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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 24 mi (38.6 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +958/1 ft
Total: 132 riders
 

Mountain Biking Berryman

*****   Add a review
#4 of 158 mountain bike trails in Missouri
#228 in the world

Missouri's finest single track. In 1998 Bike Magazine did an article and called it the best singletrack East of the Rockies and West of the Appalachians. That about sums it up.

Most people start at the Berryman Campground and go clockwise. About 2/3 of the way into the trail is Brazil Creek Campground and a prime place to break. A mix of climbs and downhills all on great singletrack. Go prepared for wicked fun.

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
From ST. LOUIS take I-44 west for 1.5 hours. From SPRINGFIELD take I-44 east for 3 hours. Exit at Cuba, MO and then take Hwy 19 to Steelville. Then take the exit off of Hwy 8 for two miles. Turn north onto County Road 207 (formerly FR2266), hopefully the roadsign is still there. Go about 1.5 miles to the Berryman Campground. The trailhead at is on the opposite side of the road from the parking lot. For more information, call the Potsi Ranger District #573-438-5427 or plug in this web address: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/marktwain/recreation/sites/berryman_rec_area/
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Trail conditions

Good (on May 25, 2019)
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Reviews

  • cycler5700
    *****

    Had a chance to ride this trail on a trip with a friend. We both left saying the same thing "we habe to come back". Not very technical, but just an amazing place. Well done.

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  • RoadWarrior
    *****

    Just an update. Trail is in great shape. New signage so no problem staying on BT. All the problem areas ( wet) have been rerouted. Wonderful winter ride. 25 miles of pure singletrack bliss!
    Mileage can be added in by rideing some of the Ozark trail.

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  • mongwolf
    *****

    It doesn't sound like you were on the Berryman at least not all the time. For example, there is no double track on the Berryman, and it is not wide enough for vehicles to drive on it. Interesting.

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  • cycleforfun
    *****

    This is an incredible trail! Take plenty of water and snacks because it is a hefty workout, esp on a hot day, and has no stops for water refills. It is great fun, fast in many spots, banked curves, rocky climbs (some washout), has lots of water crossings and fantastic scenery. I didn't ride the whole length of the trail due to time and water supply, but the section I rode this week starting at Berryman campground was wet only in short sections and had a few downed trees that required minor detour. A gem of a trail!

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  • mongwolf
    *****

    Spiders, tics, mosquitoes, etc. This is definitely a fall-winter trail for me too. Can't wait to ride it again.

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  • rambler
    *****

    When I last rode Berryman (Fall of '15) the eastern half was in pretty good shape. I know it gets some maintenance each October in prep for a race that is held on the course. With all of the rain that we have had here in Missouri in December it may be awhile before it is dry enough to ride.

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  • mongwolf
    *****

    Great idea Rambler to start at Brazil Creek and get the eastern half done first. However, I definitely would not camp at Brazil Creek; it's pretty beat up imo. At least a couple of years ago, the Berryman CG on the south end was MUCH nicer -- beautiful CG. So next time I ride it, I'll camp at Berryman and then drive over to Brazil Creek and start the ride there. Not only would that do the hardest part first (like you said), it will also give you about 3.5 miles of fun DH to finish on. Plus, you could grab some water at your campsite in the Berryman CG as needed.

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  • caissus1860
    *****

    Rode here on 26 September 2015. I rode the trail clockwise and it took me 3 hours of riding, 4 hours total with my bike computer giving me a reading of 27 miles. I enjoyed this trail a lot. The trail was a fast, and flowing trail that primarily seemed to follow the terrain contours. climbs were moderate to easy and of short duration while the downhills seemed to go on and on. Trail consisted of small crushed gravely rock that sometimes was hard to corner in and a lot of fist size rocks to keep you on your toes. I ran into three separate groups of people doing maintenance on the trail in preparation for the Ozark Trail 100. The first two groups were really friendly and were excited to see people enjoying the trail. The third group, or guy came up on me while I was trying to figure out how to fix my eggbeater pedal at around mile 17( just past the Brazil Crk Campground. I told him I was on a road trip to Colorado and riding everything I could along the route. He then blew me away when he offered to swap my broken pedal for his good one so I could continue riding. What a great guy and an ambassador for mountain biking. The only criticism I would have for this trail would be that around mile 20 there were a set of switchbacks that seemed to come too quickly and were a bit too sharp given the terrain and had you braking almost to a stop to negotiate. Very glad I had the opportunity to ride here, and congratulations to Missouri for such a beautiful trail. I most definitely will ride this trail again.

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  • IcoDog
    *****

    Best mountain bike trail in the neck of my woods. Best to camp at Brazil Creek campground if you want to start early instead of driving to and from St. Louis in one day.

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  • hechtman
    *****

    Not for the weary, if you do the entire trail (now 26 miles) it is a beast. You can shorten the ride by 6 miles and do 20... Better for those over 60!

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  • Eric Foltz
    ****

    This is one of my favorite trails east of the Rockies. So many of the Eastern trails just seem like your riding around in circles so it's nice to find a trail where you actually feel like your putting in some distance. The trail is generally well maintained but can have downed trees depending on the season. You are always either going up or down and the 2000' seems to come 100' at a time.

