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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First post to these forums, but was curious how many riders are out there from the southeast SD/ northeast NE area. Moved up here a little north of Vermillion about a year ago from Omaha and have been trying to adjust to the mild differences in trails and the huge inavailability of trails.

My bike is only a upgraded high end dept. store, but I used to ride Platte River and Indian Cave a bunch. So far this summer I've made brief ventures to Stone park and Ponca, but primarily because of location have been riding at Union Grove, Newton Hills and Lewis & Clark (Yankton). Seems to me that these have adequate topography but there just aren't enough riders in the area and as a result the horses rule the trails.

I've briefly searched around the net for local groups, but nothing yet. Curious if anyone has any tips/thoughts. Also would be interested to meet up with anyone.

Thanks for the help
 

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I am from Sioux Falls and normally ride at the Big Sioux (sucks) rec area (a 20 minute drive from my house) or Newton Hills (30 to 40 minute drive). Yep, trails are pretty limited around here unless you drive. Spoke n Sport from here in Sioux Falls used to have a Wed or Thurs night group ride down at Newton Hills. I went 2 or 3 times, but was pretty slow compared to everyone else. They would stop and regroup, but I quit going because I hate holding people up like that. If you want to meet up sometime, let me know...I am willing to drive as far as Ponca for a day trip. I am not the fastest out there, but I enjoy getting out to ride every chance I get. Let me know.

GaryJ
 

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You're riding the wrong trails. Newton Hills and the friggin L&C trails are the WORST places to ride. The horse riders there are DICKS and make me feel like starting up a few more glue factories. I have NO fondness of horse riders and make no attempt to hide my feelings. Check out newish South Shore rec area right across the river in Nebraska. Horses are technically allowed, but the wheel rules. To my knowledge, the ONLY people using it AT ALL are myself and 3 other riders, who I am usually with. There's NO signs of anyone else in there, other than atleast one big cat, a ton of dumb turkeys and the usual deer!
We are, for the most part, downhillers and freeriders, but we hop on the trail bikes and ride South Shore atleast 2 times a week just to sweat it out. The trails are comparable to the Lewis and Clark trails, but DIRT, not crushed asphault, you can actually PEDAL up every hill there if you have the legs. There's no chance of that happening at L&C because the horses demolish everything they touch. I'm involved in a lot of trail meetings around here lately and brough up the subject of horses and bike having to use the same trails and you would swear I backhanded their mothers by the looks on their faces!
Freakin stupid animals....and the horses too!

Anyway, let me know when you wanna ride. We've got no issues with slow or fast riders, junk bikes or $10,000 dirt rockets. Just ride. It's gonna be in the 100's until Monday, but the evenings aren't too bad and we never really leave the trees anyway, so whenever you want! Friday evening or Sat/Sun morning? All 3? Lemme know!
 

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Looking for Trails
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'd love to take you up on your offer, just bad weekend. Wedding tomorrow night and driving to Omaha for concert Saturday-Monday. Possibility of some time next week though, like Tuesday and/or Wednesday nights. Where is this South Shore area though? I'm trying to find to find it on the net, but no luck so far. Are you referring to the south side of the lake. From L & C it looked like that may be the side of the lake to ride on, but the localites thus far haven't said anything about it. Thanks for the info and I'll check back in the next couple of days to set up a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Forgot to ask last night, what is the local trail organization? That'd be something I might be willing to get involved with.
 

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Organization...? You mean me and my 3 buds? Literally. It's just me and 3 buds. NO ONE else rides here. We make up for it though, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You said you were involved in trails meetings, so I was curious who holds those meetings. And where is it again? I haven't been able to find the area online yet.
 

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The meetings I attend are technically about bringing more people and small business to the towns and cities surrounding the Missouri River. "Trails" in general are a very popular subject, but it is slowly wandering away from my personal goal since there is no money to be made from encouraging people to breathe the air and increase their heart rates to a healthy pace.
You won't find South Shore on any computer or map. It's just a chunk of land the State of NE dozed some trails through. I think the land was being hiked on anyway so they just tried to encourage it a bit more. I know I had some secret little trails already in place there, but they're gone now. It's really not a bad little set up they have there, though. I would prefer it be single track and not the 10' wide that it is, but it's still fun.
There's several different ways to run it but only one is the ticket to the biggest smile. ALL of it has climbing, but go the wrong way and you get a pretty burly climb for about a 1/2 mile, go the right way and you get a 1/2 mile low elevation DH run.
Simply cross the dam, take a right to go to Crofton or the Golf course, keep driving until you see the exit for South Shore. You're there. Gotta have a NE State Park sticker(but it's not a State park?). Have at it, but I suggest you cruise it with us first or it's just going to be a lot of pedaling on flat grass as the top is deceiving. Any time is cool with us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
First Part of Next week

