Marble Creek Section OT - TRAIL

Marble Creek Section OT - Trail, Fredericktown, Missouri

Part of the Ozark Trail with single track and short sections of double track. From the Marble Creek campground you ride for 8 mile until you get to Crane Lake and the trail loops for five miles around the lake offering some nice scenic views. A classic Ozark ride that dips into draws and runs along ridges. Note: the north side of Crane Lake will require portages.

User Reviews (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6  
chuck mchenry   Weekend Warrior [Sep 21, 2004]

I'm new to the board. Local Yokel. I ride Crane Pond to Marble Creek and back all the time. Sounds like some of you have gotten lost! It's pretty good trail all the way if you know where to go. You can get into some difficulty about the lake. (I kayak the crane pond gorge in Spring BTW). It's all beautiful and one of my favorites- It's also the only trail I've ever hit the wall on (hot day- pushing too hard- round trip.) I think beginners would enjoy the lake circuit- but going to Marble Creek and Back is tough going! This is one of many beautiful trails we have in the area (and my 3rd favorite).

Customer Service

Hmmm. Leaving Crane pond parking lot going counter-clockwise take the dbl track over the little bridge and follow about 200 yards shy of the dam. Look for a branch going up the mtn (kind of brushy). This gets you on top of a very bikeable (no get-offs) ridge and back down to the creek. BTW Near the creek look to your left for very good spring drinking water. Cross creek, go through field and look to your right for the OT crossing of the little branch creek and on to marble creek. You can also take a jeep trail clockwise which takes you to the same field and a left over the creek branch- or use this as a circuit of the lake.

Similar Products Used: Goggin Mtn, Sam A Baker, Council Bluff, Berryman- and my (unnamed) favorites- sorry.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Jason DeMarco   Weekend Warrior [Dec 18, 2003]

I did not enjoy this trail at all. I started at Marble Creek. It took me a 1/2 hour to find the trail. I thought it was in the park itself, but it was on the other side of the road. I rode about 5 or so miles into the trail when I reached a huge amount of downed trees. I didn't know that they allow logging in the area. I coundn't find away around the logging area, and decided to return back to Marble Creek campground. Ive ridden Berryman and Council Bluff many times and highly recommend those trails. It was at the very least a decent workout, but thats about it. Sorry.

Similar Products Used: Council Bluff, I havent ridden Trace Creek or Courtois Creek but im looking forward to both of those.
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
3
Justin   [Oct 13, 1999]

Rolling single track to crane lake with several creek crossing. This part of the trail takes you overs a section of cool looking purple colored rocks with lichens growing on top. After this section is a very rock down hill. Getting on the loop around crane lake is a little confusing. The is both single and double track around the lake. There is also some very rock cliffs around the northen part of the lake that are unridable.

Customer Service

Start at Marble Creek camp ground riding toward crane lake. Loop around the lake clockwise and ride back to the marble creek camp ground.

Similar Products Used: Lake Wappapello Trail, New Council Bluffs
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Barry   [Nov 10, 1999]

I rode this trail on a sunny, breezy day in early November, and it was one of the most beautiful rides I've had.

From Marble Creek heading West, the first 8 miles are some of the best, most aesthetic, singletrack I've ever ridden. It climbs to the top of ridges, drops into long descents and, finally, breaks out into rocky glades where purple St. Francois rhyolite juts out amid thick carpets of moss and lichens. In fact, the trail is so unspoiled that in many areas lichen and moss grow right on the trail itself!

Even though the trail is well-marked and crosses two gravel roads, you'll get a great sense of solitude here. Although you could bail out at several locations and return to your car on Hwy E, this trail goes from a good ride to a great one if you return by the trail itself. I found that it's about 9 1/2 miles to the Crane Lake picnic area and about 19 1/2 miles roundtrip if you circle the lake and return by the trail (give or take a few tenths of a mile for back tracking and carrying).

The Forest Service's Marble Creek Rec. Area map is the best one I've seen. However, unlike many maps showing the trail on the South side of Crane Lake continuing for quite a while past the dam before rejoining the out-and-back portion of the trail, I found it necessary to portage immediately below the dam and bushwhack my way back to the top of the rocky hill on the North side of the stream.

I almost rated this 4, instead of 5, tires because of all of the portaging around Crane Lake. But, the beauty of the scenery and the quality of the trail make this a 5 in my book.

Customer Service

Start at Marble Creek Rec. Area parking on Hwy E, circle Crane Lake counterclockwise (portaging back across the shut-ins immediately downstream from the dam after circling the lake) then reverse the trail back to Marble Creek.

Similar Products Used: Council Bluffs, The Audubon Trail
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Scott   [Jun 01, 2001]

This is a very nice ride. One of the best in the area. (Next to Barryman, I think we all would agree) This is a very typical Ozark ride. Rolling hills, rocky decents, and a few creek crossings. The single track out to the lake is nice!!! Great view at the lake. This ride is not for beginners.
If you are coming from out of the area, I would recommend either staying at Marble Creek campground and going to Barryman the next day or Camp at Barryman. Take E into Ironton, get on 21 heading north to Potosi, hang a left on 8 (Watch out when your in potosi, and dont be seen in your skimpy biking shorts in public either. You might hear, "Jed, he shur has a purty mouth on em'" as you hear your riding buddy unwillingly re-enact the notorious Ned Bade footage.) Anyway take 8 out of potosi about 15 miles and you will see a Barryman sign. Right on the the road to Barryman Rec Area until you get to the trail head.

I do alot of riding in the general area. I was raised near Farmington.

Customer Service

From Marble Creek Campground Cross HWY E. Take the trail south to Crane Lake. Circle the lake clockwise and return on the same single track that got you there.

Similar Products Used: Barryman, Council Bluff Lake, Trace Creek South,
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Brian   [Oct 08, 2002]

We rode the trail after a long soaking rain, however the trail is in such good condition, we encountered no mud at all.

The trail is, in spots, very technical mainly due to large loose rock. We found ourselves portaging around many large fallen trees, but other than that, almost all of the trail out to the lake is rideable, challenging, and in good condition. Obstacles, such as trees and large rocks, have not been removed, making this ride a great skills test. I would say only high middle to advanced skill levels will enjoy the this trail.

When you approach the lake aim for the southern half of the lake loop. It consists of a section in a clearing east of the lake which, for reasons unknown, has been graded by farm equipment and is a small step above quicksand. The trail divides on the southside of this clearing...take the southern most route(looks like an uphill fire road). This section will take you to the south side of the lake.

The lake is spectacular, as are the dam and shutins on the east side of the lake. If you follow the south edge of the lake counter clockwise you will reach the campsite on the north side of the lake.

I would advise against taking the north loop back to the trail...it leads out with some nice singletrack, but quickly turns completely unrideble, in fact it was hardly walkable for a while as it drops down into the shutins.

Just as a heads-up, we found no water at the campground at the lake...so bring what your gonna need for the whole ride.

Customer Service

We started at the Marble Creek campground on Highway E. Riding westbound first. However there was parking and picnic tables at Crane Lake and may also serve as a good starting point, unsure if camping is allowed there.

Similar Products Used: Berryman, Wappapello Section of OT (not the loop), OT-Trace Creek
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-6 of 6  

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