FDR Park - TRAIL

FDR Park - Trail, Dubuque, Iowa

Lots of singletrack and ATV trails run through the park, which is heavily wooded. Lots of big climbs and long downhills, some jumps and obstacles made out of logs, stream crossings, tight switchback curves, and what appear to be either sinkholes or abandoned mine shafts (these are surrounded by orange fencing, but keep an eye out for them).

User Reviews (19)

Showing 1-10 of 19  
Mack Adam   Weekend Warrior [Jul 09, 2016]

We were from out of town and had a little difficulty finding it. Someone posted earlier : Storybrook Hill Children's Zoo. Their address is 12201 N Cascade Rd, Dubuque, IA. Take the gravel road and park at the gate. This made it easy to find.

I am an intermediate rider (at best) and was riding with a novice. Some of the trails are definitely a full challenge with steep uphill switchbacks, rocks, ruts, logs and roots. We had to carry several times. Other trails are more manageable and there is a good variety of terrain and challenge levels.

Based on GPS, I think we hit the majority of the trails in about 80 minutes... although I am sure we missed some as there are less maintained trails throughout the park.

There is a main road 'T' that divides the park. Just keep riding and you'll loop back to it and find yourway out.

Beautiful challenging place!

Customer Service

Just ride it and explore... it's not too big.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
dgw2jr   Cross Country Rider [Jan 05, 2012]

Lots of climbing and descending, beautiful scenery, plenty of sinkholes, limestone outcroppings near the creek. This place has a lot of potential.

Customer Service

Routes? Yea right

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
J-Rider   Cross Country Rider [Jan 03, 2012]

Just took a road trip to FDR over the weekend. Although we had a hard time finding it.. it really isn't that difficult to find. Because of a bridge out, the easiest way is to take Hwy 20 West out of Dubuque. Go 4.5 miles out of town turn and left on North Cascade Road. Go 3 miles East to the access road. Look for the gravel road to the left of the entrance for Storybrook Hill Children's Zoo. Their address is 12201 N Cascade Rd, Dubuque, IA. Take the gravel road and park at the gate. After speaking with a local, we found that access is no longer available through the Dubuque Sports Complex. Hopefully riders pay attention so access doesn't become an issue!!

Customer Service

Kudos to the group who built these trails!! Wooded singletrack, over rolling hills, creek crossings, a few ramps, and a few log piles. Very fun. The trails themselves are generally not marked but after cruising for a half hour one can understand the lay of the land. We found 3 sections although there could be more!?! Basically there are trails 1) between the parking spot and the creek, 2) on the ridge between the creek north to the gravel road, and 3) north of the gravel road. Soil conditions in January were frozen to a little greasy peanut butter. Riding after a hard rain or in the springtime would probably mess the trails up. The orange fencing marking the minshaft was down so be careful. Beautiful area, can't wait to get back again and see what else is there!!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Mstaver92   Downhiller [Mar 07, 2011]

I have only ridden this trail once and it was great, but I got lost multiple times and I am sure I missed a lot of the trails. I was wondering if someone had a map of the trails that could be printed off. I plan to go again in about a week and don't want to miss any of the trails this time.

Similar Products Used: Beverly, Sugarbottom
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
djhunt   Cross Country Rider [Jul 07, 2009]

I just rode this trail for the first time with my nephew -- what a great jewel hidden right in Dubuque! Full of singletrack everywhere. Nice mix of twisty trails, creek crossings, faster flats, and some technical man-made obstacles. We zig-zagged around for an hour and a half and had a great time.

I'm told that this trail is "unofficial". You have to pass a park closed sign at the gate, but, apparently the policy is "don't ask, don't tell". We didn't have any issues.

Customer Service

This is the reason I couldn't give it 5 stars. Clearly, there are some maintained, planned trails with signs, but there are so many wildcat trails, that it's really hard to know where to go without a local guide. Looking back at the GPS track someone else posted, I realize that we missed a good 1/2 of the park because we didn't know how to get there. Once we ended up on a side trail full of thorns! It'd be great if the city could make this park official and have the 6 mile loop that others mention restored with clear signage. In the meantime, just go explore. Our favorite trail started at the "T" in the gravel road. Stay to the left. This becomes Sticks and Stones, with another loop added on. By following the most worn trail at intersections, we had a great ride with log jumps, tight sections and fun singletrack.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
DJ   Cross Country Rider [Jul 07, 2009]

I just rode this trail for the first time with my nephew -- what a great jewel hidden right in Dubuque! Full of singletrack everywhere. Nice mix of twisty trails, creek crossings, faster flats, and some technical man-made obstacles. We zig-zagged around for an hour and a half and had a great time.

