Nestled in the picturesque town of Decorah, Iowa, this mountain bike trail system is often hailed as one of the best in the state. Offering 14 miles of varied terrains and scenery, these trails beckon both novice and experienced riders alike.
From downtown Decorah, head towards College Drive that extends into Quarry Street/Ice Cave Road. The first trailhead is located just 1-2 blocks down the street, with parking available on the right. Another trailhead can be found 1.5 miles down Ice Cave Road, offering access to a different set of trails within the network.
The Decorah trail system is an interconnected web of singletrack routes with several appealing features:
Each trail has its own peculiarities, such as Dunnings Springs, which remains relatively unaffected even after rain thanks to its hard-packed terrain. The abundance of roots and rocks provide an additional challenge.
Local bike shops, like Decorah Bicycles on College Drive, are invaluable resources for trail maps. Open 361 days a year, they offer maps that are almost essential for navigation. Some trails like "Van Peenen" can offer hours of enjoyment with their twisting and turning paths. If you're new to the area, consider riding with a local or join a group ride for a more enjoyable experience.
Though the trail system in Decorah is top-notch, it's not without its drawbacks. The most glaring issue is the lack of signage. Newcomers might find themselves stopping every 100-300 yards to consult a map, disrupting the ride's flow. Multiple riders have expressed the need for improved signage, something that would enhance this already compelling network.
The Decorah mountain bike trail system is an exceptional destination for cycling enthusiasts. With a mix of terrains and scenic beauty, it promises a memorable ride for everyone. While it already stands as a strong contender for the best trail system in Iowa, a bit more organization could elevate it to new heights. Until then, don't forget to grab a map from Decorah Bicycles and maybe even a local guide to make the most of your journey.