Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 73

Thread: Iowa Trails

  1. #1
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    570

    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
    195
    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
    9,484
    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
    137
    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
    570
    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
    570
    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
    137
    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
    570
    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
    137
    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
    570
    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
    195
    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
    1,755
    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
    570
    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
    1,755
    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
    570
    Here's a shot from the top of Seven Oaks.

  19. #19
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,755
    Can this become a pic thread?!

  20. #20
    move on up...
    Reputation: Forged1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    397
    ^^+1...Please!

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    117
    +2 ^^^

  22. #22
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    570
    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
    397
    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
    570
    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
    397
    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

  26. #26
    move on up...
    Reputation: Forged1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    397
    OOPS!!
    " width="549">
    " width="549">

  27. #27
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,755

    Sunderbruch Park - Blue Mound Loop






  28. #28
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,755

    Sunderbruch Park - LT first creek xing

    Fall colors


    Winter snow

  29. #29
    move on up...
    Reputation: Forged1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    397
    ^^ Looks like fun, I am gonna have to make my way over there^^

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    137
    one of these times, im going to slow down, maybe even stop once in a while and shoot some pics on the trails......

  31. #31
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,755

    Sunderbruch Park - Kickapoo Up








  32. #32
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,755

    Sunderbruch Park - Farmdale Loop














  33. #33
    move on up...
    Reputation: Forged1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    397
    Great shots Dgw2jr, Thanks for posting.....do you have more?

  34. #34
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,755

    Sunderbruch Park - Palos Loop














  35. #35
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    570
    Wow, looks awesome! I may need to make a trip.

  36. #36
    SS Rider
    Reputation: peanut09's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    207
    OK heading to WI in Sept and this is on the way. I will be stopping here which is the best way to ride the park? I.E go up then down back out to the parking lot... I would love to see the large burms are those on the Jubilee trail?
    Also, What are park rules for dogs? I have a working dog that will be traveling with me very well behaved.
    Thanks!

  37. #37
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,755
    Quote Originally Posted by peanut09 View Post
    OK heading to WI in Sept and this is on the way. I will be stopping here which is the best way to see the great to ride the park? I.E go up then down back out to the parking lot... I would love to see the large burms are those on the Jubilee trail?
    Also, What are park rules for dogs? I have a working dog that will be traveling with me very well behaved.
    Thanks!
    Dogs must be leashed at all times in city parks.

    From the parking lot, go up the paved path, turn left on to Kickapoo Up trail, NOT Kickapoo Down! You will get run over if you go up Kickapoo Down! At the end of K-Up, continue right across the paved path on to Comlara loop, follow all the way to L.T. loop. At the end of LT continue right until you reach the Jubilee entrance. Basically just keep right at all the entrances and exits and you should hit everything in the park.

    For more info check out Friends of Off Road Cycling - Homepage

  38. #38
    SS Rider
    Reputation: peanut09's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    207
    Are the trails well marked or is it kind of a guess?

  39. #39
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,755
    Quote Originally Posted by peanut09 View Post
    Are the trails well marked or is it kind of a guess?
    Keep an eye out for these signs




  40. #40
    SS Rider
    Reputation: peanut09's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    207
    Great thanks! I will run it Counter clockwise and go up kickapoo up and down the down LOL

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    11
    Sunderbruch (Davenport) is an awesome system that's well maintained and organized. It's worth it just to ride the wood berms.

    Sugar Bottom (North Liberty) is a larger system (10+ miles) and also a lot of fun. Even when it's busy, you can go the whole day and only see a couple other people on the trails.

  42. #42
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,755

    Sylvan Island







    Watch out for glass!


    ZZ Swamp






    BMX area

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    301
    Quote Originally Posted by Forged1 View Post
    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
    I'm thinking I might have swam in the Skunk river there 30 years ago and haven't been back since. How much ridable single track is there?

  44. #44
    move on up...
    Reputation: Forged1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    397
    Quote Originally Posted by riding29 View Post
    I'm thinking I might have swam in the Skunk river there 30 years ago and haven't been back since. How much ridable single track is there?
    Riding29, There is a little over six miles of horse/bike trails. One of the loops follows the skunk for a little while. I have been riding here since May and have not seen any other mtbers. I took a friend who has a garmin gps and was a little shocked to see there is 550 feet of elevation change in the park. There isn't anything that is too technical but the trails flow pretty good . If you are in the area let me know, I can meet you out there.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    34
    What kind of mileage is possible with a "once-over" of the trails at Boone?

  46. #46
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,755

    Brinton Timbers Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Forged1 View Post
    OOPS!!
    Hey are there any maps of this Brinton Timbers trail system somewheres? Or maybe you could link to your GPS results? More pics would be awesome too! Planning to check it out this Sunday.

  47. #47
    move on up...
    Reputation: Forged1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    397
    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
    Hey are there any maps of this Brinton Timbers trail system somewheres? Or maybe you could link to your GPS results? More pics would be awesome too! Planning to check it out this Sunday.
    Here is the map : http://co.washington.ia.us/departmen...on/brinton.htm
    and here is the gps link : Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Brinton Timbers with Matt near Brighton | Times and Records | Strava
    Another decent place worth checking out since you are coming this way is this :http://co.washington.ia.us/departmen...esc.htm#Sockum and here is the maxtrails link : Map of Sockum Ridge Park Trail, Washington County, Iowa
    It doesn't seem to be maintained as well or as often as Brinton Timbers but has a little more variety and some steeper hills. I don't have anymore pics of these places but if I get a chance to get out before Sunday I will put them up here. Thanks again for posting all the great shots of the Davenport area, I will be heading that way soon.
    I will be out Sunday for a ride at either one or both of these places so maybe I will run into you, Have fun!

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    117
    Note to self, trip to Sunderbruch soon

  49. #49
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    570
    Quote Originally Posted by dstorjoh View Post
    What kind of mileage is possible with a "once-over" of the trails at Boone?
    One lap at Boone is about 7 miles I believe.

  50. #50
    Perpetual n00b
    Reputation: dgw2jr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,755

    Brinton Timber and Sockum Ridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Forged1 View Post
    Here is the map : Brinton Timber Map
    and here is the gps link : Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Brinton Timbers with Matt near Brighton | Times and Records | Strava
    Another decent place worth checking out since you are coming this way is this :Park Descriptions and here is the maxtrails link : Map of Sockum Ridge Park Trail, Washington County, Iowa
    It doesn't seem to be maintained as well or as often as Brinton Timbers but has a little more variety and some steeper hills. I don't have anymore pics of these places but if I get a chance to get out before Sunday I will put them up here. Thanks again for posting all the great shots of the Davenport area, I will be heading that way soon.
    I will be out Sunday for a ride at either one or both of these places so maybe I will run into you, Have fun!
    Well we made the trip out to Brinton Timber Park yesterday only to find there was no place to park. The parking loop was overwhelmed with dually F-250 diesel pickemup trucks with horse trailers attached to them. Horses everywhere, and dudes lassoing bull mannequins. Pretty sure I heard one person say "Yea, just back up and turn around har har".

    So we left and headed east towards Sockum Ridge. The place was empty but the trails were rutted from years of equestrian usage I assume. We didn't even bother unloading the bikes and decided not to waste anymore time as it was already 5pm. We hauled arse up the 218 and ended up riding Sugar Bottom. Can't go wrong there!

    County conservation boards, if you are listening, please consider separate trail systems for the equestrian and MTB user groups. Thanks

Page 1 of 2 1 2 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
  •