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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am pretty new to mtn biking and some of my friends and I are going camping at Wilson Island next week (26-28) and I convinced them to bring their bikes. We all have decent mtn bikes and I hear Wilson Island has easy trails. Are there any other good areas around? I know of Lewis & Clark. Anyone ride there? if so would you care to show a beginner how its done? I am very interested in getting into the sport as a regular. Any info would be great.
 

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The Weatherman
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danran24 said:
I am pretty new to mtn biking and some of my friends and I are going camping at Wilson Island next week (26-28) and I convinced them to bring their bikes. We all have decent mtn bikes and I hear Wilson Island has easy trails. Are there any other good areas around? I know of Lewis & Clark. Anyone ride there? if so would you care to show a beginner how its done? I am very interested in getting into the sport as a regular. Any info would be great.
Yeah, Wilson Island is a very easy offroad ride. Nice doubletrack trails though and you should definitely bring your bikes. If I remember correctly there are about 10 miles of trail. Best yet is that the trailhead is right at the camping area!

Just don't expect any serious mountain biking and you will have a nice ride. Very flat doubletrack with zero technical challenge. Just a nice spin through awesome scenery and a chance to see a ton of deer, turkey, birds, etc.

Here is a link to a trail map:

http://www.iowadnr.gov/parks/images/maps_pictures/wilsonmap.pdf

Lewis and Clark is a bit more serious, and located about 30 minutes south of Wilson Island. It's one of the more aggressive trails in the area and a lot of fun. But you also have to be prepared to climb fairly steep hills to earn that fun. I would not categorize this trail system as a "beginner" trail, but it is certainly ridable by beginners. But it will be challenging. The trail is not very long (maybe 7 miles), but it is demanding and you will have to work. This is an outstanding trail system, but maybe not the best trail for beginners.

Also nearby is Lake Manawa, which is about 45 minutes south of Wilson Island. Lake Manawa is an EXCELLENT beginner trail and not as difficult as Lewis and Clark. Very little climbing involved and lots of confidence building technical obstacles. Fast, twisty singletrack through the woods.

Then there is also the Wabash Trace within 45 minutes as well. 60 miles of scenic rail-trail from Council Bluffs to Blanchard. There is about 10 miles of singeltrack that runs adjacent to the rail-trail from Council Bluffs to Mineola as well. That's another option.

So the choice really comes down to, how challenging of a trail do you want?

If you want a white-knuckle experience with ear to ear grins followed by lung busting climbs? - Lewis and Clark.

Steady fun recreational ride with a taste of excitement? - Manawa.

Casual spin through great scenery?- Wabash.

If you want a trail guide for any of these rides I can probably hook you up. On the 26th and 27th I can ride anytime after 5pm. I am off on the 28th, so I can basically ride anytime that day.

Up to you though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for all the input. I would love to hook up with some local guys and see how its done. My friends just want easy stuff but i have ridden the mountains of vail and breckenridge in colorado and i love to climb. I have also ridden seven oaks and peterson pits, so i'd love to ride with some other guys. I really want to get into the sport so any help is more than welcome.
 
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