Not a difficult trail, children would have a great time here. Might be a little long for some kids, they need to be 10-12 to enjoy the distance.
This trail is only maintained between October and March. Poison ivy is thick in this area and only a handful of people maintain the trail, so they opt to ride gravel in the summer.
One Way Only:
This is designated as a directional trail.
Tucked away next to a man-made lake six miles from Dodge City is a great singletrack trail that the locals are very proud of. The trail winds around through the woods this lake provides life to; this is truly an oasis in western Kansas.
Need to Know
Don't ride this in the summer, it is not maintained then. Check the Ford County Lake Trails
Facebook community for current info.
This trail winds around the woods that only the lake provides life to. This area is almost desert in the warm months and brings harsh cold winds in the winter. This is why the locals have chosen the trailhead spot. The trailhead is an unlikely spot with regards to the lake amenities. The reason for it's location is it provides wind block on the cold days, as opposed to the NW-most corner of the lake which provides restrooms, fishing and camping opportunities.
As you start the ride, the first two miles wind around in the trees, but mostly gives you an opportunity to warm up before getting into the trees. Around mile three, you start riding through the old growth cottonwoods and surrounding trees that provide plenty of protection from the wind to make a cold day seem warm. The singletrack in this area is tight and twisty, just the way they like it. You'll definitely get to practice your flat-turn cornering skills here.
Once you cross the second bridge, you'll enter the area they call Billy's Playground, which is almost one mile of trail in a seven acre plot. This area utilizes many six-foot climbs and descents that will keep your heart pumping as you try to keep up with their fastest riders.
The trail used to continue on the east side of the lake, but as of 1-17-2020, three miles of east-side trails have been abandoned. A portion of the seven miles they have are ridden twice to create a ten-mile trail for their *every* Sunday at 2pm ride.
The soil is extremely organic and holds moisture for some time, but didn't rut. The locals don't seem to mind a little mud and surprisingly we weren't damaging the trail as it was only a little wet.
History & Background
This trail was built in about 1997 after a local rider asked permission to start building trail at the lake. No one was riding it then, but he had a vision. The group has been building trail ever since; at one point developing 10 miles of trail around both sides of the lake.
After years of fighting poison ivy, ticks and snakes in the summer, they have decided to make this a winter-only trail. 23 years since their start, their core group of less than ten individuals are still using the trails every week, all winter long. Be sure to check out their Facebook community, Ford County Lake Trails, and let them know when you're coming out. They would love to meet you and show you around!
Shared By: Andy Cramb