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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 5 mi (8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +190/198 ft
Total: 60 riders
 

Mountain Biking Banner Lakes At Summerset Park

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#25 of 94 mountain bike trails in Iowa
#3042 in the world

Plans are in place to create a premier mountain biking trail system in the park.
When completed, five miles of trails will provide a variety of challenges and
opportunities for beginning riders to advanced riders.

well its been built and there are two levels of trails, beginners (which I found
slightly boring) and black diamond (which will def challenge you as a
intermediate rider) Tons of switchbacks and twists and turns and obstacles to
play with. WEAR MOSQUITO REPELLANT because you are riding around
stagnant water and these guys will eat you ALIVE!!!!..

First added by kingofthecrate on Jun 4, 2010. Last updated May 2, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
Have you ridden this trail? Help improve this information.
Getting there
From Des Moines take all routes to 69/65 southbound (5 will drop you off at 65
exit 70) Keep heading southbound till you see Elk Horn St. head east on elk horn
and there is a parking lot on your right park there and trail is located right off
gravel road. You will see a land marker.
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Banner Lakes At Summerset Park Trail map

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dgw2jr (on Aug 14, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Des Moines, Iowa

| 5 mi
| 5 mi
| 5 mi
****
Intermediate | 15 mi

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Reviews

  • ThatSkovyGuy
    *****

    Overall this is a fun course. However, half of the courses were closed due to previous rains. Fun drops and turns with obstacles to keep you on your toes. It's nice to see a place with a full range of skill levels.

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  • Joey Gordon
    *****

    Fully agree with all of these reviews. Only thing I would add is to make sure and hit "extra credit" trail on your way out. Very fun intermediate with a lot of climbs, but great flow.

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  • CHetrick
    ****

    Iowa trail building at its best. Not an easy place to ride but always fun.

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  • CHetrick
    ****

    Iowa trail building at its best. Not an easy place to ride but always fun.

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  • Rob Ames
    *****

    Where is this trail head located. Does the beginner and black diamond start at the same trailhead?

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  • Rob Ames
    *****

    Where is this trail head located. Does the beginner and black diamond start at the same trailhead?

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  • Gnar_man
    *****

    This is the best Rollercoaster in Iowa. An absolute blast. It's fast and rolling. Great flow. I didn't know about Riverside trail that takes you back to the parking lot, so we rode it backwards. That was not nearly as much fun. Had to walk up a few hills and didn't flow as well. Read Barheet's review for directions.

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  • kuala_tahan
    ***

    Fun singletrack that helped break up some long driving hours on I80. Was driving back to CO (home) after an east coast trip, and this network is close enough off I80 that it's worth hitting. Smooth, twisty singletrack through the forest, over ponds, and across (I think) old mining tailing piles. Good flow, couple wooden feature bridges to ride on. Fun trail.

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  • mtbark
    ***

    Wasn't expecting to work so hard as I did on this trail, No real long climbs but lots of steep short climbs. You will do a lot of flying down some steep hills and then climb right back up again, Lot of tight twisty single track a few technical sections. Trail signage is good but some blazing would really help out. Not a lot of rocks and roots but there are a few little spots that might trip some up. Overall you should be in half way good shape and pretty comfortable on a the bike. I parked at the first parking lot and the trail head was directly across the road.

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  • *****

    ISU Architects hit a homer in trail development at Banner. It's not difficult to follow the trail once you know to start at Coal Miner's Daughter (the main parking lot). The trail is marked perfectly as you can with the space and terrain provided. The black is challenging and you will climb a lot! Blue and greens are more flow and just as fun to make a well rounded single track experience. Banner is an absolutely hidden gem for Indianola and DSM single track lovers. Amazing job for the area. Spray on repellent and bring water. You will get worked. I live in north Texas and get to ride some really nice single track. Banner is absolutley worthy of a go when visiting with your rig. My only wish is that they had this trail when I grew up in Nola. Hats off! Great trail!

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  • Jerk_Turtle
    ***

    I go shooting at the range there, one day I noticed the trail and got pretty excited since its not to far from where I live. The trail is well maintained but its hard to find the trail head, and once you get going, I wish it had more flow. There are a few really great sections of the trail I would rather just hit again and again to work on a certain series of turns or techniques, but a lot of the trail is just filler. And its the slow turn after slow turn kind of filler.

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  • *****

    Great place to do interval training...like all Iowa trails, it shouldn't be ridden in wet weather. Beginners will struggle with sudden changes in direction (up, down, left, right, narrow, off camber) not for a first timer.

