Central Iowa Singletrack - Advice?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Central Iowa Singletrack - Advice?

    Will be visiting Newton next week and want to hit up some singletrack while there.

    Can anyone give any advice on or compare the trails I've listed below? Any of the trails better than the others? Any to avoid? Can you rank the six trails below from 1 to 6 with 1 being the MUST HIT trail? Many of the reviews listed on this site are old...2004 2006 2008....looking for more up to date info. Any other websites where I can find more Iowa trail info?

    Sugarbottom - I've heard this is the best trail in Iowa but 80+ miles from where I'll be staying. Worth the drive?

    North Overlook at Red Rock Lake - Only 20 miles from my base - I hear it is short and like a spider web of trails but close by so most likley will hit this trail at least once.

    Sycamore/Brickyard - Des Moines - Reviews say there are some fun technical features, berms and banked turns. Sounds fun and my kind of trail.

    Greenwood Park - Des Moines
    Was thinking of hitting Sycamore and Greenwood in the same day.

    Lake Ahquabi - Indianola

    Seven Oaks - Boone

    Sugarbottom is 80+ miles from Newton and is at the outer most range of driving for me due to limited time available. Any other trails not mentioned here inside that radius that are recommmended?

    I also know of multiple small parks and wildlife areas that may or may not have trails that I recall from my childhood, i.e. Mariposa Park, Krumm Nature Preserve, Rock Creek Park, etc. Any trails in these little areas?

  2. #2
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    1) Sugarbottom
    2) Greenwood Park, PM me with more details, lots of trail, but local info helps
    3) Seven Oaks, could be #2, probably the best hills, recently cleaned up
    4) Sycamore, but only becuase you can combo with Greenwood, flooding has created problems, short trail.

    North Overlook - not sure who is maintaining, might be overgrown
    Ahquabi - flooding has caused problems.

    Also add Banner Lake/Summerset State park, between Des Moines and Indianola. Good stuff and recently groomed.

  3. #3
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    Let me know when you hit the Greenwood trails.. I could give ya a tour possibly!

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    If you're in Des Moines on Wednesday you could hit up our Taco Ride. We meet at Rassmussen's Bike Shop at 5:30 and ride the Greenwood trails (we call them The Center), there's somewhere around 11 miles there with a little bit of everything. Beers and cheap, good tacos to follow at a local establishment.

    Sugarbottom is worth the drive. Boone (7 Oaks) is about the same drive from Newton but will offer the toughest workout, but all things considered Sugar is better in my opinion. Banner (Summerset) is tight and technically twisty. Its an old mining operation that we've built trail on. Very rollercoastery, you need good bike handling skills and its a tough workout. There's not great maps or signage yet so if you pick it let me know and I will try arrange a guided tour.

    My priority list for you would be: Sugar, Center, Banner, Boone. If you do Center and Banner in the same day I guarantee you'll go back to Newton worked over.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the input! I plan to hit Sugarbottom on Wednesday morning and Center and Banner on Friday morning. Should be at Center about 7 AM if you can make it. Family stuff during the days/evenings so early morning is really the only time I can get out to ride. All is weather dependent of course. Hopefully the schedule will allow time to hit some of the other trails mentioned. Riding Thursday's RAGBRAI route as well. Was hoping to escape the Texas summer heat but y'all are hotter than we are!

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    I might be able to show you Center on Friday morning (before work). I'll post here if available.

  7. #7
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    Plans changed a bit and I rode Center this morning. LOVED IT! Really enjoyed the flatter portion across the bridge. Very flowy and swoopy compared to my home trails. Thanks for the info guys. Your directions were spot on.

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    Nice! Glad you found it!

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