The 5 mile McAdoo Trail loop - excluding the out-and-back portion - is fun singletrack through oak forest which dips into and climbs out of numerous creek beds. It can really be fun if it hasn't rained for a while or if a big trail ride hasn't been through recently. Expect to see lots of turkey, hawks, and deer. Unfortunately, the McAdoo is another prime example of the Missouri Department of Natural Resource's hands-off approach to "managing" the politically well connected equestrians. At times, I've found sections over 100' wide on the out-and-back portion which were nearly impassable because of the churned-up mud and deep hoof prints.
It seems like the system of "hiking" trails in the main part of the park (north of DD) would be a much better ride. Starting on the 1.6 mile Hawk Nest (plus the 0.5 mile Clearfork Savanna spur), then crossing the park road to the 2 mile North Loop, to the 0.6 mile Discovery Trail, then back across the park road to the 1 mile Lake Buteo Trail, looks like it would be a very cool ride with lots of fast singletrack punctuated by some very challenging (but short) rocky sections.
A detailed trail map can be obtained at the park office or at a kiosk at the Hawk's Nest trailhead - about 100' north of where the park road intersects DD - about 0.5 miles west of the Hwy 23 and DD intersection.
(In my opinion, the MDNR needs to acknowledge that mountain biking is an environmentally-sound and hugely popular activity, open up all of its trails to bikes, and quit acting like they're doing us a favor by letting us ride "sloppy seconds" behind horses.)
From K.C., go east about 70 miles on Hwy 50 to the town of Knob Noster and take the Hwy 23 (Whiteman Airforce Base) exit. Go south about 2 miles - past the park's main entrance - to a 3-way intersection with Hwy DD. Turn right and go about 3 miles west on DD and look for a parking area on the left (south) side where the hwy runs for about a mile in a low area between two big hills.
From St. Louis, go west on I-70 to the Hwy 65 junction, go south to Sedalia, then west on Hwy 50 ~ 20 mi. to Knob Noster. Take the Hwy 23 exit, as above.
The McAdoo Trail is a 5-mile loop just south of the parking lot on DD. (There is a trailhead at an equestrian camp about 2/3 mile east of the parking area which accesses the loop with a 1.7 mile out-and-back trail - of which 1 mile is chewed up doubletrack and 0.7 miles is rutted singletrack. Not recommended.)
Summary: Well...years have gone by and MDNR did, in fact, finally acknowledge that mountain biking is a valuable recreational use and opened up many of its trails -- even created a few specifically FOR -- cyclists, and quit making us ride sloppy seconds behind horses. In 2005, two locals, including a lawyer and college guidance counselor, talked MDNR into letting them design and construct a cross-country trail called the Opossum Hollow Trail. It was designed with cyclists in mind, to flow through the woods, riding the topo lines to connect every rock outcrop, hill, creek, and pond we could find. Invaluable help in the form of servicemen seeking community service hours, came from WAFB, and the trail was finally finished in 2010. A lot of thought and prior experience, several years, and literally thousands of hours went into the layout and construction, so please respect that and refrain from trying to 'make it better' just 'cuz you have a shovel and some spare time. The trail is managed specifically for hikers and bikers. Horses are prohibited. Periodic closures for wet conditions, too. Enjoy!
Recommended Route: There is a half-mile out-and-back section from the parking lot to a pond, which takes you to the junction of the "North Loop" and the "South Loop". Both the North and South loops share a mile long connector ("white 3"), with the pond at lower, east end and an old concrete basin at the upper, west end. Each direction has a few aerobically-challenging uphills and fun downhills, but don't miss out on riding the white connector downhill (roughly west to east) to the pond. The "race connector" from the black-top to the south loop, left over from the now-defunct Fat Tire Series race that ran here, i
Other recommended trails in the same area: Stay off the junky "white 4" connector. It was put in by some doof with a shovel and a little spare time.
Summary: This is the nicest trail around where i live, the trails have been built up and the horses are no longer allowed on the trails. local riders have gone in an built up nice bridges for other riders and walker, and have cleared most trails for easy riding and smooth lines. The trails are very fast and have some really good climbs in them. the whole trail system runs a little over 7 miles and if you ride it in one direction i can promise running it backwards will seem like a completely different trail.
Recommended Route: Ride the whole system, it is a blast!
Other recommended trails in the same area: Culp park and cave hallow.
Summary: In the spring, when it is very wet, the horses do tear it up. In the Summer and Fall (and right now) this trail is a great ride. About 10.5 miles of loop single track, with a good 2 mile out and back. The trail wanders up and down through the forest with some good climbs and a few good descents. A new "inner" loop built in 06 has cut in wonderfully (maybe with horse traffic help). The trail, for some reason doesn't get a lot of traffic. As a result there is a few fallen trees that need to be cut out. With a new, "horses not allowed" trail being cut north of DD highway, Knob Park will have some great mountian bike riding (over 20 miles). Go ride this trial, poor older reviews are not valid any more.
Recommended Route: Clockwise is best. Run both loops for 10.5 miles, add the spur for about 2 more
Summary: This trail is solid. I'm new to the area and have ridden it 6 times in the last two weeks. There is some horse evidence, but it's not that big a deal (constitutes less than 1% of the trail). The trail has a wide variety of riding. It begins with wide open pedaling and gets into winding single track with some climbs. It gets technical in some areas due to loose rocks on some of the climbs, one in particular. Still haven't made it up that one. There are also some very fast, long downhills on the backside of the trail. An excellent workout with some sustained climbs scattered throughout.
Recommended Route: Start at the Macadoo trailhead. There will be arrows to follow. At the first arrow, you can elect to veer to the left instead of follow the arrow. This will add about 2 miles to the trail, but is really a glorified out and back. Back at the first arrow, follow them on the main loop which wll be about 6 miles. There will be two turn offs "without arrows" that turn to the right. The first turn will lead you around the second loop. The second turn cuts off the first loop and isn't maintained to well. So stay to the left. The second loop is about 5 miles and I hit that the second time around. Almost 11 miles without the out and back portion.
Review Date October 20, 2002
Overall Rating 1 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Reviewed by: Jeff
, from KC, Missouri
Summary: This trail also doubles as a horsetrail. What does that mean? Mucky for a while after it rains and close-to-impossible mudholes. I would not recommend this trail.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Instead, go to Landahl park near Independence, Smithville Lake near Smithville, or Minor Park in KC.