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  • RoadWarrior
    *****

    Since my original review 3 years ago, a lot of work has been done on the trail. The problem areas have been re-routed. Trail has also been re-routed so as to avoid the Brazil Creek crossing and mud hill at the Brazil Creek Campground. Short spur trail to the campground.
    For something different, rode the trail CCW. It's a blast either way you ride it!!!!!!
    Also uploaded updated GPS track, look for it in a few days.

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  • tdog70
    *****

    I rated this as intermediate because it is not very technical. However you should not under estimate this trail. 24 miles of single track in a isolated forest. It was very hot and humid when I rode. Bring plenty of water and something to eat. It took me about 4 hours to ride the whole trail. Also not marked well so bring a map. Follow the Ozark Trail signs also look for signs with "BT" on them and brown wood posts. The trail does need some maintence in some areas.

    With all that being said, I can see why this trail is rated as an Epic by IMBA. Great views, creek crossing, climbs and decents. It is worth the ride felt great when finished. Treat yourself to the Brewry in Steelville when done.

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  • mongwolf
    *****

    One final comment from our ride last week. It seems to me that there is no way this trail has 6000' of climbing as listed above. I would guess that it is more in the 2500' range.

    Also, the eastern portion of the trail which needs a little TLC, should be getting it. It is being adopted as part of the Ozark Trail. So hopefully the trail condition will be worked up to the same excellent rating of the western portion in time.

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  • mongwolf
    *****

    Traveling through the midwest, I took the time to ride this trail last Friday 6/14 with my son. So glad I did. It is long, very pretty ST, which meanders its way through remote, beautiful Eastern Hardwood Forest. We rode CW from the Berryman CG.

    The western portion is fast and flowy and is in excellent condition. It is worthy of the high acclaims this trail receives.

    The eastern portion is more technical with small root and rock drops. This portion has great potential, but there are some stretches where the trail is deeply rutted and needs rerouted. The ruts are full of rough cobblestone-sized rock. With a little more trail maintenance this eastern portion has great potential to be a really nice moderately techy ride. It would make a nice contrast to the smoother flowy western portion. Together, due to the contrast (given some further rerouting), this could be 5 star XC route without question.

    All in all this is a great midwest ride. There are many nice DHs and all the climbs are relatively easy. Some climbs are long, which was nice, but none are steep. The signage is a little light and the mile markers are few and difficult to spot, but one incurs no real difficulty following the trail.

    The Berryman Trail Campground is charming and beautiful. The Brazil Creek CG is a bit beat up. If you are staying the night, stay at the Berryman Creek CG for sure.

    The ticks and bugs were out in force for the summer, and of course it was humid. But the constant callings at night of the whip-poor-wills, the chuck-will's-widows and the owls made the summer stay more than worth it. For riding, this is definitely a better fall-winter-spring trail -- no ticks, no bugs, no humidity. I will return someday.

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  • oldskool_XC
    *****

    Love this trail. It's a bit muddy but not bad overall. The normal muddy parts are wet, while the high ground is drying out. There are still some leaves on the ground, but the rain has created a bit more technical riding. Fun, the next day or two of sun will dry the trail.

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  • MKR
    ***

    Fun singletrack trail. Extremely fast. Average about 8 mph. There are sections where it feels like you're on a roller coaster. Not technical at all. One section was a complete mudpit (miles 10 to 12) even though the rest of the trail was dry. The trail is in pretty good shape. Some great, recent work has clearly been done. Pay attention to trail markers. There are a lot of branch offs and it's easy to take a wrong turn if you're not paying attention.* Review edited 3/6/2012

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  • CFM
    ****

    The description starts by saying "Missouri's finest singletrack." At one time this was true but the ravages of time and high usage had taken its toll on this epic ride. I'm happy to report that a lot of hard work by the Ozark Trail Association and others are restoring this trail to its former glory. Even the nasty switchbacks at Brazil Creek are being rerouted. If you want to do an entire loop plan on a full morning or afternoon. A good map will allow you to bail out on Forest Service roads at various points if necessary. Camping (primative, bring water) at Berryman or Brazil Creek will allow you the time to investigate the other trails in the area.

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  • extreme2red
    *****

    It was a great weekend day ride. Lots of elevation changes; some fast singletracks and to top it all off you have to get technical in several places. The only thing I suggest is bring a cup. You also might want to bring a map of the trail while we were out there a runner had gotten lost from the day before.

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  • karlrado
    *****

    Really boss ride. If I lived close by, I would hit this alot. Note: for those not familiar with the area, the directions are a bit vague - the access road is about halfway between Steelville and Potosi. Once you arrive in Steelville, look for Rt. 8, heading East. Drive about 16 miles East, and look for a very small Nat'l Forest sign on the right, after you pass the Berryman store. Trailhead just up the hill on left, after the road turns to gravel. As usual, the horse traffic wreaks havoc in the boggy areas, so watch that mud. And the way gets a little convoluted near the Brazil Creek area - but a map is not really essential.There is a Forest Service office in Potosi, another 18 miles from the turn off for the Berryman trail.

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