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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 14 mi (22.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +1,521/1 ft
Total: 61 riders
 

Mountain Biking Decorah Mtb Trail System

*****   Add a review
#4 of 92 mountain bike trails in Iowa
#222 in the world

You can get a map from Decorah bicycles shop on College Drive open 361 days a year which I highly
recommend you get as you can get lost easily. Several trails of singletrack interconnected to eachother.
Good sections of uphill up to 1000 feet of climbing. Starting at the first trailhead on the left is the most
well known route but there really is no specified direction as these are several small trails networked
together. There is even an area at the top of the hill where you can ride on logs and large fallen trees with
technical jumps. Best trail system I have ridden in Iowa.

First added by bullkoeppen on May 8, 2020. Last updated May 8, 2020. → add an update
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Getting there
From downtown in Decorah take College Drive to Quarry Street/Ice Cave Road. trailhead is on the left 1-2
blocks down parking on the right. There is also another trailhead 1 1/2 miles down Ice cave road that takes
you to another network of the trails.
System trails (4)
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Decorah Mtb Trail System Trail map

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Local Info

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Local Bike Shop

Trail checkins

Brian Walsh (on Sep 21, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Jul 26, 2019)
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Decorah Mtb Trail System videos

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Mountain Bike Trails Near Decorah, Iowa

*****
Advanced | 5 mi
*****
Intermediate | 6 mi
****
Intermediate | 3 mi
****
Intermediate | 7 mi

Rider questions

Q: Do the trails close, due to rain? If so, how do I check the status?
A: No they do not close ever, just use good judgement on when to go out!

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Reviews

  • stevec10502
    Reviewing Dunning’s Spring:
    ***

    2.5 Is the real review....Potential oozes at this place,
    but complete lack of signage...sure BOA has some, but when you have to stop every 100-300 yards to look at your map again to see which trails you are crossing it becomes to much....finish marking your trails...for locals sure it is fun and you figure out, eventually where to ride, but as a tourist that did a bunch or research and even tried to follow the suggested route listed above..i was over it 2 miles in ..not because it was boring...it was not, not because it wasnt senic ...it was, but strictly due to chaos of trails with no signage....booooo!!

    could be the best riding in iowa but it is far from that as is....i would love to support a drive to finish signage!! Please for the love of growing singletrack in IOWA!!

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  • meyers.mick6
    Reviewing Dunning’s Spring:
    *****

    The Decorah mountain bike trail system as a whole is awesome. The Dunnings Springs trails were great. The Luge was one of the ones I remember. It had rained the day before I was there but luckily the trails were hard packed and unaffected other than the abundant rocks and roots were a bit slick. Challenging and fun!

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  • meyers.mick6
    Reviewing Palisades Park:
    ****

    Great trails in this area. Made the mistake of trying to climb up some of the more difficult spots at first then figured out how to get up from there. A bit of elevation challenges. There were a couple of downed trees on the trail that I had to negotiate and one where I had to double back from some wicked storms in the area as of late. Can't wait to go back.

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  • 515Bryan
    *****

    Van Peenen is a great place to get lost for the day. So many trails that loop around and through the hill side. Some of the blue/black trails have some narrow paths and steep drop offs. Didn't get to ride all them due to the amount of snow. Can't wait to get back!

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  • 515Bryan
    Reviewing Palisades Park:
    *****

    Awesome trails. I will be excited to get back there this summer when trees are filled in. The road is now closed so it makes for a good climb to the top. Dead Pet is super technical with mostly rocks and roots. I wasn't ready for how difficult it was but it was a lot of fun!

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  • bjsata
    *****

    One of the best trail systems I have ever rode in Iowa. Hands down a blast. Very nice and helpful bike shop in town also

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  • ablack84
    *****

    This is a very well planned out and maintained trail system. There are plenty of climbs and some nice switchbacks. There is no shortage of roots and rocks. This is a must ride if you are in the area. It ranges from easy to very difficult. I recommmend riding with someone who know the trails, or get a map before you go. Easy to get lost. I had the pleasure of riding with a couple great guys who helped plan and built most of the trails. They add more to the trail system every year.

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  • dgw2jr
    ****

    We rode the river trail first which was a fun warm-up. We started up the bluff into Palisade Park but the exposure and steep grades forced us to turn around. We ran into a local that recommended we take the IPTV trail to get to the top of the bluffs in Van Peenen Park. This trail was awesome! Got to the top and rode the pine tree trails then took Gunnar back down to IPTV since it was starting to rain. The DHPT trails are probably the most technical trails in Iowa.

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  • cherokee_carol@mac.com
    ****

    Sweet single track trail. Nice meadows on top with lots of wildflowers. Decorah Bicycle Shop's owner Travis Greentree was amazing. When the shop closed he personally rode with us showing us the trails. We happen to be driving thru on a 1000 mile cross country road trip and decided to try out some mountain bike trails on our journey thru the midwest. This was one of our favorites... a "do not miss" Trails are well maintained, nice flow. Great after work ride. Would benefit from trail signage as we would have been a little lost without our wonderful guide. Thanks Travis!!

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  • mtbtrucker
    *****

    Sat. 8/6/11 - I rode most of Palisades and Van Peenen and a little of Dunning Springs. Racked up 12 miles of beautiful, lush forest trails and never saw another rider. The trails are tight & quick and the most of the climbs are gradual. I did have to hike the bike a few climbs but usually because I didn't gear down quick enough. The owner at Decorah Bicycles went out of his way to accommodate my needs. I live 900 miles away and hope to be able to come back and ride again.

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  • Jared13
    *****

    Lots of climbing, lots of rocks, lots of roots, TONS of fun.
    Get a map from Decorah Bicycles so you don't get lost or download one from http://bikedecorah.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/Untitled.179203142_std.jpg

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  • Jared13
    Reviewing Dunning’s Spring:
    *****

    Great single track. A brutal climb starts it, but once at the top, it's a lot of fun. Depending on your route, you may have to make the climb twice. Trail is very narrow at spots, a few tight turns, and some nice log piles to cross at the top. Off-camber turns and trails with rocks and roots in many places.

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  • Jared13
    Reviewing Palisades Park:
    *****

    The shorter section of the Decorah Trails but just like the others: rocks, roots, and hills. Smeby's, Lee's Loop (Carson's on the map), and the three Palisades routes are the easier of trails but would still be a solid intermediate trail. A few off-camber trails and turns and the rocks and roots keep it fun. Loophole (Larson Loop on the map), Log Jam, and Dead Pet are the harder trails in this section. Loophole and Log Jam have crazy climbs and lots of logs. Dead Pet is just one cool trail with some crazy roots and a bunch of rocks.

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  • Jared13
    *****

    Brutal climb to begin with, but the track turns nice and flowy at the top. Its fairly easy to loop everything together. Trails are very well maintained. I don't know why the Fred trail is called Fred, but I think it stands for Freaking Ridiculously Epic Decent. If elevation gains/losses were a determining factor, this would easily be a black diamond.

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  • Jared13
    ***

    Wide open trail that is shared with horses. The Prairie loop is in full-sun and has some rolling hills. Both Pines East and Pines West are in the trees, but not very technical. A nice, easy ride and you can carry a lot of speed through the pines. The Pines have a lot of curves, the prairie is mostly straight sections.

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  • hoff
    *****

    I drove up from Cedar Rapids and rode this system and I can't wait to do it again. If you live in Iowa you owe it to yourself to cheak this place out.

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