Tucked away in the scenic outskirts of Emporia, Kansas, the Camp Alexander Trail offers a nuanced biking experience filled with technical challenges and exhilarating runs. Stretching approximately 5 miles, this loop is an intermediate-level trail that skillfully combines rocky climbs, tight switchbacks, and fast singletracks. It’s a well-maintained route, with regular upkeep by High Gear Cyclery, a local Emporia shop. If a fulfilling workout coupled with picturesque settings is what you're after, this trail is well worth your visit.
A ride through Camp Alexander is a test for both your technical prowess and endurance. Expect rocky climbs that will push your bike to its limits and flowing sections that will satisfy your need for speed. Recent rains have exposed more of the trail’s rocks and roots, upping the challenge factor and making for a mentally and physically demanding experience.
High Gear Cyclery, situated conveniently in Emporia near 6th Street and Commercial Street, is behind the trail's regular maintenance. The result is a well-marked trail with excellent upkeep, allowing you to focus on the ride. Recent weather disturbances haven't dented the trail's quality, thanks to the diligent work of this shop and other volunteers.
Keep an eye out for seasonal activities. Around Halloween, the trail becomes an atmospheric walk in the dark, complete with creepy surprises. And be cautious during heavy rains; while the trail remains ridable, choosing your line wisely through rocky and rooted sections becomes even more critical.
To reach the trailhead, head east out of Emporia on Hwy 50 (6th street) for about 3 miles. After crossing the I-35 overpass, continue onto Rd 175 for approximately 2 miles. Finally, turn left onto P2 Road for about 1 mile until you arrive at Camp Alexander trailhead.
Whether you're looking to clock your fastest time or soak in the natural beauty, Camp Alexander Trail offers a rich biking experience for the intermediate rider. Its well-maintained, variable terrain promises a ride that is both challenging and rewarding. Don't miss this hidden gem the next time you find yourself in Emporia.