I'm told that this trail is "unofficial". You have to pass a park closed sign at the gate, but, apparently the policy is "don't ask, don't tell". We didn't have any issues.

Customer Service

This is the reason I couldn't give it 5 stars. Clearly, there are some maintained, planned trails with signs, but there are so many wildcat trails, that it's really hard to know where to go without a local guide. Looking back at the GPS track someone else posted, I realize that we missed a good 1/2 of the park because we didn't know how to get there. Once we ended up on a side trail full of thorns! It'd be great if the city could make this park official and have the 6 mile loop that others mention restored with clear signage. In the meantime, just go explore. Our favorite trail started at the "T" in the gravel road. Stay to the left. This becomes Sticks and Stones, with another loop added on. By following the most worn trail at intersections, we had a great ride with log jumps, tight sections and fun singletrack.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
summitcon   Cross Country Rider [Apr 29, 2009]

This is a great set of trails that's within five minutes of Dubuque. There are over 12 miles of trails here that are maintained by volunteers that clear the trails and are currently working on a couple new trails. HERE IS A LINK TO THE 98% COMPLETE MAP OF THE TRAILS: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/kml/episode.kml?episodePkValues=7957660

For more info on group rides or LBS check out Free Flight or Bicycle World.

Customer Service

Take the first singletrack to the right, and go from there. The trails all intersect. Check out the entire park!

Similar Products Used: Sugar Bottom; Blue Mounds; Decorah
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
billR   Cross Country Rider [Nov 06, 2004]

I have to agree w/ the previous reviewer. If these are your local trails you are lucky boys & girls. I recently visited family in the area & read of these trails on this forum. I stopped at a LBS (The Bike Shack) & asked for directions & advice. One of the shop employees was enthusiastic & offered to guide me around the next morning. Thanks Phillip! These trails are in a beautiful wooded park & flow very nicely. There are some rocky ledges, stream crossings, log piles, & enough technical challenges that I had to walk a few portions as a first-timer. I look forward to a return trip & more exploring time. Thanks to all the local folks who created & maintain these trails!

Customer Service

Best to ride with a local. If not, jump in & start exploring. There's a narrow gravel road that bisects most of the park that will give the first-timer a reference point.

Similar Products Used: Sugarbottom Rec. Area Decorah Trails Levis Mound, WI
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
DLine   Cross Country Rider [Nov 01, 2004]

I was back in the DBQ area visiting family this October (now live in Denver, CO), and brought my bike to see what riding was to had in the area. I found these trails through this site, and am glad I did. FDR offered the best riding I've experienced in the midwest so far - it's got good climbs, fast & sustained singletrack stretches, technical logs & rocks, and lots of twisty handlebar-bashing fun. Cool sinkholes and limestone bluffs too. I was surprised at the amount of trails, and the consistent quality - someone has put time, effort and love into the system here, and produced a real gem in the middle of seemingly nowhere (literally - it's a b!tch to find, and is completely unmarked). Some of the reviews compare FDR to Moab, Vail or Fruita - which is probably not a fair comparison. The trails in CO and the west are much more open - fewer forested sections - and offer a much greater elevation gain/loss. You can take an 8 hour ride and not ever cover the same trail twice. You can climb for an hour+ non-stop, which won't ever happen in Iowa (barring a geological catastrophe). There's just more to be ridden, by a much bigger biking audience, and it varies so much from trail to trail. That said, FDR was a blast - it ain't Colorado or Utah, but it is a great time. You can ride around without hitting the same trail for a few hours - then go back and hit your favorite stretches from a different direction.

Customer Service

I got thouroughly lost and enjoyed every minute of it. All trails eventually lead back to the gravel road bisecting the park...

Similar Products Used: George Wyth, Sugar Bottom, Blue Mounds, Gov Dodge, Kettle Moraine...
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
shaneclancy   Weekend Warrior [Apr 25, 2004]

The best in the mid-west!!! FDR has the best off road single track that I have ever riden. I would suggest these trails to anyone that is looking for the type of trail that provides mud, water, hills, rocks, and beautiful scenery. I went the day after it rained, which was muddy. With the hills the mud made it impossible to climb some of the hills. However, next time I'm going when it is dry, I am also taking off my foot straps, and buying a helmet. I provided a pic to the site. Hopefully they post it.

Customer Service

HWY 20 E turn right on Cedar Cross- Right on N Cascade- Right after the kids Zoo

Similar Products Used: Exploring
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 19  

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