Nicknamed as the Sunflower State, Kansas State is also referred to as the Jayhawk State, the Wheat State, and the Midway State. This region of Prairie plains is the breadbasket of the country. More wheat is grown here than in any other state in the union. For mountain bike riders, Kansas is one of the incredible and more exciting destinations to explore. The beautiful landscape slopes, and sceneries are the reasons why renowned mountain bikers and beginners love to explore this region.
Mountain biking in Kansas gives you a chance to meet new people, interact with nature, have fun as you work out, and enjoy a drink with friends afterward. Due to health concerns such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and many others, many people in Kansas have opted to join mountain biking as a way of keeping fit and keeping the doctor away.
Suppose you want to get out of your comfort zone, reduce stress, regulate hormones, and improve focus, productivity, and creativity. In that case, you should definitely consider exploring some of the stimulating and exciting trails in Kansas.
If you are new in Kansas and wondering about some of the mountain biking trails to explore in Kansas, then worry no more! This piece will give you the much-needed insight on the trails to explore.
Let’s get to it.
1. Switchgrass Epic Mountain Bike Trail
This is the only Epic trail between the majestic Rockies and steamy Ozarks, the Rio Grande, the blistering desert of Big Bend, and frigid Badlands of North Dakota. In the middle of Kansas, Switchgrass is smack dab on the shores of the most beautiful lake in the States. With approximately 25 miles, the amusing trail is well-groomed with stacked loops and a wide range of shorter ride options. It’s ideal for all levels of riders so that you won’t feel left out.
Although the Switchgrass Epic mountain trail has a remote and wild feel, you are never far from the bailout back towards the trailhead. You may opt to shorten your Epic route by diverting to one of the 12 cutoffs. Depending on the sightseeing level that you are interested in and your mountain bike riding skills, the average plan is between 2 and 5 hours.
Pros also prefer this trail as it has some technically challenging sections, apart from the EZ. Most of these trail sections are easy and moderate, although there are various deep sand, short rocky sections, exposed ledges, high cliffs, sharp drops, and arduous climbs. Most of the sections that are technical are short. On any level beyond your skills, you may opt to dismount the mountain bike and walk.
Accessing the trail via I-70 is more comfortable as compared to Dorrance (#199) or the Wilson (#206) exit. The head towards Hell Creek- Wilson State Park area, which is located South and West of the bridge of Hell Creek on South Shore Drive. The vehicle permit at the Kansas State park is $5, valid for 24 Hours.
2. Air Capital Memorial Park
This wooded mountain bike trail system consists of three main loops that sum up to 1.8 miles. Each loop has turns and twists and technological hazards that will challenge bike riders of all levels. Air Capital Memorial Park is an officially owned city park by the City of Wichita, Kansas. It is situated north of Pawnee Prairie Park. Helmets are a must-have at all times. Although this is a mountain bike trail, watch out for runners and walkers on the trail.
This mountain bike trail is directional, and this means that the riders may start at any point on the three loops and head in any direction but be careful to be on the correct lane and not distract other riders. However, the North Loop is one of the easiest as it is a single-track. The West Loop is an ideal intermediate ride with a wooded trail with leftover construction debris and small obstacles when the Harry Street was torn out. You may also opt to ride continuously on the West Loop and connect to the East Loop or feedback to the North Loop via the East Crossover.
Running, hiking, and trail riding are hazardous sports. These trails are specially designed for pedestrian use and off-road bicycling use for all experience levels. However, you may do otherwise at your own peril. It is recommended that you dismount your mountain bike and walk in stringent levels and hazardous conditions.
Horses and motorized vehicles are prohibited in this trail. Those with dogs are required to put them on a leash at all times. Bikers are required to be attentive, careful, and respect all creatures and users. To avoid accidents in the trail, the bikers are advised to ride within skill level and equipment limitations and follow the trail’s posted direction.
3. Lawrence River Mountain Bike Trails
Situated in the city park of North Lawrence, the Lawrence River mountain bike trail is located northeast of Kansas and exclusively maintained by Lawrence Mountain Bike Club (LMBC). This is one of the famous trails in Kansas and is used by runners and bikers throughout the year. The 9-mile loop trail has separate entrances, which are marked for pedestrians and bicycles. This helps to direct the groups on the appropriate loop to follow. Mountain bike riders take the clockwise route.
The trail has introduced most of the residents as well other people across the state to biking. Most of the routes in the Lawrence River trail are flowing and fast. It has many interesting, fun dips and some challenging obstacles, which are optional, and your confidence grows. There is also a minimal section of rocks; if you are not up to the task, you may opt to dismount your mountain bike and take a walk.
Like any mountain bike trail in Kansas, everyone who is wishing to explore this stimulating trail must strictly adhere to the laid down rules and guidelines regarding safety. All the bikers are expected to be wearing a helmet.
The safety of everyone exploring the trail is very vital. Thus everyone wishing to cycle in this trail is advised to adhere strictly to the relevant safety rules and guidelines, for instance, biking towards the appropriate direction and putting on a helmet.
