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Level: Intermediate
Length: 25 mi (40.2 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +800/ -788 ft
Total: 96 riders

Mountain Biking Clinton State Park

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#4 of 89 mountain bike trails in Kansas
#306 in the world

up and down, in and out roots, erosion, there is an old rusted out car to find. serious climbs and rocky drops. take a lunch and explore. You will need a 32 rear cog in spots. Also helpful to have SLIME in your tubes.

Overlook has a brief map nearby

First added by stephen_tucker on Jul 15, 2006. Last updated May 10, 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
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Lawrence take clinton park way to the dam crossing and go underneath the overpass and into the overlook. a trail head exists here as well as most of the camping areas.
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Clinton State Park Trail map

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Local Info

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Schmo (on Dec 27, 2021)
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Trail conditions

Fair (on Dec 27, 2021)
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Clinton State Park videos

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Clinton Lake I
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Lawrence, Kansas

Beginner | 8 mi

Rider questions

Q: Does it have bike ramps

Q: Are any Trails asphalt

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  • snoltz

    For an out and back by a lack there is little flow. Lots of rocks and erosion. I'm probably biased by the terrible day I had while riding with a popped tire, not pump or patches and then the bugs. Chiggers tore me a apart. During warmer weather put on some bug spray.

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  • justanotheraddict

    Sorry to be a Debbie-downer, I didn't like this trail at all. It's really just a hiking trail with erosion exposing very many rocks, roots and gullies. No features to speak of, no berms, nothing to make you think you are on a MTB trail. All ups and downs are relatively short and nowhere to flow. I am not from the area so wouldn't recommend anyone go out of your way to ride here. But it still beats road biking.

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  • Schmo

    Only had a couple of hours to get the job done and got a late start. I took the white trail out and found out after almost three months of short gravel rides I was out of shape. This part of the trail was a blast. Love the rocky climbs and the windy dirt trail for recovery. You get jacked up and then cool down then BAM you get jacked up again. Hit quite a few wet spots and water crossings. Really liked the layout. Wish I had time to ride the whole trail. Need to attack this trail again in the near future.

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  • Brandon Gallagher Watson

    Add this to your Midwest Must Visit list. I rode in the winter and had a great time. Tip is to take the Blue line out and the White line back if you like it more technical, the White is more difficult, the Red is no joke. Skills Park is really well done too.

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  • John Fisch

    The reviews did not oversell this place, even for this Colorado boy. There are miles of techy challenges that will keep most riders on their toes. Lots of roots and plenty of rocks, some in extended rock gardens. No one obstacle is too challenging, but when they are strung together for a hundred meters or more, most riders will dab here or there. Lots of fun if you like quick thinking on your feet to pick a line.

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  • getgreedy

    Rocky, rooty, some technical challenges depending on your route (three color system based on your level of expertise). I would not recommend the red route....I tried and it was very difficult. Both the blue and white routes are fun but very challenging. My biggest complaint about this trail is there are a lot of runners who seem to show up in the wrong place and can interrupt your ride.

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  • ericag

    These trails are some of the best I've ever ridden and that's in comparison to riding all over Colorado and the Pacific Northwest. It's a gem - although you should be prepared to get lost the first time you ride it. Trails are not well marked at alllllll

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  • cgillmore

    For a beginner, it took quite a bit of skill getting through this but it was pretty fun. Lots and lots of rocks, roots and uphill climbs which made it quite challenging. Hopefully the more I ride the easier it will become.

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  • jwi750

    Do you think it would be a good idea to ride this trail at the end of March? I am fairly new and don't know what the trail condition would be like.

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  • Bruce Glassinger

    I made it a 2 trail day today. This was my second stop after hitting up Switchgrass out in Wilson State park (everyone that likes Mountain biking should try Switchgrass for sure). This was actually my 2nd ride EVER. Tip for all newbies. The trail rating at Clinton park is not like golf. I took the white trail instead of the blue thinking it was going to be easier. I should have read the reviews before making that decision. I will definitely go back and try the blue though. Also, on the white, watch out for sharp rocks and small trees cut, almost to a point, all of which seem to be strategically placed...right in the middle of the trail.

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  • tlongpine

    For many years this was my local ride. When I moved to CO I missed it.

    This trail system is only moments from I-70 and well worth a pitstop.

    This is rich with rocky and rooty climbs. Generally a roller coaster.

    The white trail is longer and generally more technical. The Red Trail is a new short shoreline technical section.

    I prefer to form a loop by riding out on either the blue or white and returning on the other.

    You can also return on the state park road, ~3.5 miles.

    In early summer the ticks can be back, so pack spray and inspect yourself following the ride.

