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Thu, 2014-04-17
Fri, 2014-04-18
Sat, 2014-04-19
Sun, 2014-04-20
Mon, 2014-04-21
  • Monday Night...
    what: Monday Night Stocksdale ride
    where: Stocksdale park in Liberty MO.
    when: 2014-04-21 06:00PM - 2014-04-21 08:30PM

Tue, 2014-04-22
  • Taco Tuesday
    what: Taco Tuesday
    where: BURP - Meet at the Sand Trap parking lot
    when: 2014-04-22 05:00PM - 2014-04-22 06:00PM

    Multiple group rides for all levels. Meet up in the parking lot of the Sand Trap bar and grill, introduce yourself to some people and ride. The Sand Trap usually has the patio waiting for us when we are done riding.
Wed, 2014-04-23
  • Northland Humpday Ride
    what: Northland Humpday Ride
    where: Smithville Lake mountain bike trails
    when: 2014-04-23 06:00PM - 2014-04-23 08:00PM

    Weekly group ride starts at Smoke N Davey Trailhead off of W Highway.
    10.5 mile lap or two followed by post ride socializing in the parking lot.
    All skill levels welcome.
    Lights needed from late fall to early spring.
    Helmets required.

Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Ride reports from across the country.

Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby Adrenaline Images » Thu May 19, 2011 6:06 am

Okay, I gotta start this off by saying until last weekend there's no way I would have believed any place in Kansas, especially way out in central Kansas, would provide singeltrack of this caliber. And I think that will probably be what you hear said more often about this trail than any other comment. You just can't believe you're in BFK when you're on this trail!

Located about 5 minutes north of I-70 at the Wilson Lake exit (exit #206), this place will probably leave quite an impression on you. I was super skeptical about leaving all my gorgeous singletrack in Kansas City and hauling nearly 4 hours out to this place but I have to admit, it was very much worth the drive. I'd suggest doing it as an overnight road trip so you can double your saddle time.

Upon entering the park, take a left at this sign and you will easily find the well marked trail head....right across from the free showers:
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Here's the trail head, from here take a left and just keep riding. The trail system is well marked so you don't have much to worry about as far as getting lost.
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This trail really does give you a lot to be happy about. It's very flowy, has some really techy sections and for an XC trail it is oh-my-God-fast in places! It just oozes with flow and fluidity...
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Did I mention that there's plenty of the techy stuff to entertain you?
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But one of Wilson Lake's stand-out traits is the scenery. You're in the middle of Kansas and you're seeing stuff like this:
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What's even more peculiar is that when I stopped along one of these inlets to take a break and enjoy the view, I kept hearing this kissing/smooching noise. When I looked into the crystal-clear water I was surprised to see hundreds of thigh-sized carp just chilling out in the water, feeding on floating things (whatever it is they eat) on the surface and making this smooching sound.

One word of warning about Wilson Lake: you are exposed to the elements on this trail. There isn't a single square foot of shade to be found unless it's under a rock. So ride smart and pack smarter. Bring more fluid that you think you'll need and consider sunblock you're best riding friend in the summer. It's also windy here. The mornings and evenings are more calm, but once the sun gets up this place can hit you with a steady 40mph wind on an average day. I would also bet that winter riding here can be equally challenging to keep a comfy body temperature.

Some travel tips:
I stayed a couple days at nearby Russell, Kansas in a generic chain-motel but I wish I had known about the newly restored Midland Railroad Hotel in Wilson. It's just 10 minutes south of the trailhead and is an old railroad station, fully restored with Wi-Fi and modern amenities. Also in Wilson, within a block of the Midland Railroad Hotel is a grocery store, a liquor store and a diner.

Another option is to stay in one of the cabins on the lake. That's what I'll be doing next time I'm out for sure. The cabins looked very nice, had A/C, cooking grills and would be perfect for a bro-cation or even a little get-away with the girl/man in your life.

Local bike shop info:
Golden Belt Bicycle Co. is about 45 minutes away in Great Bend, KS (1111 Main Street, Great Bend, KS 67530-4431 (620) 793-7060).

I took a little photo-hike to get you guys some pics of this place but I obviously wasn't able to cover the entire 20+ miles of trail so I missed out on photographing a lot of the really cool rock formations on the south side.

I really can't say enough good things about this place. If you're on your way past Wilson Lake you really need to put this trail on your riding agenda. Entry to the park is less than $5 and they have free showers within feet of where you park at the trailhead....what more could you ask for?! Give this place a shot, you won't be disappointed.

