day at Seven Oaks on Saturday. (Depending on rain and trail conditions) It's about an hour drive for me, so I'm going to take a lunch and do a few laps.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    106
    wish i could ride saturday, grandma's suprise birthday party trumps anything else

  13. #13
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    521
    Nobody has mentioned they've checked out Banner Lake, so I'll shamelessly promote it now. If you haven't ridden it, check it out! It's located a few miles north of Indianola on hwy 69. It's a Summerset State Park. The parking lot is visible from the highway. Park at this first lot and the first trail is marked near the treeline. There's a good mix of singletrack here and the intermediate stuff is pretty challenging for a beginner. There are several forks where your options are advance and intermediate and the advanced stuff is a lot longer. There is also a new section called "Corner Pocket" which is an advanced trail. In the southwest section of the park is a beginner trail. All of it is very well maintained...these CITA guys really outdid themselves with this park. It's a "must see" for any mountain biker in Iowa. It's a little over 5 miles in length, but the switchbacks make it seem like a lot longer.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: fjtort2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    179
    Yup, Banner is a must RIDE! CITA has kicked ASS down there this year!

  15. #15
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,257
    If you have any doubts about your aerobic or climbing ability, stay away from northeast Iowa (Dubuque, Decorah, Yellow River, etc)

  16. #16
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    521
    I've lost most of my "spare tire" since the summer started so climbs are coming a lot easier. Haven't lost any actual weight though. Think I just traded belly fat for leg muscle. :-)

  17. #17
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,257
    Quote Originally Posted by Barheet View Post
    I've lost most of my "spare tire" since the summer started so climbs are coming a lot easier. Haven't lost any actual weight though. Think I just traded belly fat for leg muscle. :-)
    First its the legs, then the arms, then the back, so on and so forth. Before ya know it you weigh more than you did than when you started riding!

  18. #18
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    521
    Here's a shot from the top of Seven Oaks.

  19. #19
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,257
    Can this become a pic thread?!

  20. #20
    move on up...
    Reputation: Forged1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    269
    ^^+1...Please!

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    47
    +2 ^^^

  22. #22
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    521
    Happy to oblige...some of these might be duplicates I've posted on other threads.

    Here's one at Lake Ahquabi - I was trying to get the fishing pier in the background and those people in the canoe just floated into the shot.


    From the fishing pier:


    This one is at Banner Lake at Summerset State Park.

  23. #23
    move on up...
    Reputation: Forged1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    269
    Thanks Barheet! I will post some tonight from my ride this afternoon.

  24. #24
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    521
    That last picture is a prime example of how hills don't look nearly as big in pictures and video. heheh

  25. #25
    move on up...
    Reputation: Forged1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    269
    These are from the other day at Brinton Timbers outside of Brighton Iowa
    http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/...rged70/009.jpg
    http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/...ed70/006-1.jpg

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •