Approximately 8.5 miles of flowing singletrack designed and built by and for mountain bikers. Trailhead sign should be installed soon (7/03). The trail is currently built like a lollipop (an out-and-back with a loop on the end). Ride the "connector" trail north from the Sailboat Cove trailhead and then ride the loop (doesn't matter if you go clockwise or counterclockwise), and then ride the connector back south to the trailhead (about 10 miles total). It's fast, flowing singletrack with a lot of varied terrain - open flow trail, tight technical, rocks, log crossings, creek crossings - it's got it all. No sustained climbs, due to lack of extreme elevation change.
Take Highway 169 north through Smithville. Turn right (east) on Highway W (about 2 miles north of Smithville), and follow to Paradise (W will turn to south). At Paradise, turn right and continue to Sailboat Cove (County lake access point). Park in small gravel lot adjacent to road. $5 park use fee during summer months (or $20 for season pass).
Summary: My first time ever MTB was on "Lakeside Speedway" at SMV - rocky, and rough - tough for a first timer. But since then I have fallen in love with the east side - TNT, Happy Jack, Ol' Gran'Dad. I try to make it up there twice a week during the season. The trails are fanatically maintained and always in tip-top shape thanks to the Earth Riders. Flowing single track punctuated by short explosive climbs and challenging rocky technical sections. Ol' Gran'Dad is a great twisting trail, with great skill/courage building sections that are also total fun. This trail system is a great training ground for any MTBr.
Recommended Route: 169 N. to Country Red W - Smoken' Davey is the best trail head.
Other recommended trails in the same area: KC area has some great trails. Check out ERTA for more info.
Summary: As of late 2010, Smithville has grown to over 12 miles of singletrack. It's my favorite "close to home" riding area, and I usually ride it 2-3 times a week, weather-permitting. The trails are all very well maintained, and have marked intersection numbers and difficulty ratings. The trails parallel and crisscross a paved trail throughout the park, so it's difficult to get lost.
SMV features mostly blue level trails, with some beginner trails on the north and south ends, and a few more difficult runs if you want them, but easy to avoid if you don't. The trails on the east side of the park are smoother and easier, with plenty of roots and log features. The west-side trails (by the lake) are rockier and more technical.
There's no long climbs or descents here, so it's great for singlespeed, and most of the trails are very beginner-friendly, with plenty of paved options for the family.
Recommended Route: I usually park at the "Smoken Davey" trailhead off of W Highway. From the parking lot, just follow the paved trail. If you're more experienced or want a more technical ride, take the first trail to the right, which is Lakeside Speedway and follow that the Possum Trot. If you're a newer rider, or just want a faster trail, take the first trail to the left which is the Northside Loop, and follow that to TNT. Both routes will take you to the same intersection. From there just look at the posted map.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Stockdale/Walnut Woods if you're near the Liberty area. (not a lot of technical features, but fun and flowy).
Landahl Park east of KC is one of the largest riding areas around, and has a little bit of everything, from easy to tough.
Wyandotte County Lake if you're on the Kansas side. It's a new area, but is growing all the time.
Summary: I've ridden these trails several times. They are a lot of fun, and in places, challenging for my skill level. These are the most scenic trails I've found in this area, the views of the lake are truly beautiful. If its too wet to ride the single track, the paved trails are a fun work out. There are around 25 miles of wide, curvy and scenic paved trails that are not at all crowded. I usually ride the Lawrence Ks River Trails, near my home, which are fun, but not as challenging as the Smithville trails. Riders living any where near Smithville Lake are very fortunate to have such a great trail system.
Recommended Route: I came in on W hiway from the east, drove over the bridge, and turned into the south into the parking lot with the sign "Smoken Davey". The parking there is free. I have also parked at "Sailboat Cove", but had to pay a $6 per day fee. A yearly pass is only $25, which is fairly reasonable. Sailboat Cove has very nice restroom facilities and showers
Other recommended trails in the same area: Most of my single track riding is in Lawrence Ks on the River Trails. As most people already know, they are fun and very fast. They also dry out quickly after it rains.
Summary: Okay, I have to write an additional review because of the retarded review that was just written below this review. Someone said that these were well maintained trails and then in the very next sentence said they were overgrown and his delicate, girly little get-away sticks got some poison ivy on them and he had to scratch them. Or something like that. Cry me a river! Go ride your skinny little road bike if you don't want to come in contact with nature! Maybe we'll all get lucky and you'll come in "contact" with a Buick. He then proceeded to give this trail a 3 flamin chili rating just because HE is bothered by the foilage.
So I am going to put a 5 chili rating on here to counter balance his 3 so together, our reviews will average out to a 4 chili rating. The greater KC metro area probably has close to a 50 miles of choice singletrack. And with only a handful of trail stewards sometimes, yes sometimes in the heat of the summer, some trails get more overgrown than others. Look around you folks, the place is green everywhere! 99% of our trails are deep in forests. You don't get forests without rain, okay? And yes, rain also makes weeds grow, too.
Maybe poison ivy girl should pick up a weed eater and do a little trail maintenence instead of criticizing a trail just because him got his little legs itchy. Poor baby.