Ipswitch can be hard to get around without someone who knows a good "loop", there are as many loops as riders there. It is an excellent ride to hone those singletrack skills, or as we like to call it, to gain the "ipswitch advantage". Trail is a flat, sandy, extremely tight singletrack, if you think its to easy, you are not riding fast enough! Ive seen a lot of injuries and broken bike parts there from slamming into trees. Basically, the trail is broken down into a front and a back half, each about 2 miles in lenght, best bet is to spend a few hours riding around to orient yourself to the maze. Find a rider that looks like they know the trail and follow em'! Watch out for the BMX kids, they have set up a series of jumps, doubles, etc there on the fire-road like sections that connect the singletrack, dont get in there way and they wont get in yours, take a rest and watch em' catch some air. Night riding there is a blast, agaom. watch those trees! And lasty, be carefull, watch yourself as a "bad" element has occasionally been known to hang out in the woods there. Have fun!
From I-64, take the Indian River Road West exit. Once on Indian River Road, make a left onto Level Green Blvd (Level Green is a loop and has 2 entrances off Indian River, take either) this is right by a gas station. Drive down Level Green for about 1 mile and make a left onto Drew Drive. Take Drew about .5 miles and cross a "T" intersection. Trailhead is on your right about .25 miles, right before you see the "Ipswitch" sign, it is the name of a condo community. Local bike shop is HDK cycles, (757) 424-6151.
Summary: The best part about the "Switch" is the amount of random intercrossing trails. Sure it isn't the most advanced technical park with tons of downhill or climb, but IRP is the kind of place where you have a blank canvas to make your own fun. You can mix up your route everytime and once you get a good lay of the land, there are a ton of places where speed makes everything so much better. I spend a couple of hours a day 2-3 days a week there just getting lost in the singletrack and my headphones. Perfect escape from society right in the midst of the city.
Recommended Route: Start from Rokeby and stay right ALL THE WAY till you hit the back door of the park, then spend an hour or so just running amok in the twisted singletrack. Repeat. Enjoy.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Harwood Mills, Freedom Park
Review Date August 21, 2011
Overall Rating 2 of 5
Aerobic Difficulty 2 of 5
Technical Difficulty 2 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Reviewed by: Jared
Cross Country Rider
Summary: I've been riding a bunch of trails in the Hampton Roads area and saw this on another website and figured I'd give it a try since it was closer to my house. As far as I know the EVMA has just started maintaining the trails so they may be getting better soon. The trails were not overgrown and seemed well maintained. This is in a residential neighborhood so I think a lot of the kids go back there and hang out and cause mischief. There was some trash scattered about, but none on the trails. The trails were not well marked at all so it's pretty much a free for all on the route you want to take which can be frustrating and you end up going in circles. There were some wood obstacles setup, but not near as many as I thought there would be. There is a BMX jump track that looks like it was very recently worked on and had many large well groomed jumps and landings. This track was only made for very expert riders as some of the jumps looked like they could launch you up to 20 feet in the air or maybe more. There was also a lot of gaps and large holes in the area of the jumps so be careful. I also observed some characters back by the jumps without bikes and it was questionable what they were up to. I didn't have any problems with them, but I didn't directly approach them either.
Overall this trail was just OK, not very challenging aerobically, no steep climbs, a few fun obstacles and bridges, and a very disorganized system. I think I played around back there for about 2 hours and explored almost every trail and connection. Fairly boring for a singletrack and I'll probably ride somewhere else for now.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Freedom Park, Lake Maury, York River Park, Harwood's Mill, James River Loop in Richmond,
Summary: I actually rode this trail about 14 years ago, but then moved away. Back then it was just called Ipswich (it's now Indian River Park as noted in previous reviews) and it was well-known for people being held up at gunpoint for their bikes by the thugs/gangsta's/leeches of society living in the surrounding neighborhoods. I moved back to the area about a year ago and got another bike, and decided to try it out after work. I parked in the grass area off of Rokeby Road and proceeded onto the trail(s). I had planned on just doing one side on the main trail, but it was poorly marked and I found myself just peddling around trying not to get lost too badly. Within the first 30 secs I took a path that lead to nowhere. I dismounted and walked through the mud and muck trying to pick up the main trail again getting my ankles all scratched up on thorn bushes. When I picked it up, I pissed off this 40 or 50-something year old couple making out because I had already interrupted them going the other way. I made it to the other side of the park, and basically had to continue around to make it back to the car. I just did one loop since I was by myself and it was basically my first time here in years. I also avoided some of the more difficult obstacles (narrow bridge, steep drops over roots, logs, jumps etc.) until I can get a feel for riding a bike offroad again. Overall, not too bad, but I was taking it easy. Probably would have been more fun if I didn't have to worry about not getting lost. I didn't see any other mountain bikers, just some BMX riders working on some of the jumps and some little kid on his bike with his mom alongside. It was a lot shorter/smaller than I had remembered/expected. I'll be riding this one pretty regularly since it's the closest trail to home, but wouldn't recommend traveling more than 30-45 mins to get here. Eventually I plan on heading over to the other side of the water to check out the trails there. Gave it a "1" for aerobic difficulty, because I wasn't tired when I was done (but maybe that's because I run also).
Other recommended trails in the same area: There really aren't any other trails in the area. There's First Landing, but the fun part of the Cape Henry trail is less than a mile long. The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail is just a paved road closed to vehicular traffic. The best trails are on the Peninsula (Newport News, Williamsburg, Yorktown, etc).
Summary: This was my first time at the trail. for a first timer with nobody to show me around it wasnt too bad. several options for paths, everything from tight turns, to creek crossings and a few slight climbs. I had two other friends with me, they were also new to the trail so we pushed each other to go faster on the righter trails. decent workout, spent about 2 hours there trying out different loops. the BMX area looked fun, too bad it appears that someone went in and tore out all the good tabletops.
Summary: Location of this trail/trailhead is off from what the map shows up top -IMO the best trailhead is Paramount road at the Southside of the park. Plenty of loops and little loops to find some technical workout on, couple man-made obsticles, and a BMX section. Loops are confusing the first couple times out (and VERY poorly marked) but will still provide some variation with all the little spurs/cut-offs through the woods.
Fun overall with some fast spots going straight into tight, technical areas, but the park needs some TLC from a local group to get the trash picked up and better mark the trails. Has the potential as one of the only spots close to the southside of hampton roads.
Recommended Route: Ride several times at an exploratory pace to learn the area - then you can pick it up and have fun. Start with the south side, then explore into the north end of the park. 2 for aerobic and 3 for technical (obsticle combination/teeter) unless you're really ripping it...