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Level: Beginner
Length: 8 mi (12.9 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +657/ -518 ft
Total: 131 riders

Mountain Biking Lawrence Riverfront Trails

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#7 of 89 mountain bike trails in Kansas
#1,092 in the world

The Lawrence Riverfront Park Trail is a ten-mile system of recreational bike paths on the top of the levees along the river. the bike paths provide easy, non-technical riding for casual and family riders. Adjacent to the east end of this system is a series of trails on the river floodplain with more challenging single-track riding through the wooded lowlands. This approximately four-mile out-and-back course (8 miles total) is mostly packed dirt with some sandy spots and can be fairly fast riding....

First added by mkarlin01 on Aug 1, 2005. Last updated Apr 30, 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
Located on the north side of the Ka** River in the city of Lawrence. The north side of the Ka** River in Lawrence has two types of trails that should appeal to mountain bikers of most abilities.
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Lawrence Riverfront Trails Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail conditions

Wet (on Aug 20, 2019)
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Lawrence Riverfront Trails videos

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Lawrence Kansas river trail single track
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  • snoltz

    Mostly flat but fast and fun. Found some very sandy sections by the river.

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  • ButteredBiker

    My friend and I did the full loop, and for the most part it was smooth flow. Most would think it would be boring (and that's what I was expecting) but the trail builders clearly had experience and knowledge milking the whole terrain of all they could. The entry road has 2 amazing beginner kickers that you could roll or send just as easy. And the smoothness of the Kaw river dirt/ sand just added to my confidence the entire ride. As an intermediate rider I can fully say as long as you don't burn yourself out in the first 3 miles, this trail has some very fun aspects to it. We also rode the mud creek loop (which is rated blue) and enjoyed it. The sugar loop made me curious to the name. Until I rode it and found that periodically the dirt sand mixture the trail has turns to just sand at parts and really makes you work to get through

    Good flow/ fun periodic features that won't tire you out/ smooth dirt sand with few roots and almost no rocks/ variety in trail choice all add up to make this trail thoroughly enjoyable.

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  • kcfenderbender

    This is a really fast, fun and flowing trail near downtown Lawrence. Great place for beginners to start out on or for any riders who just want to log some miles, go fast, and get your heart rate up. I usually describe to anyone who hasn't ridden it yet as a roller coaster for your bike. There is a very small offshoot in the back that has some minor technical features but nothing too challenging. Be prepared if you take the optional Sugar Loop as there are plenty of sand pits. No problem for fat bikes but, your skinny tires will sink. With plenty of turnarounds you can make it as short or long of a ride as you want. Be sure to ride clockwise from the trail head as runners and hikers go counter clockwise.

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  • bikenrun

    Great trail. Esp. For beginners

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  • Schmo

    This trail has great flow. The layout will keep you from getting bored. With the trails zig zagging high banking turns to the endless whoop de doos. you will find yourself having fun just blazing through the timber and along the Kansas River. There are some added features as well, a wood planked jump (not pictured), wood planked bridges, And a elevated trail that was a nice touch. There are unmarked trails you can also explore. I had a super fun time on this one.

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  • ITP78

    A lot of fun.

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  • Rich Young

    Nice fast trail. Flows nicely. Great beginner trail and for the kids.

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  • AussieMatt   ✓ supporter

    Not much climbing. Lots of fun to be had if you keep your speed up which can test your fitness. Good for beginners and experienced riders. I rode with some locals which forced me to chase them and ride this trail to its full potential.

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  • getgreedy

    If you want to get on a fast and flowing trail that is well maintained than this is the trail for you. Ride it once and it will make you want to ride it again. Over midway through you have a choice to take a loop that will challenge you with sandy spots. This trail is heavily used by both bikes (one direction) and runners (the other direction). It was a very fun trail that beginners can easily do.

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  • Fml Ir Corey

    Great trail, it's really easy to finish so don't be afraid to take it on. The trail is about 4-5 miles. There are a few "sharp" turns but nothing to hard. There are some minor inclines and that means declines, really fun to hit them. The trail consist mostly of smooth dirt, but there are/can be some rocks and some sand. The sand is closer to the river (I would say 3 miles in you'll find it) but it think it's there to slow you down so you don't run into the river. There is also a nice little wooden platform type thing you can hit along the trail and it's really cool and a bit of a twist on the trail. The biggest problem you will face with this trail is some roots and leaning trees so just be on the watch for those and you'll do just fine on this trail. Really easy over all and a great trial to do for fun and to get the hang and start mountain biking. Hope this helps.

