The Brickyard and Sycamore trail - TRAIL

The Brickyard and Sycamore trail - Trail, Des Moines, Iowa

tricky drops, screaming singletrack, techincal sweet spots, and soon to be some North shore type stuff. This is a trail that has been used for decades by ATV's and 4x4's but has recently been designated a off road bike trail and closed to all motor vehicles.

User Reviews (14)

Showing 1-10 of 14  
shznit65   Weekend Warrior [Oct 13, 2004]

This trail is ok but is really getting bad because of the motorized traffic that can not be regulated enough!rutts and mud and overall trashy....really dissapointing

Customer Service

behind target

Similar Products Used: greenwood park trail kicks this trails butt!!try and never go back to this one!
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
3
BruceBrown   Cross Country Rider [Jun 17, 2004]

A nice "along the river" trail that has the options to test you if you choose to go up into the woods at the brickyard. Lots of singletrack up in that area that is not very clearly marked, but just allows you to meander around up and down chutes and gulleys to test your stamina. After you do that, head back down to the river and ride the rest of Sycamore which hangs along the river with some nice sand and banked curves as you wind your way north of the Target Store to Johnstown and back (or start in Johnstown and ride to Target and back). I would avoid the trail when it is wet or caked with mud (which is often due to the rainfall).

Customer Service

Start either at the trailhead at Target on Euclid or at the north end off the highway in Johnstown. At the brickyard area - head up into the woods and singletrack for some fun. Again - a lot of the trail remains not marked so it is easy to find yourself getting lost at times.

Similar Products Used: Best known secret in Iowa: Lake Ahquabi south of Indianola, Iowa. A multi-use trail that has hikers, mountain bikers and cross country skiers (in winter) that goes around the lake through the woods. A nice course with plenty of up and downs that challenge one to maintain a momentum. A couple of more challenging granny gear climbs - including one up a several hundred yard gravel and log staircase that will burn anyone's lungs. There are a lot of singletrack trails in the woods before you reach the lake right off of the first picnic area when entering the State Park. Park in the lot by the first picnic area before descending down to the lake. The trails are off to the northeast side o These are the "real" mountain biking trails and are filled with logs, tough climbs and descents, gorgeous wooded views and are the "secret" that very few know about. There are about 3 decent sized loops that all merge at one point or another. Probably the best mountain biking secret in Iowa. I've been biking these trails for nearly a year and hardly ever see another set of tracks - let alone another bike. Not so on the main loop around the lake, but these gems are worth the trip to ride.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
cedge100   Cross Country Rider [Oct 01, 2003]

Great trail, lots of variety and easy to get to.

Similar Products Used: Omaha and Lincoln, NE trails
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Jeff   [Apr 24, 2000]

This trail is the best legal trail to ride in the DSM area. It isn't as fast or fun as Boyscout and Brown's woods were (both trails that are outlawed now). It does have some good technical riding along with some wide open fast sections. Can't say this is anything worth going out of your way to visit. I guess I only ride it because it is local.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
freeride_slut   [Jun 21, 2000]

I guess I dont know where Jeff has been riding, but I know that I've been to Durango, Moab, Marin, and even "Iowa's best trail *Sugar Bottom*"...and this trail rocks ass. For starters, its a hell of a lot better than sugar's wimpy XC riding and even though its not Durango or Moab, it has hints of both. For example, I have a Schwinn 4 Banger with 5 up front in a Marzocchi Z1 bam and a RockShox SuperDeluxe with 4.5 in the rear...and I use it all.

Starting at Target the trail winds back and forth with a couple of burms on a relatively flat stretch for about 2 miles. Then you get to the Brickyard(by the pond) and this is where you can really have some fun, especially if you have a full suspension and some balls. There are about four or five downhills and also some killer dropoffs (up to 7ft) that you can bomb down. You can also ride this section as a circuit by entering the woods and staying on your left hand side.

Overall, this trail is one hell of a kicker. I wouldnt say its north shore, but for the great state of Iowa, its the closest thing I've seen. Trust me, if you like speed and a relatively technical ride (i.e. really technical for Iowa) then head out to Brickyard.

Customer Service

Start off at the Target and stay on the main trail until you see the pond on your left and then crank up the hill into the woods. As you head back either take the same way or the fireroad.

Similar Products Used: Boyscout
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
You Would like to Know   [Jul 11, 2000]

some nice downhill action some creek blasting steep climbs and you know what that means on the way down. Some technical abstacles. It does flood awful fast down there.

Customer Service

Same as the first review

Similar Products Used: If you go just west of the target parking there are some singletrack some small jumps lots of sand.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Natedog   [Aug 11, 2000]

Trail starts out slow and boring, but really kicks ass at the brickyard. Watch out for atvs, they're not supposed to be there, but they come up the fire road and ride along the pond (the brickyard). It gets pretty steep and technical just north of the pond. Rocks, mud, and a lot of damn fun! Not well maintained and completely unmarked, so be careful.

Similar Products Used: Sleepy Hollow
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
DaChico   [Apr 15, 2001]

After reading the MTBR reviews I had hopes that this trail would be somewhat fun, technical and of decent size. I hate to say something bad about the local's trail, (cuz' it's all they got) but this is a tiny, boring turd of a trail. The allusion to this being somewhat North Shore-ish is a dangerous one. Folks, nothing here rates past 2.5 in difficulty! Girls bring your Grandma out for a Sunday ride...

Customer Service

I-80 west to some mountains!

Similar Products Used: None to be found!
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
Jon   [Oct 27, 2001]

There is a little of everything on this trail. Tight single track, a little mud, rocks, roots, hills, "fire roads". This trail isn't marked at all and that is what makes it a lot of fun. You can explore for a long time and find some pretty cool stuff. I usually pick it up at the Target parking lot and take it to the other parking lot at 66th st? and go to the paved side of the river and take that up to sailorville dam and then back. This trail has anything you are in the mood for, You just have to look for it. If you want some really nice trails, go to Wisconsin. Eat some cheese and beer. I just rode it while I was going to school in Des Moines.

Customer Service

You can also get here by going to 66th st or 60th ? by going west over the river to the parking lot on your left.

Similar Products Used: There are other trails?
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Eric P.   [Dec 06, 2001]

I had high hopes for this trail before I got there, twice we had been rained out before finally getting the chance to ride here. I quickly found out that I was in for a dissapointment.

Easy, non-technical, fast singletrack leads quickly to the "brickyard". The "brickyard" is nothing more than glorified gully runs. While great for fast XC riding, don't be fooled into thinking you're going to be ready for the North Shore after riding here, it's not anywhere near that level. Yes there are some steep spots, but nothing you can't handle with canti-brakes. Full suspension isn't needed, and is just more weight to slog up hills with.

Anyone with an ounce of skill can ride this trail from front to back and back again in less than 3 hrs. Good course to introduce novices to the sport.

Sugarbottom has a much better trail system, but if you live in Des Moines and want a quick afternoon ride then this is your ticket.

One more thing- this could be an epic course, with a little work and using the local downed trees you could build up quickly a nice series of log crossings, stairs, and other fun techical obsticles that would elevate the trail to the next level. If I lived in Des Moines I'd do it myself.

Customer Service

Start at the Target lot on Euclid Ave.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 14  

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