Mountain Bike! Ozarks
by Steve Henry (Menasha Ridge Press)
© Steve Henry/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
Beautiful park, but both the experience and the landscape have been degraded by mountain bike abuse and overuse in general. Go during the week when there is less of both and try to ignore the tire ruts.
This trail was way too crowded for us, with quite a few rude bicyclists. The trail itself had only one highpoint at the end where it opens up to a nice beach area on the river. Most of it runs alongside a very busy railroad track. The park at the trailhead is nice enough, but again very crowded.
There is a nice variety of trails here. None of them are especially technical, but there is every thing from practically paved, to mildly technical.
The only real problem is that the Stinging Nettle and Blue Ribbon trails dry VERY slowly, and hence a substantial portion of the trails are unrideable for quite a while after a good rain.
I train in castlewood several times a week, year round. For those living not far from Saint Louis it's a close by trail and park. I combine 2-3 trails and work out for and hour to 1.5 hours. From the parking lot next to the play grounds I like to go on Grotpeter and connect with Lonewolf. an excellent work out with technical chalanges and nice hilly climbs with fast decents. I also lie to go on the river trail, your reach a short technical section after 2 miles of riding on the bank of the meramec. After that section take the right trail wich leads to Cedar bluff trail. You go under the rail road to a nice 3 mile loop wich is a good work out and some what technical (all rideable). Begginers should do the trail clockwise.
Castlewood is not well marked but after riding the trail system and maintaining your bearings with the river you can't get lost
Good trail in a great location, there are many stores and places to stay within a short drive. The trail is decent, not too hard, but is is kinda short, and sometimes there can be a lot of people on it.
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