When rain clouds gather and more challenging trails turn muddy, Route 66 State Park offers a solid alternative for cyclists in the Eureka area of Missouri. Comprising a flat terrain and a blend of surfaces, this 8-mile network of trails provides an ideal environment for beginners and families. With options ranging from paved roads to gravel paths and even a hint of single-track, it's an excellent venue for those looking to get a fuss-free ride.
One of Route 66 State Park's unique offerings is the variety of surfaces it provides. The majority of the trail (75%) is road-based, making it highly accessible. However, the network also offers crushed gravel (about 35%) and a small section of single-track trail (about 5%). This mix is excellent for introducing children or novice riders to different cycling terrains without overwhelming them.
Getting there is straightforward. Take I-44 to the Lewis Road exit (266) and go past the visitor center on a one-lane bridge. Parking is available on the right side. Alternatively, if you're heading east on I-44, take exit 265 to Kircher Park and follow the trail under I-44 for a quarter-mile to reach Route 66 State Park.
For those who frequent single-tracks, Route 66 might seem unexciting. However, riders praise its utility on rainy days and its suitability for beginner-level cycling. The trail is wide enough to avoid the risk of collisions and the single-track section is brief yet interesting. Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the park's swampy areas, where deer sightings are not uncommon.
Route 66 State Park may not offer the technical challenges craved by seasoned mountain bikers, but it serves its purpose as a family-friendly, easy-going, multi-surface trail network. It's especially handy when other trails in the area are less accessible due to wet conditions. So, for a straightforward, easy ride that lets everyone join in, Route 66 State Park should be on your list.