Mountain Bike! Ozarks
by Steve Henry (Menasha Ridge Press)
© Steve Henry/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
This trail was great. We started at Berryman Trail camp and rode the west loop north to Brazil Creek Campground where we camped for a night. We then finished the eastern loop the next day. We were completely new to mountain biking and it was fairly difficult for us, learning a lot of what not to do in the first 3 miles, but we were prepared and determined! We definitely took our time in completing the trail with two days. If we were more experienced we could have made it in one day but we would have missed some of the beautiful scenery. The springs, the Brazil creek, and the cedars on the eastern loop. I felt the eastern loop was the most scenic and easiest part of the trail. The campground at the Berryman Trailhead was very nice as well. There are a couple of ATV, Dirt Biking, and service roads that blend in easily with the trail; don't be fooled! Stay on the single lane trail. We had to back up a mile and find the trail again, wasting time and energy.
Map, water, food, tubes.
I've just looked at this info because I'm considering hiking or biking it. Maybe my review isn't valid because the only time I rode it was so very long ago -- Summer of 1973. But I'd bet it hasn't changed all that much. I remember especially the heavy growth of pines which are sparse in my part of Missouri (St. Louis). My dad and I rode the Berryman on horseback in a single day and thoroughly enjoyed it. We camped at the main site in a Coleman pop-up. During the last hour or so of the ride, the sun had already set and we decided to walk our horses the rest of the way because the trail at that point is narrow, cut into the hilly countryside. If my horse had misstepped and lost her footing, I didn't like the idea of tumbling down the hillside with her possibly landing on top of me. It was a terrific experience and a great trail.
A great trail, but unclearly marked in regions. If you are not on single track, you are not on the Berryman Trail. Bring food, a map, a tube, and plenty of water.
We road this trail in April 2006. We left our car in Brazil creek and went clock wise. This way the more hilly terrain is during the first half of the ride. The trail is clearly marked in that direction. We took a break at Brazil campground. Excellent riding and single tracks. Always go with the single trail. If you are on a dirt double it's the wrong way ! We back tracked once for one mile toward the last portion of the ride after one of the springs. We continued straight on a double while the single beared right (for riders clockwise). Overall great. We are planning to ride it again soon. Take water and food + extra tubes. We had one tire cut open and made it to the car without a flat.
We started at the berryman trailhead. It took us 2.5 days to complete the trail as a loop. Beautiful scenery, however the paths weren't always clearly marked. (Particulary with all of the fall leaves) Be careful to distinguish between the ATV trails and the Berryman trail. We missed a turn and ended up cutting out Brazil trailhead. There are not too many water sources so be careful not to miss brazil creek like we did. There are a lot of dry creek beds. The 2 springs are nothing to view, but are good water sources. Overall we had a great time. The scenery is beautiful, and the trails were not too difficult. We recommend this trail as long as you watch your water. If starting from Berryman and going clockwise, the last 5-6 miles are the most scenic. Great trail for beginners.
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