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Level: Intermediate
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +347/364 ft
Total: 72 riders

Mountain Biking Ben Hawes

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#11 of 107 mountain bike trails in Kentucky
#1,141 in the world

Formally Ben Hawes State Park. Trail closed following the historic 09 Ice Storm. Bought by the City of Owensboro in the summer of 2010. This trail has been completely redesigned and constructed per IMBA guidelines in a joint effort between KyMBA and the City working with Alex Stewart of Spectrum Trail Designs. Official Park opening April 2012.
The trail system offers something for all skill levels. Including the old original wide open double-track/maintenance roads, a new beginner friendly Green single-track loop and a new more difficult Blue single-track loop. The purpose built, double stack loop crosses the maintenance roads in several locations allowing you to explore many different variations. It has a high fun factor “Flow Trail” influence with plenty of berms, pumps, and great flow.
A unique feature to this trail are the spring wild flowers. The northern end of the park is covered in literally thousands of wild flowers making for a beautiful spring ride.

First added by searsandrewj on Jul 7, 2006. Last updated Apr 30, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: yes
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Owensboro take HWY 60 West past the Ben Hawes Park main entrance on Booth Field Road. Keep traveling HWY 60 West to Overstreet Road. The parking lot and trail head is located at the old George H. Rudy Mines and Saw Mill.
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Ben Hawes Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

m.krupp (on Jun 21, 2020)
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Trail conditions

Dry (on Jun 21, 2020)
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Ben Hawes videos

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Rider questions

Q: Is there a open and close time
A: there are night rides, park close at dusk, but have seen people out there after hour, when rains they close park to all hiking and bikes

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  • m.krupp

    Only rode a couple of the trails so far. Been on the red trail and really easy with a little bit of climbing. Yellow still a beginner but has few quick downhills. Green most fun and challenging. Can't speak of longest trail. At best this is good for intermediate unless there is some technical stuff hiding out there.

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  • sasquatchman

    What a great trail. From intermediate to advanced you know this is a great trail because it doesn't get in your way. If you want to go fast this trail will get infinitely harder, but if you want to go with a medium cardio blast its still fun too. The trail builders did a great job of keeping the amount of uphill to downhill balanced perfectly. The trail actually tends to get a little flowy if you ride it at speed... with frequent, short adrenaline inducing downhill runs... amazing they could even achieve that in a place that doesn't have much elevation. Facilities are good too. About the only downside is some of the signage is a little confusing. I guess once I ride here some more it'll get natural.

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  • dana92488

    Really nice trails, especially given that its located in a small city park. Good mix of flow an tech.

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  • Josh Smithson

    A awesome trail system. This place is pretty well kept. There a lot of places you can get some air and the whole place has a good flow

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  • Ben Stolinski

    Ben Hawes offers some excellent flowing trail followed with moderate climbs to offer a balance of cardio busting and roller coaster fun moments that keeps you screaming for more. I was very impressed that a small town in Kentucky holds such a great, well maintained, and flowy trail. Awesome berms are scattered throughout to keep your momentum up while banking around a switchback. The singletrack winds and snakes through double track which offers a bailout for people who need to get back to the parking lot in a hurry. The trails are well marked with a map at the trail head that you can take with you (they were out when I rode today though). The trail head offers plaques with historic buildings of the old coal mines and such which were a nice bonus. The golf course pushes up against the back side of the trail so no chance of getting lost in the wild here. There are a few man made features that added a bit of flare, but mostly just felt distracting from the beauty of the trail itself. It is late fall here so the trail was covered in leaves making it difficult at times to know where to turn or not turn, causing me to have to unnecessarily slow a few times and lose my flow. There were also lots of downed trees and derailleur busters that made me a bit more cautious as well. Overall it was an amazing trail, definitely beats what we have here in Oklahoma. If you're in the area or driving by definitely check it out!

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  • bornmayhe

    This trail has been monumental in making me a better rider after every ride. The climbs reward you with awesome downhill sections and this is a directional trail which is eliminates meeting other riders head on. I liken this singletrack to a video game with many levels. The trail is very well marked if you like visual cues, and has multiple exits and areas to take a break. 5/5 for length of trail, great climbs(for my skill level), and rewarding and fast downs. M-W-F is counter clockwise which is more downs. Happy Riding!

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  • Tommy Howard

    Great trail! My handlebars broke about .25 in so that made this trail extremely difficult.

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  • GeorgeHenderson

    Great trail, I'm glad I live close to it.

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  • Kenneth A Freeny

    great trail, have ridden it several times....

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  • bmclac

    Awesome and fast rolling

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  • kerrilee14

    This trail was so much more than I had expected! It was fast an had a great flow...not to mention the beautiful scenery. This trail is a great workout an directional, read the signs! I can't wait to go back an ride the opposite direction. There are a few easier trails if you have the kids with you but I would leave the little ones at home for the blue trail!
    Highly recommend this trail, it's now prob my fav!

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  • bboehman

    This trail is a blast! Well worth a drive and the trail builder does amazing work everywhere he goes! Check it out!

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  • ky275

    One of the better trail systems in the area. Super flowy and well-maintained. Has some sections with rocks/roots, but not many, and all jumps or bridges have options to ride around. If you want a trail you can actually get good cardiovascular workout, this is one of the best. Fast trail. It is directional. Regardless of how far you traveled to ride, don't be the asshole that doesn't follow the rules. Porta-potties, area to change, and water faucet all at trail head.

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  • Jadon

    Love benhawes, great weekend getaway. Love the trails there good job benhawes

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  • scotthess

    Trail is excellent. Perfect in town addition to the Kentucky arsenal. Trail hasn't been ridden much this year though and needs a good pack in from the winter. Some mole damage? But won't be a problem once everyone gets their bikes out. If you got spoiled by the hard pack, you will need to be patient until the traffic picks up. Looks like there are some new skinnys and log crossings. Good job to the volunteers working here. Now go roll this trail back in!

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  • calwes

    I advise all coming through this area to check this trail out. From beginner to advance, all can get a great challenging ride in. Please be advised if wet not to use so that it can be preserved. Love it

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  • Tim Kingery

    I am originally from Western Kentucky and I know the terrain around Owensboro. I currently live in North Carolina and I am spoiled by riding in the Pisgah national forest. I was in Labor day weekend to visit my son. I brought my bike but I did not have any real hope of getting a good ride in. I knew that they had revamped the trail after the ice storm in 2009 but, I have ridden several river bottom trails in the past. Most have the same problem no elevation change. They are ok rides for what it's worth but they usually aren't that fun. I will be happy to say that I was completely WRONG about this trail. It was a hoot! It was very fast and flowey. It appears to be well maintained and wonder of all wonders, it had a couple of decent climbs. Since it was on Saturday, I rode clockwise. I would have liked to got a lap in counter clockwise but it rained the next day and I did not get the chance to ride again. I will make sure to hit this again.

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  • Hick

    Did AEDC at Arnold AFB (Tullahoma, TN) yesterday and thought it was fast. This trail in Owensboro is a FAST XC trail. Now today was Sunday so it was a counterclockwise day, therefore I can't speak on the trail in terms of riding clockwise. I was cautious due to the amount of leaves, being that this was my first ride here I did not want to let loose. Second time around I was rollin. What is funny is that the bumpiest part on this trail is on the short 300-400 yard or so section on the trail service road. The rest is smooth, fast, hardpacked single track. I am new to the TN/KY area, so the roots at LBL, Lock 4, etc, really had me wondering how this trail and riding and riding in general was going to pan out for me. Definitely looking for more trails designed by this "master".

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