• Posted Nov 25, 2002

mountian biking - Rock Creek style

On a recent unseasonably mild November day, my riding partner and I decided to make the trek to Rock Creek State Park outside of Kellogg. We didn't really know what to expect, but are always looking for new trails to try out and Rock Creek looked promising. The trail winds around the lake on a mostly wide grassy multi-use path that on this day was pleasantly uncrowded. For those that believe there are no hills in Iowa, Rock Creek is proof against that notion. It really is a climbers paradise with some of the hills demanding that you shake the dust off of your granny gears. I really was not prepared for the sheer amount of climbing that was involved. Did I mention there were a lot of hills? Anyway, for every uphill there is of course a downhill, which makes the suffering worth it. Since it was November, most of the leaves had fallen which made for some hairy downhill maneuvering, not knowing if there was a nice big tree root lurking under the foot deep cover. I'll need to come back when the leaves are still on the trees for comparison's sake. The trail did have some short single track sections, particularly near the dam section, but was comfortably wide enough in most areas for riders of all abilities. After taking a trail offshoot that ended up on a dirt road, we decided to follow a barely-there footpath down a hill that ended up in a dead end. Instead of heading back we decided to hike-a-bike through the brush. After a few minutes of cursing and stumbling we finally found the trail again, and resolved to stay on the trail next time. A point of warning, the trail does get extensive horse traffic, so you might find yourself doing the horse-pile slalom! I'm pretty sure that not everything I rode through was just mud. Overall, Rock Creek was a great riding experience, with plenty of hills to keep your lungs from getting rusty. Other Rock Creek reviews

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