Johnson County Veterans Trail – Birding – Iowa City, IA

The Johnson County Veterans Trail is located north of Iowa City, Iowa. Continue reading “Johnson County Veterans Trail – Birding – Iowa City, IA”

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Jack London State Park – Hiking Trails – Glen Ellen, CA

Jack London State Park is located in Glen Ellen, California. It is on London Ranch RD which is reached from Arnold DR. A day or annual pass is required to enter the park. Hiking, dog walking, picnics, and guided tours are the primary activities. Continue reading “Jack London State Park – Hiking Trails – Glen Ellen, CA”

2012 Beverly Park Mountain Bike Race Course – Iowa

On Sunday July 1st, 2012 there will be a mountain bike race at Beverly Park. Check out our Beverly Park blog post for directions, additional pictures, and info about trails not included in the race. The following Google Map shows the tentative course followed by an image the race director gave me to use as a guide.

My phone estimates one lap to be 5.5 miles with an elevation range of a 100 feet. I biked the course twice and completed my second lap in under 50 minutes. I’m not fast so 50 minutes is probably the slow end of the spectrum.

The race course rides counter-clockwise starting from the right most trail entrance. It begins with a short climb before settling into a rhythmic pattern of twists and hills that ride fast.

On the western half of the course, there are no obstacles but there are two short bridges, one of which has railings.

At each trail intersection, make a right turn until you reach a grassy field, at which point you’ll be forced to turn left up a hill. However, stay on the right most trail while on the hill.

After the grassy field, the course cuts through a heavy set of vegetation.

Next, look for the Ditch Digger trail along the right side of the old road. It includes a quick up and down.

Continue riding east on the old road for a short distance and look for an unmarked trail across from trail #9. At the time of this post, it had gnarly vegetation growing over it so you may want to skip it until the race course has been finalized. If you decide to give it try then afterwards you’ll need to turn left onto the old road to head west and back towards trail #7.

Ride on trails #7 and #4. The following picture illustrates an example of how all of the ramps and piles of logs on the course are optional.

At a fork on trail #4, stay to the right to get on #5. Trail #4 continues to the left over a narrow bridge.

Ride on trail #5 and make right turns until you end up on #3. While riding on #3, stay on it by keeping left at its intersection with #9. Take a right at the next trail intersection, which puts you on #10. Continue making right turns to ride on trails #11 and #12. All of the trails are smooth with very few rocks but there are several fallen trees. Notably, trail #12 has a stout log crossing on an incline.

Take a right turn onto #3. Based on the race map image above, it looks like a temporary connector trail may be established (near the tree seen below) that will connect #3 and #13 so as to avoid bidirectional traffic. Until it is created you’ll need to connect to #13 via #4.

Trail #13 has a long wood bridge. If you’re like me and have some fear of elevated bridges, then I recommend giving this one a test ride before the race. I walked it on my first┬átraining lap and biked it on my second.

Ride straight off #13 and onto #16. It is short but challenging because it has a couple of tight turns overlaid with trees and roots. It is the most difficult segment of the course.

After #16, take a left onto #15, then a right onto #14, and then a left back onto #15. I got confused trying to find 2b and ended up on 2a for both of my laps. I corrected myself on my second lap, which is the one displayed in the Google Map above. Trail #2b rides fast on a slight decline and, thus, racers will likely finish each lap with a lot of momentum.

In sum, the tentative race course is fast and includes fun challenges. Read about the Sugar Bottom course to learn about the trails that host a triathlon and a mountain bike race later in the summer.

Cedar Valley Nature Trail – North Liberty, Iowa

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail is located within the Sugar Bottom Recreation Area in North Liberty, Iowa. Directions: follow signs leading into Sugar Bottom and then look for one of three marked parking areas on the right side of the road. Parking for this trail is free but does not include water or restrooms, both of which can be found near the disc golf course and beach. Hiking, dog walking, and hunting for mushrooms are popular activities on this trail. Mountain biking and horseback riding are not allowed. Cell phone service can be limited in this area. Continue reading “Cedar Valley Nature Trail – North Liberty, Iowa”

Willow Creek and Clear Creek Trails – Bike Paths – Iowa City, IA

The Willow Creek and Clear Creek Trails are located on the west side of Iowa City, Iowa. Free parking can be found in two places: east of Kiwanis Park and along the road near the Willow Creek playground. Running, biking, and leashed dog walking are popular recreation activities on these trails. In warm months, the shelter near the Willow Creek playground offers water and restrooms. Cell phone service should be strong throughout. Continue reading “Willow Creek and Clear Creek Trails – Bike Paths – Iowa City, IA”