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  • Barheet
    *****

    I've probably ridden this trail over 50 times in the past year. I like to think I could ride it with my eyes closed, but that wouldn't be a good idea. This is the best singletrack in central Iowa, in my opinion. It is certainly one of the best maintained trails around.

    This is essentially a 5 mile loop, but you have to know where to go because several trails are connected by the road. Start at the main parking lot and take the trail on the left, Coal Miner's Daughter. This eventually connects to "New Ed Beach" and then there is a connector trail that leads to the advanced "Corner Pocket." At the end of this trail, take a left on the road. Go past the paved trail and eventually you'll come to "Riverside" on the left. This is a nice beginner trail with lots of flow. Take a left out of this trail to get back to the main parking lot. Rinse and repeat.

    Pros: This trail system is crammed into a very tight area. The trail builders did an awesome job planning it and making good use of the terrain. There are wooden bridges throughout, several of which span the lake. Terrain is very hilly, and a great cardio workout. Flow is limited by the tight quarters, but there are some nice long sections where speed can build up. Variable terrain comes into play such as rocks, roots, sand and hard pack. There are some very steep climbs that are compounded by the loose sand and rock. This makes for some great, challenging stuff. An even greater challenge can be found by riding the loop in reverse, though be very careful of bike traffic. There are a lot of tight turns.

    Cons: The technical stuff doesn't have a lot of flow. There are a lot of tight turns and hairpin turns that really slow you down. The trails work well with the terrain, but you spend most of your time riding on the edge of the ridges that overlook the lake. Also, the brush is very thick and gets overbearing in the hot summer with no breeze. The beavers wreck the place with logs from time to time.

    For the length of the trail, I was surprised how much work it is to get through it. It will test you, for sure.

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  • Jared13
    *****

    Very fun trail. Lots of off-camber riding and off-camber turns. Great scenery and decent elevation change for Iowa, on par with Center Trails.

    Recommended route:
    Start in the first parking lot, hug left side of the road. This is a large sign at the entrance. Trail is "Coal Miner's Daughter." Follow trail for quite a distance hitting skills section (Mutton Buster) if you want. At "New Ed's Beach" sign hang a right (uphill), follow that around to "Missing Link." Take "Missing Link" until it exits on road. Turn left and look on left side of the road, you should see the sign for "Corner Pocket." Take that trail until it ends back at the same road it starts on. Turn left and ride half a mile or so on the road until you find "Riverside Trail." Take "Riverside Trail" until you come to the road again. Follow it back to the parking lot you started in.

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  • SDKmann
    **

    Where this trail is good, its great but those areas are few and far between. Im convinced that the people who made these trails don't actually ride themselves but just put together what they thought MTBers would like. There are a lot of really cool aspects to the trail, the boardwalks are great and occasionally you'll find a stretch of trail thats really fun. Unfortunately the fun doesn't last long. The majority of the trail (especially the "black diamond" segments) consists of straight vertical climbs followed by a straight drop and a hairpin turn followed by another vertical climb. Its impossible to build up momentum. In addition to these sorts of trails there are some super easy cross country trails, but those are not too terribly fun either. What the Banner trails need is something that is between the two extremes that are featured now. As they sit now I am very disappointed with the trails and would much rather go to the Center Trails, but with if some better trail builders get ahold of this place there is a lot of potential.

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  • SDKmann
    **

    Where this trail is good, its great but those areas are few and far between. Im convinced that the people who made these trails don't actually ride themselves but just put together what they thought MTBers would like. There are a lot of really cool aspects to the trail, the boardwalks are great and occasionally you'll find a stretch of trail thats really fun. Unfortunately the fun doesn't last long. The majority of the trail (especially the "black diamond" segments) consists of straight vertical climbs followed by a straight drop and a hairpin turn followed by another vertical climb. Its impossible to build up momentum. In addition to these sorts of trails there are some super easy cross country trails, but those are not too terribly fun either. What the Banner trails need is something that is between the two extremes that are featured now. As they sit now I am very disappointed with the trails and would much rather go to the Center Trails, but with if some better trail builders get ahold of this place there is a lot of potential.

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  • *****

    Hats off to the trail builders! Lots of new boardwalks. Intermediate may be an underestimate. Best single in central Iowa for honing skills.

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  • penguin112358
    ****

    I went back this season after having some better directions, and found the actual trail. Park in the first lot you see, then hug the left of the road riding into the park. The trails are marked once you get in; why is there no sign at the beginning?? Anyways, it turned out to be a lot of fun and offers far greater challenges than the Science/Art center trails in DSM. About the same difficulty as Seven Oaks, but Summerset flows better. I saw where more trails are flagged, and I hope those are done soon. Will definitely be going back on weekends. * Review edited 3/18/2012

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