To see the full slideshow of the pics I took, click here:
http://s271.photobucket.com/albums/jj13 ... =slideshow
Adrenaline Images
 

Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby Olathejoe » Thu May 19, 2011 8:08 am

Good write up and pics. I've been wanting to get out there and have heard nothing but good things about it.
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Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby Dr.Dover » Thu May 19, 2011 9:26 am

Great write up that is spot on. It really is a pretty amazing place for being where it is.
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Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby jlbay » Thu May 19, 2011 9:27 am

aweseome pictures! I just made it out there for the first time recently and I agree, it's worth a full weekend trip.
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Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby Somefearinhere » Thu May 19, 2011 9:31 am

looks like plenty of swimming spots for when the weather is hot....might have to head West instead of South one of these weekends.
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Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby Mo0se » Thu May 19, 2011 9:48 am

Somefearinhere wrote:looks like plenty of swimming spots for when the weather is hot....might have to head West instead of South one of these weekends.


You mean when it's not raining? :P
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Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby tomy » Thu May 19, 2011 12:20 pm

Nice pics but you left out the Hell Creek area. That is absolutley gorgeous. Yes, it is definitley worth the trip out there.
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Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby NHabes79 » Wed May 25, 2011 2:28 pm

First of all, your photography skills are outstanding. I'm definitely sold and will be looking to do a weekend trip there sometime this summer. Secondly, I like the drop offs right on the edge of the lake. I can definitely see myself flying off one of those to cool off in the lake!
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Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby JCoop » Wed May 25, 2011 4:47 pm

NHabes79 wrote:First of all, your photography skills are outstanding. I'm definitely sold and will be looking to do a weekend trip there sometime this summer. Secondly, I like the drop offs right on the edge of the lake. I can definitely see myself flying off one of those to cool off in the lake!


I know it looks like it'd be a lot of fun to jump off these bluffs in the summer but I wouldn't recommend it. I know they have several "No Cliff Jumping" signs around lake. Not sure if they had these signs up before or not, but I used to date a girl from Wilson who lost a friend out there a few years ago and prior to me dating her. He jumped off and never came back up. Divers had to recover the body. I'm sure it wasn't from the drop offs you see in these pics, as some of them are much higher, but just a heads up.
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Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby Matt.t » Fri May 27, 2011 8:41 pm

Wilson Lake dries out very, very quickly after a rain. Just sayin'
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Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby JonDot » Fri May 27, 2011 8:49 pm

zhuhrburt wrote:Wilson Lake dries out very, very quickly after a rain. Just sayin'

How quick are we talking here? I want to ride somewhere. Think it will be dry by tomorrow afternoon?
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Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby Matt.t » Fri May 27, 2011 8:56 pm

I believe there is a bike shop in Great Bend KS that should be able to give you an update. I know that we rode the day after a rain, but it was mid June and hot as heck. Still less than 24 hours after a rain and we were all over it.
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Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby JonDot » Fri May 27, 2011 8:58 pm

zhuhrburt wrote:I believe there is a bike shop in Great Bend KS that should be able to give you an update. I know that we rode the day after a rain, but it was mid June and hot as heck. Still less than 24 hours after a rain and we were all over it.

Thanks!
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Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby Doug Long » Tue May 31, 2011 6:37 am

Call Doug Chambers at Golden Belt Bike Shop (620-793-7060). Doug is in Great Bend but can give you some insight about the local scene and conditions. BTW-They also have a bunch of riding options at Great Bend that are similar to the River Trail in Lawrence. The trails are built in the Arkansas River valley.

This trail system does dry super fast because the climate is pretty arid and soil type sheds water. Lots of sandstone. A little moisture on these trails will actually help firm up some of the lose corners. Give kudos to Bob Nicholson, Doug Chambers, and all the trail dudes that have built this system and continue to maintain the trails.

Also, don't forget that Fancy Creek is also out that way and just north of Manhattan. More technical riding and campground right there. Could easily make a weekend or 3 day weekend out of it.

As you cross the bridge to head over to the campground at Wilson, check out how high you are over the water. People have been known to jump off that bridge. I don't know how many of them lived to talk about it!!
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Re: Wilson Lake, Kansas - Nothing like you imagine!

Postby Doug Chambers » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:22 pm

Thanks for the good exposure on the Lake Wilson Trail. All of the good things people have said about the trail are true, specifically important to anyone traveling far to ride there is the point that it dries quickly and is ridable in rain generally because the trail drains and percolates so rapidly.
Another great option for a place to stay is Simple Haven B&B in the town of Wilson. The food is the finest you will eat anywhere and the rates are Western Kansas. Their number is 866-514-2744. For any other information you might need about the trail you can call me at Golden Belt Bicycle 800 561-2453.
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