4. Redbud Trail Head- Hillside
Redbud mountain point-to-point bike trail is 18.5 kilometers, and it is situated near Wichita in Kansas. It features magnificent sceneries and a lake. It is ideal for all skill levels thus suitable for beginners as well as pros. The Redbud trail is primarily used for walking, running, hiking, and mountain biking. Dogs are allowed in this trail but on a leash.
The Redbud trail has been renovated recently, but the trails have been left rugged and rugged. Some of the trails are steep, rocky, and frequently slick and muddy after rain. This makes it more fun for those who love adventure. However, to avoid unprecedented accidents, bikers are advised to be extra cautious; amateurs with low skill levels should dismount and walk on challenging trails.
Mountain bikers using this trail are encouraged to stay on the trails because the topsoil is very thin, and long-term damage may be caused by excess traffic. Hillsides are prone to soil erosion, especially when bikers opt to take a short-cut in between the trail sections.
Through the railway’s previous BNSF corridor, the Redbud rail-trail takes the bikers on an adventure that slices right through downtown. The trail’s corridor was rebuilt into a 10-feet expansive linear park for jogging, walking, dog walking, biking, and non-motorized uses.
Starting from the western end, the mountain bike riders pass through the residential areas and churches and finally pack up to the East of 17th Street, close to the Wichita State University. Most sections of the trail are made of gravel, giving the bikers a breathtaking experience as they work out.
Those with stroller and wheelchair can access the Redbud Trail. However, it is recommended that they come along with someone who may assist them in any unforeseen happenings. Bikers are also required to be on the lookout, not to hurt themselves or others as they explore the trail.
5. Fancy Creek State Park Mountain Bike Trails
Situated near Randolph in Kansas, the Fancy Creek State Park mountain bike trails are moderately trafficked and stretch up to 9.3 kilometers. This trail features attractive nature views and a lake. It is rated as moderate and is accessible throughout the year. It is used for mountain biking and hiking. The dogs on leash rule apply here.
The trail offers mountain bikers with rugged and varying terrain as well as attractive Kansas vistas. The challenging course is more suitable for experienced mountain bikers as they are more exciting and fulfilling. The bikers enjoy the 6 miles of open native grassland and the dense cedar forest that trails along scenic overlooks and rocky ridges along the way.
If you seek more fun in a rustic and well-shaded setting, you should consider the Fancy Creek State Park mountain bike trails. It offers 24 sites with lakeside views and electric hook-ups. It boasts of expansive recreational facilities such as the new boat ramp and the exciting state-of-the-art shooting range.
All bikers must abide by the safety rules and guidelines to maintain order in the trail and avoid accidents as they enjoy riding. Those in wheelchairs and strollers should be accompanied by assistance due to the sloppy nature of this trail.
6. Prairie Sunset Trail
Situated near Goddard in Kansas, the Prairies Sunset is a point-to-point lightly trafficked mountain bike trail. It is suitable for all skill levels; thus, all members of the public are invited to explore this adventurous trail. A wide range of activity options are available in the Prairie Sunset trail and are accessible throughout the year. It is ideal for jogging, walking, and bicycling. However, all bikers are required to stick to the trails.
Children are advised to enjoy this outdoor platform but under close supervision by their parents or guardians. The trail’s main aim is to develop, maintain and promote cordial relationships and unity among the neighbors and community in Prairie through mountain biking. It also focuses on improving the health of the residents by keeping fit.
When visiting the Prairie Sunset Trail, be sure to bring along sun protection and plenty of water. You wouldn’t want to dehydrate which biking. To avoid accidents, it is advised to be careful and attentive, especially while crossing the trail’s various road crossings.
The various sections of the trail entail asphalt, packed gravel, brick, and dirt, and in some parts six feet typical grass trail. There may be barriers situated in the middle of the course strategically located to cut the width by half. Those in strollers, wheelchairs, and mobility equipment may require assistance to navigate the grassy sections near the Garden Plain.
The trail slope is relatively gentle, and it is estimated to range from 5% uphill to -5% downhill grade.
7. Swope Park Mountain Bike Trail
Situated near Kansas City in Missouri, the Swope Park mountain bike trail is heavily trafficked and stretches up to 7.4 kilometers. It features a remarkable forest setting and beautiful views. It is rated as moderate thus can accommodate a wide range of mountain bike riders. This trail is basically used for running, snowshoeing, running, and mountain biking and is accessible to the public throughout the year.
Swope Park mountain bike trail is super neat as you may see a lot of critters running at this place, and you might as well come across a few deer. It is recommended to make a sound judgment if cycling or hiking, especially in wet conditions, as the trails are easily spoilt when wet. You may also not want to injure yourself or others while you explore this trail.
This trail is exquisitely built, covering rooty and rocky sections along the Swope park hillside. The recently completed phase features drops, bermed turns, and drops, making it more exciting and adventurous for all-mountain bikers exploring this trail.
Those opting to visit this trail and have strollers and wheelchairs are advised to come with an assist as it may be challenging to access some of the sections of the trail. Additionally, bikers are required to have helmets at all times while cycling on the trail.
Mountain biking is an interesting and exciting sport that is why it is preferred by most residents in Kansas and across other states due to its wide range of health benefits. If you are new in Kansas, the above trails will be of much benefit.