Tucked away in the heartland of Kansas, Manhattan's Fancy Creek Trail stands out as a delightful surprise to many seasoned mountain bikers. It's a trail that would seem more at home in the mountainous terrains of Colorado than the plains of Kansas, boasting intricate technical details that challenge riders of all skill levels.
Fancy Creek Trail diverges from the conventional Kansas landscape, presenting riders with a dynamic blend of:
Signposts mark the distance along the trail. However, it's advised to stay vigilant in the lower areas where high grass may sometimes obscure the path. And for those wondering about the best direction to tackle this loop, many recommend heading counterclockwise for optimal downhill experiences.
To reach the trailhead, head north from Manhattan on Hwy 24, which later merges into Hwy. 77. After passing the town of Randolph, turn right onto Hwy. 16. The park entrance is shortly ahead, just before the Tuttle Creek Reservoir bridge. For those trying to save on the $4.50 parking fee, consider parking in Randolph and biking to the trailhead, a manageable 1.5-mile stretch.
Riders' impressions highlight:
For those assuming Kansas is all flat terrains and straightforward paths, Fancy Creek Trail will shatter those misconceptions. With its rich technical features and community-backed maintenance, it's quickly becoming a Midwest must-ride for mountain bikers. Whether one's a seasoned expert or a determined enthusiast looking for a new challenge, this trail delivers and then some.