MAP: Two Rivers Bike Park, Highlandville, MO (Click for Map)
Located in Highlandville, MO near Nixa and Ozark. 20 minutes South of Springfield.
Location Keywords: Branson, Joplin, Nixa, Ozark, SW Missouri, Springfield
VIDEO: Two Rivers Overview from Opening Day
I started riding in Colorado back in '98. I am definitely a Colorado trail spoiled brat. Moved to the Springfield area 3 years ago and was pretty disappointed with the riding here (Sac River mainly). I mean it was nice to have something to ride...but on the scale of comparison to what I was used to in and around Colorado Springs it was pretty mundane riding.
I've been to Two Rivers Bike Park three times in the last two weeks. I could not be more pleased, and it's a combination of things, not just the trails. This park is truly an absolute paradigm shift in MTB culture for the entire region. 90% of the credit goes to a few individuals that crafted the vision and threw all in with planning, "cheer leading" volunteerism, time, blood, sweat and tears.
Right at the trail head there is a great beginner skills area where you can try out skinnies (ladder bridges), teeters, drops, rocks, berms, etc. There is a "hang out zone" on the other side of the entrance. Picture a big tin sided barn that's been reworked with a covered porch, benches, huge fans to keep a nice cooling breeze running through the place...not to mention a very well stocked bike wrenching zone. Bike stands, tools, etc. The hang out zone even has WiFi...how nuts is that?
There is a short beginner's Slope Style course and a Downhill Run with plans for a much more technical and much longer Downhill Run for the future (I even heard talk of gap jumps, not table tops as on the current DH run. The current single track is top notch, armored where needed for erosion control, sweet bench cut throughout most of the trails.
The one Black Diamond trail (The Bluff Line) is sweet and had me smiling, again...while not quite on the scale of technical difficulty of my normal haunts in Colorado Springs...for this region I am VERY pleased. It has some nice technical features that had me off the back of my seat and some genuine exposure. Plans for the next year are to add several more miles along the back section of the property in more rugged terrain for more of a "double black diamond" section of single track. From my understanding...and I will be there swinging shovels this time...there should be a lot of rock gardens, ledges, lifts, drops, etc.
I have never been that comfortable in the air on the bike, I don't mind drops up in the 3 to 4ft range, but getting air off a real kicker has always scared the ****E out of me. After hitting the DH run a few times...I actually cleared two of the table top jumps. Now...these are not HUGE Whistleresque tables, but they still have 3 to 5ft tops. The DH trail has a great flow and it just felt right so I went for it. I will bring armor next time...and I might get into real trouble because we all know...armor gives you more brave than your skills can handle sometimes. We'll see.
Looking forward to see the gap jumps on the planned much longer DH run. I don't know how I feel about doing gaps now...but table tops scared me too not so long ago.
The rest of the trails? I can just say that there is a great lung buster of a climb up the West Trail that winds it's way eventually back to the top of the DH and SS runs. From the Trail Head to a short connector, to the Bluff Line, up all the switch backs and staying on the trail all the way to the top of the SS run is a solid 6.5 miles...all the way back to the trail head is about 7 if you take the SS run. This place is BEGGING for a 24hr race! I certainly wouldn't be competitive...but I'd enter it with some other old fat farts like myself.
Limited camping is allowed, rules are being worked out. Check in with the folks at TrailSpring for more details on camping. There is a huge field just the other side of the hang out zone that is begging for a 24hr camping village.
What more can I say? GO RIDE THIS PARK. Not "soon"...but NOW.
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