Cliff Cave Park Trails: An Oakville Gem
Nestled within Oakville, Missouri, Cliff Cave Park offers cyclists a variety of riding experiences, from smooth double tracks to challenging, rock-studded paths. Comprising two distinct loops on either side of Cliff Cave Rd and a connecting trail, the park spans a manageable 5 miles, making it suitable for both novices and seasoned riders alike.
- Right Loop: This double-track trail stretches approximately 2.5 miles and boasts several outlets leading to nearby neighborhood streets and elementary school fields. Trail markers dot the path to ensure riders always stay on track.
- Left Loop: For those seeking a slightly more technical ride, the left loop promises rocky surfaces and a rewarding scenic detour overlooking the majestic Mississippi River. This trail, spanning close to 1.5 miles, challenges riders with a notably steep uphill climb.
- Connector: Linking the two main loops, this trail is less than a mile and crosses a serene creek bed.
To access Cliff Cave Park, start at the Jefferson Barracks Bridge and follow the Telegraph Road from Hwy 255 going south. Taking a left on Cliff Cave Park Rd will lead directly to the park's entrance. A parking lot is conveniently located at the bottom of the hill.
- "The two main trails near the overlook offer exciting berms and a couple of jumps, making for a fantastic ride."
- "The blue diamond trail and the black trail provide varied experiences, with the latter offering a more technical challenge."
- "The Spring Valley side offers both outer and inner loops, which are beginner-friendly and perfect for an after-work ride. In contrast, the Bluff side showcases a more technical ride with its rock gardens and elevation changes."
- "One highlight of the park is the River Bluff Trail which provides excellent early-season training."
- "While the park caters to all skill levels, some riders felt it was more suited for intermediate cyclists due to the challenging terrain in some sections."
- "For those who appreciate scenic beauty, the trail closest to the river not only challenges with its technicality but rewards with breathtaking river views."
Tips & Recommendations
- The park sees horse traffic, which might make some sections of the trail slightly rough. Regular maintenance ensures the trail remains in good condition.
- First-timers are advised to enter from the school parking lot above the Spring Valley side to access the beginner-friendly trail.
- A visit to the bluff side promises a transition from beginner terrains to more intermediate ones, making it a perfect spot for skill progression.
- Although the park is best known for its cycling paths, the flat paved path is another attraction, albeit prone to flooding.
- Newcomers to the trail might want to pick up a map or familiarize themselves beforehand as some have found the trail to be a bit confusing.
In summary, Cliff Cave Park in Oakville, Missouri, presents an inviting mix of trails that cater to cyclists of all abilities. Whether one is looking for a relaxed ride or a technical challenge, this park delivers.