While this 2 mile forested trail won''t provide a challenge to middle intermediates on up in skill, it still has a great, fun flow and is good for practice or getting into shape for beginners to intermediates. Riding it on a singlespeed is great fun and it''s just about perfect since there''s little in the way of gear changing required - the trail is curvy singletrack with only minor elevation changes. Counterclockwise, as normally ridden there are only 3 hills to climb, and clockwise there really only is 1 longer ascent. As previously stated, there''s really not a lot that would excite the seasoned rider, but for beginners or those wanting to get in shape or get comfortable with their skills, this is simply an awesome place, convenient to the West side of Springfield. There are some nice wooden bridges, a couple of minor whoop-de-whoops and a couple of log piles for those who want to practice them. There are some exposed roots, nothing major yet, but what is there can be slippery when wet, so be forewarned (I wiped out twice on the same root in the same day after a rain). This course is on privately-owned land a nursing home was kind enough to allow a trail to be built on, so please take care of it by picking up your trash and not tearing up the trail. Give it a ride sometime - it''s a blast to see how fast it can be done. As with some other trails, it''s not about the challenge of the course, it''s about the flow and beating your personal best.
Enter the parking lot for Lewis Memorial Acres off Koke Mill Road between Washington and Old Jacksonville (right next to a Church). Drive to the back of the parking lot (gravel in the back is really deep and can be hard to ride on)to unload and ride towards the woods on the mown grass. There is a gravel trail leading into the woods. Be careful entering the trail, and look out for other riders as the entrance is a fast section of the trail and riders may be zipping through there.
Summary: Let me begin by saying this trail is a beginners trail. It is short being only a little over 2 miles or so, and isnt technical at all.
Now thats said, its a fun little trail. Your can really get moving on it because it has a ton of roll to it. When you get your speed going, in some instances, you will find yourself threading in between trees rather fast. If you dont keep your head up, you honestly could get into a little trouble.
Great Place to practice your stamina if you really keep your momentum going the whole time. The trail is easy to ride a few loops because it ends at where you began. And excellent place to test your turns out at decent speed because it has some tight turns, including some switchbacks on the southern side of the trail.
For just wanting to go out and have a little bit of good old fashioned fun, i do recommend this trail.
Recommended Route: Head North on veterans parkway if your on the south side of town, Then turn left on old jacksonville. Turn right on Koke Mill RD. Its on your left with a big sign that says lewis memorial acres right next to the church.
From the Parking lot head west into the woods, it will take you to the trail.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Lake Springfield, Jim Edgar,
Summary: I'm an absolute beginner, and this was my first trail. I ride it as often as I can, as it's a lot of fun. It is great for beginners. I have hit some of the other trails in the area, but I'm not in shape to have a lot of fun with them yet (I like to ride fast, but get winded early).
This trail is fun and fast in either direction. The climb towards the end if going clockwise is a bit tough for an out of shape beginner, but a good workout. There are 2 or 3 loops you can take to make it last a bit longer. There are some benches throughout if you need a rest. There are a couple of tight switchbacks, a spot of those short hilly things, some log piles and a "stump bridge"(made of short logs set on end). I don't know all the terminology, so I can't describe the fun parts, but if you're a beginner, enjoy.
Watch out for pedestrians. I see people jogging and walking, sometimes with dogs, on this trail sometimes.