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Cole Creek

Average Rating:    (3 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 3

Cole Creek is composed of two loops of about 6-7 miles each, connected by about a mile of singletrack (recently redirected in 3/01). The trail is lightly used and offers some very high quality singletrack, but it is poorly signed. The eastern loop in particular relies too heavily on old forest roads and is confusing to follow. The western loop is by far the better of the two -- you'll love where it passes through a dense stand of pines. The soil here is thin and rocky and dries out quickly. There are several viable bailout points on the eastern loop where it crosses Village Road (take Village south to your car). The eastern loop has only two bailouts where it crosses a gravel road which runs west to intersect Hwy K (take K south a mile or so to Flagstone and back to your car.) Except for the difficult routefinding, this would be an ideal beginner trail because there are few technical challenges and no major climbs. Although the Forest Service did not have an official map for Cole Creek in March of 2001, they had recently moved a portion of the trail and had produced a very accurate GPS map of the system. I'd strongly suggest contacting the Supervisor's office in Rolla and begging for a copy before trying this trail.
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Latitude
37.67485354225758
Longitude
-92.35476493835449
Trail Directions
From I-44, take Exit #145 (Hwy 133 exit) about fifteen miles east of Lebanon. After exiting, turn right on Hwy AB which quickly turns east to parallel the interstate. Just after this right hand turn, take the first road on the right (south) -- there should be a sign advertising a campground at this junction. After a mile or so, this road will drop down a hill and pass a canoe rental/campground just before crossing the Gasconade River. Continue on gravel past the river for a mile or so further 'til you come to a 3-way intersection with another gravel road and Hwy K. Turn left on Hwy K (blacktop) and go south for 6 miles to its intersection w/ Hwy AC and Flagstone Road. Turn left (east) on gravel Flagstone Road for 1.1 miles, then turn left (north) on Village Road for 0.25 miles to a clearing w/ a National Forest signboard in a clearing on the right side of the road. There is a trailhead across the road from the sign which leads to the connector and western loop, and two trailheads -- east of the sign across a meadow next to a pond, and north of the sign leading out of a primitive campground -- for the eastern loop.
Trail Length
6-16 miles
Trail Level
Beginner
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Lebanon
Web Address
   


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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

Review Date
December 7, 2012

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: 300lbsgorilla ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
The other reviews were clearly written awhile ago. I did this trail in fall of 2011 and it was BEAT TO HELL. I did the eastern loop and part of the western loop. The topography is great for a ride. only a few short stretches steep sections. But the rest is great and rolling. But the surface is torn up. Long deep ruts and exposed rocky stuff from soil erosion. Hardtails be warned. Looks like a lot of horse use from all the horse piles laying around. The trail in the eastern loop was marked well. The location is really secluded so don't go by yourself to be safe. Now if you are into the backwoods technical flats stuff you will love this trail. I am somewhere in between. I will probably ride it again but it is out of the way for me so it is not on top of my list of places to ride.



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Review Date
December 27, 2001

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Dano , from Lebanon

Summary:
This trail is a good ride in the Mark Twain National Forest. It has a variety of riding, a few fire-roads, nice singletrack, some short steep climbs...nothing too angry so most people should do ok. Some have said there is 16 miles of trails but I have found there to be more than this. Most of the trail wanders over ridges and through hardwoods, a few portions break into evergreens, which is drop dead gorgeous and purely inspirational. This is evidently a refuge for deer and turkey as I have not ever been on the trail without seeing some wildlife. There is a short trail south/east of the parking area that is a couple of miles long and easy which is a nice warm up to the western loop. I suggest the western loop to be the majority of time spent since there is so much more trail and will take up as much time as you care to spend. Please do yourself a favor, call the Houston Ranger station and get a map, this is essential!! I promise you will get lost without a map, the Ranger is more than helpful and will gladly send you a map in a couple of days. The route is only marked partly, so don't rely on markings to be there. If you enjoy an adventure, riding among the wildlife and being totally isolated, this is a good trail. If you have a poor sense of direction or love crowds, perhaps you should go to another trail to enjoy.

Recommended Route:
see other trail directions, they are accurate

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Lake Ozark four winds, see Tim at Oz cycles



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Review Date
March 30, 2001

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Barry , from Columbia

Summary:
Cole Creek is no destination ride, but would be great to "add on" if you were already heading to Kaintuck or Paddy Creek. I found the trail conditions to be fantastic and really enjoyed the western loop (closest to Hwy K). Both loops spend most of their time in hardwood forests rolling along low ridges and occasionally drop down to rocky creek bottoms . I can't recall any sustained climbs or deadly sections. (Although you will find a few steep and/or loose sections). What struck me most about Cole Creek was the high quality of the trail surface and the serious seclusion.
Do this trail if you can deal w/ a little confusion, you're into obscure backcountry stuff, and you're already planning on being in the area. Don't do this trail if you're alone and you've only ridden urban parks.

Recommended Route:
First, I need to correct my directions to the trailhead. After exiting I-44 and turning south onto Hwy AB, you will quickly take a sharp LEFT-hand turn (not right hand). About 100 yds after this LEFT hand turn, take the first road on the right (south) of AB and follow my directions as above...

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Kaintuck Hollow



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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)