9 Best Mountain Biking Trails in Nebraska

Situated in the vast Midwest in America, Nebraska is also referred to as the region of Great Plains. It is a stunning state and a paradise for off-road mountain bikers. Iconic for its enormous treeless prairie, Nebraska provides a wide range of out-of-the-way tracks that parade the region’s natural glory. Trails are in this region are designed for bikers with various skills and techniques; thus, no one can feel left out.

Over the last few years, mountain biking in Nebraska has gained much popularity due to its health benefits and recreational purposes. Biking has helped many of the residents to stay healthy and fit and at the same time keeping the doctor away. Cardiovascular diseases, chronic diseases, and obesity are some of the ailments that have been avoided by navigating some of the spectacular and breathtaking trails in this region.

If you are new in Nebraska and wondering about some of the best mountain biking trails to explore, then you are in the right place; this piece will enlighten you on some of the exciting trails to navigate in this region.

Let’s get to it

1. Jewel Park

Jewel Park
©MTB Project

Situated in Nebraska’s picturesque Bellevue town, the Jewel park mountain biking trail stretches up to 3.5 miles in the Midwest landscape. The trail begins in a wooden section, next to a fenced-in dog park, where a steep ascent will instantly challenge mountain bikers by technical switchbacks. The park’s top part provides some attractive sweeping sceneries of the forest prior to a quick descent. Various obstacles down the trail will test bikers, especially log crossings, which offer a thrilling and adventurous feeling.

The Jewel Park mountain biking trail is suitable for advanced and intermediate bikers. According to the residents, this track is not ideal for beginners, as the course needs and advanced level of endurance and skill. As the entire trail is only between one and two feet wide, there are minimal sections to stop along with the navigation. Apart from the apex of the steep trail, it also features rocky descents making it difficult for novices to control the speed.

2. Calvin Crest Trail

Calvin Crest Trail
©Alltrails

Located on the famous Platte River’s southern climbs near Fremont in Nebraska, the Calvin Crest mountain biking trail is an elegant course that goes through cedar trees and deciduous pine. Bikers with different skill levels will find something to enjoy in this trail. However, bikers are discouraged from biking alone due to the challenging sections and are always urged to ride along with other bikers. 

 The Calvin Crest Trail features a number of miles of biking amusements and the perfect amount of audacious challenges and obstacles. From the thrilling slopes to the grinding ascents, the trail is an ideal antidote to biking boredom. Loved by the residents and the tourists alike, the track loop provides flowing single and doubletrack that are sporadically punctured by berms, switchbacks, and roots, all set up against Nebraska’s natural views.

The Calvin Crest mountain biking trail is built on the property of Presbytery Camp of Calvin Crest. Due to this, all bikers are to observe the closure dates and posted rules. Bikers are also discouraged against try to navigate under poor weather as this could lead to accidents.

3. Indian Caves State Park

Indian Caves State Park

Situated near the Missouri River in Nebraska, the Indian Caves State Park mountain biking trail encompasses over 15 miles of singletrack and a double track of 11 miles. This trail provides perfect biking conditions for pros and intermediate riders.

In general, the trail course at Indian Caves State Park entails up to 11 excellently marked and numbered trails that together form a looped series in an uneven and moderately rocky environment. All of the 11 tracks traverse a rolling oak hardwood forest with vertical ravines cutting into the Missouri River’s climbs, providing sporadic sceneries of the surrounding ridges and the extensive Missouri River floodplain.

The famous and more challenging tracks at the Indian Caves State Park mountain biking trail include quick descents and steep climbs, sporadic hurdles, erosion, and water. When all these are combined, they form one of the favorite mountain biking spots in the state of Nebraska.

Indian Caves State Park is a perfect spot for perfecting your skills and biking handling techniques as you interact with pro bikers who will challenge you on some tough terrain and rapid slopes that will necessitate you to push harder and perfect your skills.

4. Glen Cunningham Lake

Glen Cunningham Lake
©Omaha World Herald

Situated in Nebraska’s most prominent city in Omaha, the Glen Cunningham Lake mountain biking trail is ideal for all levels of biking skills ranging from beginners to experts. It is also suitable for those seeking to perfect their skills and bike handling techniques.

A perfect mix of double and single track, the Glen Cunningham Lake trail course encompasses various terrains and surfaces, including mud, grass, gravel, and asphalt. The trailhead is situated just near the park’s campgrounds, making it the ideal escape for campers seeking a little exercise and fun.

Designed to be biked as a loop, the Glen Cunningham Lake Trail stretches up to 9 miles, and it is mostly flat. However, the trail course also includes some switchbacks and slippery sections, and a wide range of logs, berms, roots, and obstacles. The track is situated in one of the most beautiful regions, thus attracting a massive number of mountain biking enthusiasts every year, all determined to perfect their skills.

The Glen Cunningham Lake mountain biking trail is a perfect spot for unwinding, especially after a busy week; you will be able to meet and interact with new people, make friends and share ideas. Biking with the other mountain bikers motivates you to stretches your limits and meet new goals that you thought you couldn’t.

5. Platte River State Park

Platte River State Park

Situated close to Louisville in Nebraska, the Platte River State Park mountain biking trail stretches up to 8-miles. A perfect way to spend your afternoon, this trail will thrill both expert and intermediate bikers. The trail may not be ideal for novices due to its difficulty level.

