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Chalco Hills XC Trail

Average Rating:    (2.33 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 3

Chalco Hills is primarily known for the excellent 7 mile paved bike trail that runs around Wehrspann Lake, but it is much more if you know where to look.

This out-and-back trail is a mixture of doubletrack and small sections of singletrack that span around the western perimeter of Wehrspann. As the name implies, it is not flat, so expect to do some light climbing the entire way. I still rate this as a beginner ride however, because it is not technical. You just need to be able to climb.

Most of the trail is mown doubletrack with varying degrees of earth tread. I do not think this trail is used by bicycles often, the main users being hikers, dogwalkers, and XC runners, so the trail is a bit rough in some spots.

After about 4 miles or so, the trail opens up into a nice figure-8 woodchip trail that meanders through the woods and drops you out at a playground area. You have two options here. Go back the way you came, or finish the loop around the lake by hopping on the bike path that leads around the eastern side of the lake.

If you do this ride as an out-and-back, you are probably looking at around 7 miles round trip.

If you finish the loop on the nice pathed trail, closer to 10 miles.

Rough estimates. YMMV

Here is a direct link to a nice .pdf map showing you the area.

http://www.papionrd.org/recreate/Chalco.page2.pdf.pdf
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Latitude
41.16599088425662
Longitude
-96.1526870727539
Trail Directions
From I80, Exit at US HWY 370 (Exit 439). Turn West at 370. About 1/2 mile after you have exited I80 you will see a parking lot on the right side of the road. Turn right here and pull into this parking lot. This is the trailhead to the Chalco Hills paved bikepath. Hop on this path and look immediately to your left. You will seen mown doubletrack leading up a gradual hill next to a stand of pine trees. Leave the bikepath and start climbing this hill. From this point the general idea is to stay on the west side of the paved bike trail. There will be a few instances where you will have to briefly drop back down onto the bike path, but always keep an eye out on the left for another option to jump back onto the "real" trail. You should never have to ride more than 50 meters or so on this bike patch before you discover the connector to the XC trail.
Trail Length
7-10 miles
Trail Level
Beginner
Trail Type
Fire Roads
City/County
Omaha
Country
USA
Web Address
   


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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

Review Date
May 23, 2006

Overall Rating
 2 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 2 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Pawndream ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Update/Revised review of the one I left previously. I am not sure how it ended up getting a 4 Star review from me, but that is certainly not the rating that this trail deserves.

In my estimation it is a 2 chili trail. Not a bad quick ride if you live within riding distance of the trail, but nothing to throw the bikes on the bike rack for. 2 chilis might even be generous, but I have seen far worse than what is offered here. So 2 is fair.

As I said before, there is alot of potential for this to be a really great ride, but right now, it is just a ride.

The hills give it a 2 aerobic rating. There is no technical challenges here, so 1 on that account... unless it has rained recently, in which case the trail can get mucky and dangerous at speed.



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Review Date
October 4, 2005

Overall Rating
 1 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 2 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: Cowpunk ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
I think other reviewers have been far too generous. Pardon my snobbery, but this website is MTB Review, not Beach Cruiser Review. Out-of-state mountain bikers must think we're nuts after riding some of these "4-star" trails. Chalco hills is a typical West O. man-made lake, with the requisite ring of concrete around it. Yes, you can ride the lame fenceline "trails" if you are desparate for offroad action. The wood-chipped nature trail used to be mildly enjoyable. It is overgrown now. If you are into concrete loops, Zorinsky Lake is prettier.

Recommended Route:
Around the lake.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Tranquility Park, Swanson Park



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Review Date
September 1, 2004

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: Pawndream ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Chalco Hills is a pretty good place to ride if it is local, but only if you don't mind riding non-technical XC.

These trails do not appear to be ridden very often, but I occasionally find evidence that others have been out here. As a result of this, the trails can be rough in some spots, and there are section where the tread is not burnt in too well.

Like Wehrspann Wetlands across the road, I believe these trails are used for XC Running Competitions. I know UNO runs here occasionally.

Nothing technical about Chalco Hills, but there is a fair bit of climbing. I would only take beginners here if I knew that they were in decent cardio shape. It's not going to be fun to bring someone out here who can not climb.

There is a pretty nice section of woodchip trails along the northern end of the park. This is the only section of the trail that I was unsure as to the legality of riding it. I searched for any trail signs to see whether they listed accepted users, and saw none. This tells me it is free game until I am told otherwise.

There was a park official who saw me riding it, and he didn't say anything, so I am assuming this area is open to bikes.

All in all, a pretty nice local ride, especially when linked up with Wehrspann Wetlands across the road!

Recommended Route:
I like to start from US HWY 370, do a lap around Wehrspann Wetlands, then hit Chalco Hills. I usually do this as an out-and-back because I am not overly fond of riding concrete trails, but the option exists to ride entirely around the lake if you don't mind riding paved trails. There is also ALOT of potential for additional trails here that I have not seen yet. This area is screaming for some local riders to get together and approach the Missouri-Papio NRD and Omaha Parks District about the possibility of developing serious multi-use singletrack. If you ride here, just look around and tell me this place could not easily be turned into one of the sweetest rides in the Omaha area. I see nothing but potential here

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Wehrspann Wetlands, Platte River State Park, Schramm State Park, Swanson Park



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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)