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Lake Wilson Rollercoaster

Average Rating:    (4.8 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 10

It is a 12 mile loop that will defintly test your fitness. There are technical patches here and there but mostly climb and descend riding. 100% singletrack that is well defined. We keep adding to these trails regularly so it will likely grow. A whole lot of fun. Call 1 800 561 2453 for events and trail conditions.
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Latitude
38.92028764304619
Longitude
-98.5114860534668
Trail Directions
Go north at the 232/Wilson/Lake Wilson exit on I70. Go 4 miles north along highway 232 until you come to south shore drive scenic highway (you will see the long bridge crossing the lake) turn left and cross the bridge. Continue on a quarter mile until you can turn right into hell creek state park. Go through the park until you come to swithgrass campground. The trail head will be on your left as you enter the campground.
Trail Length
12 miles
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
Wilson, KS
Zip/Postal Code
67530
Country
USA
Web Address
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
April 17, 2012

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: seemlessstate ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Previous reviews have mentioned the greatness of this trail. I'll do the same. Its in the middle of Jerkwater central Kansas, so there are very few people on the trails. I went on easter weekend last, and only saw 2 other mountain bikers. The scenery is beautiful. oCming from the east coast, riding Florida to Upstate NY, this is something different all together. The bluffs, and plateaus and treeless (except for a few junipers) hills are spectacular. the colors of the rocks, and the grass and water meld together into something like Ive never seen (again, im from the east) There is wild life on the trail. I saw several Large lizards, numerous hawks, and even the elusive american RV'r.

The nearest town is obviously Wilson KS, and its pretty much a gutted agricultural community with a gas station, a bank, a hotel, and...thats about it. My wife and I stayed at the Midland Railroad Hotel. Its a renovated historic hotel, that is staffed by friendly people, and the rates are good. It has a very pleasant atmosphere, and is a nice hotel overall. We stayed in the most expensive 2 room jacuzzi sweet for $130, but rooms start at $65. next time we might stay in a cabin or camp, but the hotel is only a few miles from the trail, so its convenient. just bring your own food for the duration of your stay, because a day of riding really sucks when all you have had to eat is gas station fried chicken, candy bars and chips.

As for trail conditions: Well, theyre great. it was dry last time I went. Some small areas are sandy, and you will sink, but 95% of the trail is hardpack. there is a little bit of everything. it has great flowing downhill sections, tight twisting switchbacks, good technical rock gardens going both uphill and down, and some smaller 1'-2' drops.

Yes, if you are a downhiller, you will be bored. It does not have miles of screaming downhill, or huge hucks and transitions, but come on, its Kansas! Overall, these are some of the best actual mountain bike trails Ive been on. You can ride for an hour or two, or spend all day the 20+ miles of singletrack (its good in both directions) I am used to riding in thick overgrown forests with low branches and trees inches from the edge of the trail, so riding in wide open, treeless prairie is an awesome change of pace. I can focus more on my bike handling, than dodging Oak limbs or birch trunks.

overall, a great trail!

Recommended Route:
Coming from East or West, take I-70 to the wilson exit. go north 3-4 miles, and turn left into the park. Go over the bridge and take a right into the camp ground. just follow the signs. It's easy to find.

there is an alternate trail head before switchgrass campground, just after the bridge with access to some of the larger hills and sections next to the water. Pick either, but switchgrass campground has way more parking.

The boat ramp is the only place that I know of to get water, so keep that in mind.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Not sure there are others. Manhattan is 2 hours away with some great river trails.



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Review Date
September 11, 2010

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Karlos Locos ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
This is quite a challenging trail that will test any rider's ability. It has steep climbs, tough rock crossings, some steep rocky descents along with flowy smooth sections. Some parts of the trail are fairly perilous, where you're riding very near the edges of cliffs. It's probably more than most people could handle in one day, so allow plenty of time to complete the full 20 miles.



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Review Date
October 15, 2009

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: ss85 ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Not what you expect. Very tight singletrack with a sandstone base, small, steep hills, and rock outcroppings in the middle of a mixedgrass prairie environment make for a unique ride. Trail alternates between flowy, technical, and sandy. Lots of doubling back and climbing...even sections of riding on sandstone outcroppings above the water!

Designed for mountain bikers by mountain bikers. Worth the stop along I-70 and even worth a special trip.

Recommended Route:
clockwise: yellow (sand, then grassy hills, then outcrops, and back to hills), purple (grassy hills, rock, ledges, rock, rock), red (rock, grassy hills), and back to yellow.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Coming from KC, I can recommend Lake Perry (woods, roots, dirt, fun), Clinton (1/3 rock, 1/3 clay, 1/3 mud, white trail is grueling), swope park (90% easy, 10% wear a helmet), etc etc.



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Review Date
September 21, 2009

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: CRogge ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Oh man! Real trails in the middle of Kansas! I've been riding the Eastern Kansas trails for over 12 years and I never knew until earlier this summer that there were trails this good in this part of Kansas. My wife and I camped at Wilson Lake earlier this summer as a convenient stop at the start of a 5000 mile, 11 day road trip. Leaving in the morning, I saw a few places where a trail crossed the road. I thought, "hey, there are trails out here!" I came back to the lake this last weekend to camp and ride the trail and I was blown away!
The trail is fast and flowy and then suddenly there's one of several sandstone outcroppings that you have to really work the bike up and over or carefully drop off of. I was really suprised at the level of technical difficulty of some of the features. The portion of the trail that encircles an old radio tower hill was really fun with lots of exposed sandstone. This was really fantastic riding and will add a nice change of scenery to the usual forest and limestone trails of the East.
Two warnings:
1, If you are used to riding in the shaded woods of the usual Kansas or Missouri trails, BRING SUNSCREEN. You will be out in the sun almost the entire time.
2, The burrs out there were numerous, although I think they were soft enough not to puncture tires. I was running Stan's, so I didn't experience them if they did. They are bad enough that you wouldn't want to go barefoot in any part of the park while camping.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Clinton, Landahl, Perry, LRT, BuRP,



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Review Date
June 22, 2009

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Joellivin ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Wow, this trail is awsome! They must have expanded it even more because now it is a 20 mile ride! I didnt respect this trail enough and am totally exhausted. It's not super technical just really fun swooping downhill then gut busting uphill. This is my kind of trail, the downhill sections allow you to carry quite a bit of speed.

Recommended Route:
The trail is very well marked, dont forget to bring $4.50 for the self pay station at the state park.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5