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One review on another site says this is "...definitely the best (trail) west of Perry Lake and all the way to Colorado...". It is honest-to-goodness technical singletrack that one would not generally expect to find in Kansas. As a Colorado native and resident I was reminded of home on several portions of this trail; switchbacks, loose rocky descents, quick abrupt climbs, rock gardens, ledges, and multiple water crossings. The trail offers something for everyone from Beginner to Advanced.
Recommend taking the "north" trailhead from the parking lot (eg: heading counterclockwise along the loop). One will jog through a dense and twisty cedar forest which eventually gives way to lush green "valleys" and water crossings in the lower lying areas. Expect some mud, rock gardens, and tall ledges. At about 4 miles you will climb a loose rocky section that takes you up to the surrounding plateau with great views of Tuttle Reservoir to the east. Descend back down through some more forest and come out at the other end of the parking lot. Along the trail you'll see markers indicating distance. Though rare, depending on trail maintenance, the lower areas may be covered by high grass and growth making it difficult to see the trail in spots. At roughly midpoint the trail branches, choose left to stay on the loop. The trail also crosses the narrow road leading to/from the Fancy Creek Campground in two spots. Watch for cars and drivers not used to seeing bikers. Also, might be wise to check for ticks after the ride based on personal experience...
Manhattan River Trail (MRT)
(100%)Shawnee Mission Park
(50%)Council Bluffs Trail
Tagsfancy creek kansas manhattan randolph tuttle reservoir