The Platte River State Park trail system is categorized as one of the best mountain biking trails across the state of Nebraska. It’s a fascinating network of rapid-flowing singletrack cuts in the climbs above the Platte River. The trail winds further to the forested bluffs and the open turfs at the crest and concludes down the gullies located in between.

This trail is mostly parked as it attracts a large crowd of mountain bikers. It encompasses a wide range of impediments and terrains, ranging from rapid descents to sandy uphill climbs. The descents may be hazardous to bikers with low bike handling techniques. Roots, short-sided berms, and rocky outcroppings are all associated with the free fall of the course’s downhill, which can be navigated independently or a section of the overall loop. 

6. Oxbow Trail System

Oxbow Trail System
©Youtube: FryGuy63

The Oxbow Trail System encompasses Sandy Wash, Jaxon’s Loop, and Sandy Flow trails and stretches up to 5 miles.  The Wash trail tends to be less tame and is ideal for kids apart from the ridge section. The Flow trail tends to be rapid with more features and bigger berms. On the other hand, the Jaxon’s Loop tends to be more technical and has massive features within a couple of miles including, foot drop, foot gap jump, and shaved tree drop.

The navigation starts at the parking section close to 13th and Silver Street. Proceed east up to the beginning of Sandy Wash. Head north as the track goes along the bank of the Salt Creek to conclude a two-mile loop.

Although Oxbow Trail System features a wide range of technical sections, it was specially designed to suit bikers with various skill levels. Due to this, features that need jumping or dropping skills are equipped with a ride-around, thus making it an ideal choice for families, new bikers, and seasoned mountain bikers.

Bikers can further put their skills on the Ridge test, next to the ridgeline that heads to the double track via the Sandy Wash Trail. The Ridge offers professional bikers with a vast array of challenges.

7. Swanson Park

Swanson Park
©Trailforks

Situated near Bellevue in Nebraska, the Swanson Park mountain biking trail stretches up to 7.2 kilometers and features spectacular sceneries and attractive wildflowers. It is perfect for all biking skill levels. The trail provides a vast array of activity options from recreational to workouts. It is best navigated between February and October. Dogs are allowed access to the park but must always be kept on leashes.

In Bellevue, the Swanson Trail Park is very famous as it is the original biking spot. With a number of climbs and drops a minimal challenging section, this trail has a lot to offer pros, intermediate, and novice bikers.

As soon as you leave the trailhead, the trail begins and heads to the west side of Swanson Park. It moves to a short small drop but with some technical climb. It then goes around the forested hillside before concluding in a mostly muddy ravine.

The trail finally goes around the Firefighter training area and proceeds down from that point. Eventually, there are a number of small hops and a short descent on your way back to the trailhead. This trail gives the mountain bikers to work out as they interact with nature.

8. Maskenthine Loop

Maskenthine Loop
©MTB Project

Situated near Stanton in Nebraska, the Maskenthine Loop mountain biking trail is ideal for the whole family. It is also a perfect spot for learning and improving on biking skills and techniques as it features various bailouts and obstacles. This trail loops also encompasses camping, swimming, and fishing at the lake section.

The Maskenthine Loop trail dives and twists through a vast range of open meadows and tree groves, and some relatively unique hedge tunnels, which most of the mountain bikers enjoy. This track is very much easy to follow, thanks to the markers indicating the direction of the navigation.

Most sections of the trail are made up of clay soil and may not be suitable for biking when with significant moisture. Thus the bikers are urged to only bike when the conditions allow. Ignoring the same may be hazardous as it could lead to accidents. Your safety is paramount; thus, you shouldn’t compromise.

Those wishing to navigate the Maskenthine mountain biking trail are urged to follow the safety rules and guidelines not to harm themselves or other bikers exploring the course. For instance, one must follow the correct route and wear a helmet and protective gear while biking.

9. Tranquility Park

Tranquility Park
©Youtube: Shane Conaway

Situated in the suburban NW Omaha in Nebraska, the Tranquility Park mountain biking trail stretches up to 9 miles. It is the most famous and the longest trail in the area with minimal technical sections, but it makes it up for its distance, speed, and unique features.

The main parking section can be quite crowded as it is shared with soccer fields when they are in use.

The trail starts at the furthest end of the soccer field parking section. Hit the road and turn right and the Y in the trail. The track is designed to be biked in a counter-clockwise direction.

Tranquility trail proceeds up and down and winds around the two hills and an even meadow towards the north loop. The engineers who built this trail made perfect use of the creek running that traverses through it for some challenging sections encompassing jumps, log crossings, and whoop-de-dos.

A vast section of the Tranquility Park is exposed. However, it traverses through deciduous trees and groves of pine and even massive shrubbery sections. The pine section is more adventurous and wild, giving you a breathtaking experience as you interact with nature.

Additionally, the South hill descent in the Tranquility Park offers berms and jumps that may be amusing to the experienced riders. It is a perfect spot to work out and unwind from the busy city lifestyle. You will also get to interact with new people and to make friends. 

 

Bottom Line

Nebraska is one of the most exciting states to explore using your mountain bike due to the vast range of spectacular and amusing mountain biking trails that will be worth your energy and time. Trails for different skill levels are available hence ideal for novices, intermediate, and pro bikers.

 

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