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  • toribets

    This was my first time riding this trail. I usually go to the river trails for a quick and fast ride, plus I don't own a car and they're closer to my house. I finally had the opportunity to hit these trails. I stayed mainly on the blue trail as I would say I'm still learning and not incredibly advanced in my skills. Definitely worth the trip and the sweat as well as the effort. Was challenging for sure but a great place to learn and improve one's skills. I try to make it out to Colorado and Utah and definitely think the Clinton lake trails are a good practice for that. Take lots of water and maybe even a couple snacks and enjoy the jewel in little Lawrence Kansas!

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  • ctstorm

    Good trail for a wide range of skills here. The blue trails are very doable for most intermediate riders. Just a couple times on those when I was getting started and I felt comfortable with them. There still are difficult climbs in certain sections. The whites are pretty challenging however. Be sure to wait long enough after it rains because almost the entire trail is covered by woods and it takes some time to drain in certain areas. Overall a great trail to spend all day out on.

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  • SpecialEd28

    Not too shabby. There are obstacle courses near the lake. Nothing compare to Landhal. Watch out driving through ghetto Lawrence, KS.

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  • kc0aac

    The trails I would say are intermediate The technical loop was killer! Many great tech challenges!! Thanks to Lawrence mountain bike club! Great effort!

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  • smithoskii

    This trail is great. It's my regular since I live about 10 minutes away, and I haven't gotten bored yet. The blue trail is fun and challenging, and I can get my friends who aren't used to technical single track to ride it because they only have to get off their bikes every now and then, although there are a few inclines on the blue trail that I still struggle with after riding the trail for a year now. The white trail is pretty challenging. It starts out easier than the first 100' of the blue trail (which I assume serves as a warning to all those who are coming out on the trail for the first time), but it quickly becomes much more difficult. Unavoidable rocks about 9'' tall spaced about 4-5 feet apart on the most efficient lines of the first part of the white trail force most riders to get off, or to ask a hiker if they are even on a mountain bike trail. Past that flat part the white trail gets flowier with nothing too difficult besides the occasional incline that seems nearly impossible. The white trail is definitely not for beginners, but I've never seen anything close to the difficulty of the red (shoreline) trail. It consists of a steep downhill off the blue trail about 4 miles in once you get to "Land's End" (a peninsula), and then it flattens out near the water. There are some ups and downs on it, but the main challenges are found on the flats near the water. You ride on rocks on boulders, avoiding other rocks and boulders near your path. Some of it only has about a 6'' line that you could feasibly pass through. If I make it through the red trail without putting a foot down, I buy myself a Boulevard Smokestack series 4 pack when I get home. Overall it's a great trail that's well maintenance.

    Oh yeah! Technical course! It's okay. Lots of narrows, some of which go over small rocky creeks. There's a couple dirt jumps, but none of them have much run up or much place to land. The one drop off is off of a wood bridge type thing, and it's complete rubbish. You can't hold speed up the ramp onto it, or you'll fly over it, and you can't get speed once your on it because the flat part is too short. Teeter totters are grade A though. Definitely a good place to learn how to do that.

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  • forrestmiller50

    Clinton lake trails are extremely challenging and fun. The blue trail is the easiest and runs about 8.5 - 9 miles. It looks very technical the first 100’, but then smoothes out to a quick downhill run to a lake view vista point and then parallels the lake and then begins its windy traverse along the north lake terrain. It eventually circles north to tie back into the white trail at about 8-9 miles out. It has a couple of road crossings and even crosses the white completely for a short section. Kind of confusing. Just pay attention to the painted markings along the trail on the trees. The Red shore trail is the hardest and is only accessible from the blue at about the 4 mile point and is 1.5 miles long. The white is hardest at the beginning and runs 12.5 miles. It has multiple rock climbs and out croppings that will challenge the best riders to stay on course. All the trails parallel each other along the Clinton lake north shore. The white and blue trails have multiple connector sections along their runs and are indicated with dual colorings. All are heavily wooded. The trails utilize the slopes of the terrain very well. This was an old farm field before the lake was built and the trails continually cross the old rock walls built during the farming days. At the 8.5 mile point on the blue and the 12 mile point on the white a trials park has been built with numerous challenging titter totter ride over’s, berms, technical bridges, ramps and narrow beam rides. Very fun. I take my dogs along on some rides and let them run along with me freely. The trail is shared by bikers and hikers. Traffic flow bi-directionally. At the free access trail head - there is lots of parking available along with restrooms. They also have a paved trail system that dead heads at this parking region that runs east back towards Lawrence. * Review edited 4/24/2012

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  • Manicarzo

    Great ridding for the area. I was in Lawrence in early May and the trails were very wet and muddy. Three trails extend from the main TH, the overlook which is short and steep, then you have the main trails: White and Blue. They intersect several times and end at the same spot, the White is considered to be more difficult and is longer, with lots of technical rocks and roots, very eroded. The blue is shorter and makes a great return route. Trails marked with white or blue blazes.

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  • cwells

    I can't believe there are no reviews of this trail! Probably the best place to ride in the Kansas City area (right up there with Landahl).

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