I visited Smithville Lake today for a really fun ride on some great Missouri singletrack (yes, that’s a thing!). Smithville Lake is a state park that surrounds a 7200 acre lake with over 175 miles of shoreline. It features a huge campground with almost 800 campsites (see review here), two public swim beaches, a marina, and the best part for today’s visit over 25 miles of hiking/biking trails.
The trails wind around in a couple of loops along the East side of the lake, between two main trail heads. The two trail heads are Sailboat Cove in the South and Smoke and Davey in the North. I rode from Smoke and Davey, and wondered all day what the story was behind that name.
I turned West from the trail head towards the fun sounding Lakeside Speedway Trail, but quickly took a right onto the “more difficult” Neale’s Trail. Either Neale’s a bad a** or I’m pretty out of shape (or both), because I was quickly sucking wind on Neale’s. It’s a fun, rolling trail along the lake but the combination of lots of rocks and slightly damp conditions made it a real workout! I was going to say I rode it like somebody’s Grandma, but I’ve recently been rethinking that expression since I know some pretty hardcore Grandmas! The icing on the cake was that Neale’s is also the longest Smithville trail segment at 2.2 miles.
After Neale’s I jumped back onto the Southern blue loop that includes Possum Trot, Ol’ Grandad (I resemble that remark), and Thirty Four. These were all fun, rolling trails along the lake, but this time with a lot less rock gardens and some cool creek crossings and other features.
After turning back North onto Paradise Alley and Happy Jack’s the terrain opened up into several large and recently planted corn fields. This was a nice change of pace, but I missed the shade and lake views of the other sections.
Throughout the day I was impressed with the very well maintained and marked trails. The Earth Riders Mountain Bike Club do a terrific job keeping them up. They also use an app called Rainout Line to provide daily updates on trail conditions and closings.
All-in-all a great day on some really fun trails!