Friday, May 22, 2015

Fun in the Mud

Skunk River Greenbelt Trail
(interactive map)
I found a cool off-road biking/hiking route that's really close by.  At first I was thinking of doing it as part of a bigger loop starting and ending from my home but then I got the opportunity of taking the kids along for a one way trip along the Skink River Greenbelt Trail.  It's a mix of single track and gravel road path that I haven't explored before.

The one thing we found out quite soon is that the path was still on the too muddy side.  While it added a lot of experiences to our trip, I do agree with the sign about not biking along the trail in muddy conditions.  The mud clogged up our bikes pretty badly in the first part.  Front wheel blockage of my daughter's bicycle caused her to fall. After that we had to push (and drag a little) our bikes through the rest of the muddy parts.  Unfortunately my hands were full so I didn't get much chance to capture that with the camera.

Later on the path got more solid and the riding got better.  Although my daughter isn't a fan of single track riding, especially because of the hills.  Maybe with more and better experience she's getting a bit more excited to do so.  Keeping in mind it's her first time.

The gravel road was also a welcome change as there wasn't much traffic, no washboard, and all together easy to ride.  A few highlights of the trip were the suspension bridge hidden in the forest, a tree trunk crossing that was home to a toad, and the river crossing.

I'm looking forward to another ride on the trail when it's not as muddy and hopefully still without mosquitoes.

PDF map of the Skunk River Greenbelt Trail:

Trail head

Muddy forest path

This is Iowa, too

Riding into the meadow

Are we lost yet

No time to pose for a photo

Mud taking its toll on us and the bikes

One of a few logs across the path

Daughter and dad

4th Try Bridge, what a weird name for a bridge

Mud blockage

Nice non-muddy path

Zooming on the gravel road

Hydration time

Rare photo of the boy

Found a hidden suspension bridge

and had to enjoy it a bit

Riding along Skunk River

Play time - river crossing break

Another hill

Path north of McFarland Park along the interstate