The wife and I ( as well as our two dogs) are going to be camping at the lake somewhere from Sunday through Tuesday. She doesn't ride off of pavement, so I'm thinking that I'll probably try and find South Shore either Sunday or Monday evening. Thrillseeker if you and your friends are in the area, I'd appreciate a guide. If not, I don't mind bushwhacking around to find the good trails either. It's seems this may be blasphemy, but I'll probably spend some time on the SD trails the opposite evening as well. Anyone who is interested is welcome to come along.

It's going to be a tough weekend for me as I"m working pretty much from 3 tomorrow until 3 on Sunday, but I'll check the posts and put my final plans up late Saturday night.
 

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Where you from? If you're still getting messages, call me at (605)660-1092 Cody. Later and hope to run into you this weekend!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thrillseeker: sorry I missed you the last couple of days. I was a victim of the three Ws: work, wife and weather. We live about halfway between Beresford and Vermillion. I work strange hours with almost no warning, but I'd like to meet up with you and your friends sometime. I was able to make it out to South Shore for about and hour and a half on Monday morning. Definitely an improvement over L&C. Trails were scenic and that single track stretch from the top of the cliff out onto that half dam between the pond (do you even call it that) and the lake was fun. Probably try and make the trek over there at least every other week for the rest of the season. If you have a chance to give a little notice before your crew goes out there again, I'll see what the schedule has for options. Thanks again for the info. about South Shore.
 

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Get back down here and email me before you do...there's a secret little nugget I'll show you. Probably the only true single track this side of the river!
We don't have a ride schedule or anything, it's a lot like this: "ring, ring, ring...S'up? Nuthin', let's ride somethin'. Be there in 5. Click." So, anytime is a good time. South Shore is awesome to ride nearly anytime of the day, so it makes no difference. Which route did you take??? I'm primarily a DHer so I'm all about the gravity assisted version. That is, climb the singletrack up past the pond, stay to the left, next left then quick right, a kinda steep but short(50 feet?) climb, then a fun down, a good 1/4 to 1/2 mile of winding climbing to the highest point in the park, then it's maybe a 1/2 to 3/4 of fast downhill. The Paydirt. The faster you can go the faster it gets. There's actually 4 places where you can float it for 20-30 feet over the small hilltops. Ironically, I pedal all the way down as hard as possible, so I'm not sure if it should be considered a "nice" down, but it sure is refreshing! If you go too slow it's actually quite a bit more work. And if you went UP that route (which you may have if you went in by the "trails" sign) you have my blessing. That climb is a killer. It always gives you juuuuust enough flat to let you hear your heart SCREAMING at you! Anyway, at the bottom of that DH run, we hang a left for a mile of barely noticeable uphill, to the last little down to the lowest point of the park, where it is usually muddy and swampy(cool), then climb the rest of the way back out of the park, back up to the beginning of that singletrack over the pond and back to the trucks. Should take about 45 minutes to an hour, lose 2-4 pounds in water, and gain a smile.
 

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Hmmm. I'm fairly new in Sioux Falls and haven't done any riding since I've been here. I'm about to get my stuff together and will be looking for some good trails. Sounds like South Shore might just be the ticket. Any directions available?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Outrider: Check out thrillseeker's directions in an earlier post. It literally is right across the dam, take a right and maybe another mile. Gravel road down to a pond and pretty much just look for trails. I tend to be more of an XC rider, so I don't mind granny gearing it around for awhile just to be outside and work up a sweat. I actually ride Union Grove Park alot, more than anything else because it's only about three miles away from my house. I believe it ends up being about a 5 mile perimeter loop. The "multi-use" trail is pretty much non-technical and 5 ft. wide. However unlike Newton Hills and L & C (which do have more mileage) it's 100% dirt, none of the gravel crap that South Dakota uses. There is a lot of climbing no-matter which way you ride it, but quite a few opportunities to get some speed on the downhills and a few water bars/jumps built in for some relief after a tough climb. To finish out my brief experience up here, Newton Hills and L & C probably have the most mileage if your looking for workout ride, but you're constantly stopping to wait for horse packs it seems, the trails are graded for the horses which means they're extremely steep with some kind of weird gravel/asphalt so the horses don't slip. I probably have been riding each of these two parks maybe once a month this summer just for a change of scenery. Since I don't know where exactly you're at, I'll add that Stone State Park in Sioux City is probably the funnest ride I've found yet, all around. I was just down there yesterday for about 1.5 hours and had a blast. The trails are much tighter than even South Shore, so it adds a little technical riding to the mix at time, down hills are good and even the climbs are graded to be rideable.

