August 9, 2016

NE: Chadron SP

Our travels dropped us into NW Nebraska, I wonder if there's anything to ride here? I did come across one place that advertised mountain biking trails and it was on route. The Chadron State Park only had a few miles of trail, but that was fine. It would be more of a novelty for me, just to say I rode in Nebraska!

North of town the terrain was very much what most people would think Nebraska looks like, mostly flat, open fields as far as the eye can see. South of town, the terrain changed to something entirely different. Rock outcroppings, pine trees and lakes?!? Surprising both of us. This may actually be pretty good.
A few miles south of town is a really nice state park.
Only $5 for a day use fee.
I gave myself an hour to play around. The map I had was fairly primitive, I'd just wing it. As we like to say in our riding circles: 'What could go wrong?'

The trails in the park were set up in a stacked loop orientation, so I figured we'd drive out to a more centralized location and go from there. As we wound our way through the park I could see great looking singletrack trails, counted at least 3 crossings. Cool.

Up at a parking area K found a nice picnic area to hang out in and I took off on an adjacent 'trail'. It was more like a grassy 2-track corridor, but whatever. Get me to the good stuff.
Says right there on the sign: Trail.
Nebraska singletrack??
Here it is!! Steepest HAB of the trip so far!! Go figure.
Cool rock outcroppings at the top. Some fun trail for a bit too.
Not really what I expected Nebraska to look like.
One of the trails wound around to the far ridge.
 The Steamboat Trail dumped out onto a forest road after I hoofed it around a couple of down trees. I crossed over a cattle guard and found another 2-track grassy trail on the ridge. I started to follow it across, but soon realized that it hadn't seen much use...ever. Tons of deadfall and no real path to follow. I bailed and returned to the forest road & completed the Steamboat Trail back to the car.
The forest road was nice, but not what I came for.
Trail? What trail.
I mentioned to K that she should just meet me back at the park HQ. I'd ride the lower portions of the park and try to locate those nice trails we passed on the drive up.

I found more grassy 2-track.
Where was the singletrack??
Nice cabins for a weekend getaway.
More grassy 2-track.
I dumped off the Cabin Trail onto the park road after about an hour of messing around. At that point I was ready to call it quits and hit the road. It's too bad, it's a gorgeous park. They have a bunch of potential for a nice trail system, but who knows what kind of demand is out there. I'm guessing not much. I never did see the trails we spotted on our drive in, too bad. Even if they were super short, it would've been nice to check them out. Oh well, win some, lose some. I still rode in Nebraska!!


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