Council Bluffs Lake Trail - TRAIL

Council Bluffs Lake Trail - Trail, Potosi, Missouri

This rocky single track rises over forested ridges and dips into sequestered hollows as it traces the convoluted edge of Council Bluff's Lake. About 1/3 of the way in, there is an absolutely spectacular descent over rocky, rooted terrain. Baby, just let it go ... The trail is characterized by rocky descents, hairpin turns through drainages, and short technical uphills. A mile from the end, there is a swimming beach with bathrooms and an outdoor shower. Stop and marvel at the pale, walrus-like hillbillies beached on the warm sands (Budweisers in hand). The trail picks up again just past the beach on the left (South) side of the road and provides just over a mile of singletrack finale.

User Reviews (21)

Showing 1-10 of 21  
Barry   Cross Country Rider [Oct 31, 2013]

Although I originally wrote the review from the counterclockwise perspective, having raced and ridden it counterclockwise on numerous occasions, and I think I prefer CCW. I like the big hills in that direction, and I like to get the interruption of the swim beach and dam out of the way early in the ride and then immerse in the trail, until the end.

If I have the luxury of camping, then I pick the big site at the very back of the campground (site #32, i think) and ride straight from my tent, down a short singletrack connector form the campsite, and onto the trail. No shuttle necessary.

Customer Service

Make a weekend of it and do the North Trace Creek, South Trace Creek, Cortois, and/or Middle Fork sections of the Ozark Trail, as well. These trails, and their combined and connected concentration in this beautiful corner of the Ozarks, represents some of the finest riding in the entire nation. And that is no hyperbole.

Similar Products Used: See above...
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Deserteagle99uzi   Cross Country Rider [Aug 09, 2010]

Lake is back down and the trail is mostly clear. Rode it twice, once adding on some Ozark trail connector and once doing 2 laps. Trail is in excellent shape and the lake flooding last year only messed up 1 spot that is now rerouted.

Customer Service

CW or CCW doesn't matter. If you have the energy park at DD trailhead south of the lake and tack on 4 miles of the north trace for an epic ride.

Similar Products Used: Middlefork, North and South trace creek sections of the OT. Karkaghne section of the OT if it is ever cleared of trees. Berryman
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
spudrusher42   Weekend Warrior [Aug 08, 2010]

Rode this yesterday with my son and we both enjoyed it. Really liked the variety of the trail surfaces and constant elevation changes. Started at the boat ramp and went counter clockwise, only one fairly tough climb in this direction. Very scenic with great views of the lake throughout the ride. Will definitely ride this again and would recommend it to others.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
MC1   Weekend Warrior [Jun 21, 2009]

Rode it clockwise from campground yesterday and it was quite the experience. There have been some recent "land hurricanes" that layed down a lot of trees and have also raised the lake 10 feet I was told. The ride was overgrown and full of spider webs. Some sections were perfect but others could use some maintenance or rider traffic to break the trail back in where it is badly eroded. It is rocky and technical as others described and there are some short, steep climbs that will test your lungs and legs. Be prepared and bring some food because it takes longer than your average 12.8 mile ride.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Steve   Cross Country Rider [Oct 18, 2008]

Others have done a good job describing the trail, so let me just say this: I love this trail. I remember reading a description of the trail several years ago and thinking, "I don't want to drive two hours to get to a trail that is only 12 miles without much climbing." I can't remember what finally prompted me to go there, but it is now one of my favorite trails. Well worth the drive down from St. Louis. It is a particularly beautiful ride in the fall.

Customer Service

I like riding counterclockwise.

Similar Products Used: Berryman
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
drcox63123   Weekend Warrior [Sep 04, 2008]

1st time out for me and the fourth overall for trail riding. This trail had a lot of undulations and 3 really steep hills. I am a beginner and started riding for the exercise and this trail certainly accomplished that. My friends took me out for the full 12 mile experience and it was probably more than I could handle. I recommend to the beginner to wait until around the 3 to 4 month of riding before doing this trail. That is not to say that this was not fun because actually the views and rock gardens were fun to see and the down hills made this really fun to ride. I had to walk a lot up the 3 steep hills or so and by the last 2 miles or so I was wiped. I recommend bring plenty of water and some kind of energy bar to eat around the half way mark. I would definitely ride this trail again I might just wait until I get in a lot better shape. I also recommend bring a couple spare tubes as all 3 of us that day ended up with flats.

Customer Service

Clock wise seemed to make for better downhill experience.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Derek Cox   Weekend Warrior [Sep 04, 2008]

Well this was my 1st time out on this trail and my fourth time out overall since I started riding a month and a half ago and this kicked my ass. I am a beginner and chose to start riding for the exercise and that is exactly what this was. This trail had a lot of undulations and 3 really steep hills. The donwhill from those steep hills were a blast and made the hills worth while. I would recommend to a beginner to wait till your 3 month mark to do this trail as I was out of breath alot and was drained by the end of it. I will say this will be a very fun trail once I get into shape and able to do the 12 miles without stopping and walking as much as I did.

Customer Service

We went clockwise from the beach and that seemed to have the best downhills after the uphills.

Similar Products Used: Lost Valley
Castlewood
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
indianhillsted   Weekend Warrior [Jul 04, 2007]

I had a blast riding this trail! Went to canoe the Current and decided to extend for some singletrack. This was great tight singletrack. Great ups and downs, nothing technical except the downed trees (not too many). Biggest challenge was all the spider webs I ate. Was planning on riding the Trace Creek section of the OT (or maybe they are just offshoots), but I had such a fun ride on this I repeated it the next day instead.

Customer Service

Counter clockwise from the campground or the beach. Super nice beach...had it to myself!

Similar Products Used: Enjoyed this one too much to try the others!
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
tweiss   Racer [Aug 01, 2005]

So here's the scoop on the Council Bluff Trail from the perspecive of an TANDEM MTB team... 1. It's mostly single track with a few short sections of double-track or gravel road. This may make passing (or being passed) in races a little difficult if the field size is large. 2. There are no flat sections. Although the trail constantly undulates (sp?) up and down, there are really only 2 long (0.3 - 0.5 mile) climbs; one of them is single track and steep enough that I don't think we could climb it on the tandem for multiple laps without walking up; the other is much more gradual double track and is certainly ridable for multiple laps... its so subtle that you don't know it's bad until you notice that your HR is at 90% of max and your only going 6 mph. 3. Approx. 3-4 miles of the trail is riddled with lots of roots and moderate-difficulty rock gardens. These are pretty tricky on the twicer but certainly rideable. I've seen a lot worse/more difficult rock gardens (i.e. the Chubb trail that others referred to on MTBreviews site). 5. Scenery is beautiful (see photos to be posted). The trail stays lakeside 90% of the time (the hills result from crossing the many small streams/tributaries. 6. It was a 1:45 drive from St. Louis/Webster Grove area. 7. The terrain/views/riding surface vary greatly. By the time your tired of rock gardens, you get to good clean hardpacked dirt. By the time your tired of that, you get open, dusty gravel trail, etc. Overall... This is an awesome race course. If anything, it may be a little too technical for a tandem but then again, my wife and I only had to dismount a few times (mostly for big logs which I would guess would be cleared for races).

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
jhrojas65   Weekend Warrior [Jun 20, 2005]

A good ride, nothing too technical or exhausting. Just 14 miles of mountain biking with the reward of a good swim at the beach. Chubb is more technical and Berryman is much more challenging, but this one is beautiful.

Customer Service

Any way is fine, there are good markers.

Similar Products Used: Berryman, Chubb, Castlewood, Greensfelder.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 21  

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