Thrillseeker: Work is strategically sending me to Yankton to do an interview from 10-12 on Monday. Depending on how my online shopping goes tonight, I may have to stop at the LBS there to pick up a new rear brake, but will more than likely be at South Shore around 1-1:30ish on Monday. I know the rest of the civilized world normally works at that time, but wanted to give you notice. Give me a holler on my cell if you're availalbe (402) 639-1063

Dennis
 

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Well...not to be rude(ok, maybe a little), but if you can't find THE DAM, then you will never find South Shore!!! Good greif, man! The Dam!!!!! You know, the one on the RIVER!!?? The one that makes all the power for everyone around it? THE DAM??? Are there even any other dams anywhere near here on the river?
 

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MmmmHmmmm.

Be rude if it seems appropriate. I'll return the favor when the time seems right.

In any case, I'm in Sioux Falls (and fairly new to the area on top of that as stated above)... not exactly on the Big Mo. Now then, are we talking about a dam around Sioux City or elsewhere? Make it simple (talk to me like I'm 8). If I leave Sioux Falls on 29S, where should I point the truck? Or, feel free to give me grid coordinates. Those will work as well. Or, should I just find it myself? Which I'm sure I can do, I was simply looking for some specifics from those who know in an effort to reduce potential trial and error exercises.

Again, thanks.
 

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Ok... it appears that the most likely area (given the conversation and geography) is across the river from Yankton/Gavin's Point. But again, I don't know the area so I could be wrong. I don't see a dam on the map anywhere between Pick's Town and Yankton but there is evidently a largish hydro-electric dam at Gavin's Point. Maybe I'll see you around.

Thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Gavin's Point is the dam we're referring to. I'm going to assume that you're located within the city of Sioux Falls until notified differently. To get there, you're going to want to take I-29 south to the Vermillion exit (I believe that's mile marker 28, give or take). Head east on highway 50 to Yankton (another 20-30 miles). Yankton is a beautiful town, but a cluster$#@$ to drive through, just stay on what appears to be the main drag through town. It twists and turns and you need to take a left at one stop light, but you can't miss the signs to Lewis & Clark Lake. After you clear the town of Yankton, it's another four or five miles to the lake and the recreation areas that surround it. Crossing the dam is one of the first lefts once you get near the lake.

Side note #1: If you're new to the area, I highly recommend L & C lake for general recreation. South Dakota does a better job of keeping the parks clean and has better all around facilities, so I think we'll camp on that side from now on; however, they're better at building paved biking trails than they are at designing off road trails.

Side Note #2: This may need to be another thread, but in my shopping experience, I've found the Ace Hardware/Bike Shop in Yankton to be the best one around. Haven't actually bought anything from them yet, but they have a much bigger shop than the little place in Vermillion. I've tended to go to Scheel's in Sioux City and/or Sioux Falls for generic stuff, but the guy's at the Ace Hardware shop seem to be the most knowledgeable and helpful. Just haven't been impressed with Bikes Plus in Vermillion. Everyone I talk to has spoken very highly of the guy that runs that place, but he seems to disagree with everything I want to do with my bike when I go in there and just won't get around to selling me the part I want. I'm looking into buying a new bike within the next year and will more than likely purchase it from they guys' in Yankton or order it online. Any opinions on this would be appreciated.
 

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Thanks. Getting to the dam once it was identified was never an issue. However, since the dam was never identified by name it made it a little uncertain as to where we were talking about. Seems I have a handle on it now.

I have no opinion about the hardware store in Yankton or the LBS in Vermillion. Scheels is next to worthless.
 
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