Brian Holdsworth recently posted a nice review of the trails at Barton County Lake near Great Bend, Kansas, on the member forums of the Central Kansas Mountain Bike Club, and he graciously allowed me to reprint it here:
I recently posted on Facebook my pleasure at riding the “Lake” trail recently. I’d been there before and as a “sport” racer/rider I’ve always had a blast zipping through the trees. My most recent trip there this past weekend was with an absolute novice off-road rider. I had to cajole this trip with promises of a very tame trail.
What pleased me to no end was that with the exception of the short, rutted entrance to the trail everything else I said about it was confirmed after the first lap. The last thing I wanted was for my friend to endo on a short, steep drop of which there are really only a couple. At that point my recommendation was that they walk down it. Good advice. Too often we blow those things that we’re not confident about. The Dam (concrete slope) is another short hike up and down for those unaccustomed to off-chamber climbs/decents. I think one of the best attributes this trail offers for true beginners is that it’s a short trail. That allows them to “know” the trail quickly and have a sense of confidence and anticipation of lap 2. I wasn’t watching a clock but “we” had to have finished a lap in under 20 minutes. The tread of the trail is quite wide compared to most, not to mention its’ attractive location and protected environment.
If you know someone who’s fairly apprehensive, yet curious about trail riding, give some thought to visiting this trail just a short drive north of Great Bend (or south of Hoisington on Hwy 281, via Hwy 4 West). Contact the staff of Golden Belt Bike (800 561-2453) for directions, advice, (gear;), etc.
Thanks to the Great Bend area trail enthusiasts for keeping this trail maintained. It’s a goody!
P.S. Trust your brakes, they work for a reason.
Thanks for the review, Brian!
If you have any favorite trails in Kansas (or the surrounding states), and would like to share what you know, please let me know!