To reach the east parking lot at Hartley Nature Center, exit I-35 at 21st Avenue East, turn right onto Woodland Avenue and continue until you see the Hartley Road sign. For the west parking lot, follow the same route but turn left onto Arrowhead Road, then right onto Hartley. A convenient traffic island with a garden marks the entrance to your off-road adventure.
The trail system at Hartley Nature Center delivers a multi-faceted experience for riders of various levels. Starting out gentle, it doesn't take long before riders are introduced to the trail’s true nature—rocky, rooty, and challenging. This is particularly rewarding for riders who appreciate technical trails with a mix of elevation changes.
The trails are well-received by riders for their intermediate-level technical features and scenic beauty. However, users do offer words of caution:
Hartley offers a dynamic riding environment, attracting a variety of outdoor enthusiasts. With sections accessible for beginner mountain bikers and more challenging loops for the experienced, this trail provides a comprehensive riding experience.However, caution should be exercised due to multi-directional traffic and seasonal changes. Beginners should consider navigating this loop with someone familiar with the trail system, as its diverse, branching paths can be confusing and potentially hazardous.Overall, whether it’s the technical aspects you crave or the simple joy of riding through one of the nation’s most picturesque urban forests, Hartley Nature Center Trails are well worth the visit.