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  • Fred Prather

    Rode this for first time New years with a huge group. Fun ride, nothing technical minus the sand traps. Trail is well marked with mile markers a feature I like in a trail system. A good place to turn some mileage without going gravel grinding, we averaged 15mph pretty easy.

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  • *****

    Great smooth trail system

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  • BeanSoup

    Fun, Fast and Flowing. This is a great trail that a is a relaxed and easy ride. This is the perfect place to take a new bike and get the feel for all of the new components. Many places on the trail to crank out some speed, as well as many smooth flowing s-curves, flatland turns, and even a few berms. There are also a couple optional jump paths off the main trail. Overall a fun and fast, stress free ride!

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  • tlongpine

    This is a ~9 mile loop that's great for sprint intervals and cornering.

    It's relatively flat and completely free of technical obstacles. It used to be a rougher trail, but the local cyclocross crew manicured the trail.

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  • dcteater

    I love this trail for several reasons. It was my first MTB trail. I practice most new skills and break in new bikes here. You can go fast as you want which adds to the challenge. It is a quick trail (not sure if it is 8 or 9 or 10 miles for the fast portion). There is a new "beach" boardwalk section the club built within the past three months which is not difficult but makes the impossible to ride sandy section near the river a fun diversion from main fast trail. The club maiintains it very well and it is usually crowded with bikers, hikers, dog walkers, lovers, dopers, mischievious teenagers, etc. I have seen every kind of bike here except a high dollar road bike. Beach cruisers can navigate it. I go here when I need to get my heart rate up and clear my head. I follow up most rides with a cerveza or a perfect margarita at La Tropicana Mexican restaurant on Locust Street. Sometimes we go to Massachusetts Street and dine/drink afterwards. An excellent location and an all-around great place to ride.

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  • lilyallure

    This is the trail I learned to ride on. No matter how much I improve in my skills when I go back to this trail, it never gets boring! The first part of the trail has quick up and down hills, and there are a few jumps (optional) along the ride that you can get some good air on! The back part of the trail has some more rocky and technical parts, but after that it's an easy ride. Great for a workout and has beautiful scenery! For a beginner I could not pick a better trail to get some confidence on!!!

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  • ctstorm

    This is a fast an easy ride throughout. It starts off with some quick up and down hills which are pretty fun, but right around the point where you turn around it gets a little dull for a while. Very flat and there isn't much of a view. It picks up again with about two or three miles to go. Its a quick ride and any bike will probably work for it so don't feel like you need a full suspension mountain bike to take on this trail.

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  • beanburrito11

    This trail is a fast ride. Not many hills or drops but there are some. When i went, there was some spots that had some pretty soft dirt that made for a bit of a slower ride due to sinking in or sliding but overall you can move pretty quick. This trail is a good ride if you're looking for speed and just a few hills. There are many turns to keep you entertained though.

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  • smithoskii

    This was my first mountain biking experience... kind of. I rode it on a 1991 Schwinn rode bike, and I was just fine. It's that easy. Some guys really haul a** on it and get a good workout, but it's damn boring if you ask me. If you're in Lawrence and you want a good mountain bike ride, head out to the Clinton Lake North Shore trails. If you only have a cross bike, this might be for you.

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  • forrestmiller50

    The trail now runs 10.8 miles with the addition of a new section of trail head jutting south/west/north between the 5-6 mile trail markers. The trail is a flat, fast and curvy fun run. It is loaded with interesting transitions of minor up and down berms a few log climbs. The newest section of trail is 1.6 miles long and is tighter and a little narrower. It has some sandy sections. There is some great river view point’s starting about .7 miles into the new section. Night riding this trail is great fun also. It has a clock wise rotation for the bikers and ccw for the walker and runners and most people follow the flow. It is well maintained. Access can be made from the main trail head in Lawrence or from the east side at the river levee and RR crossing point 4.5 miles from the main trail head in Lawrence. The trail sees multiple users throughout the year and holds occasional events for racing bikes and running. The are portable jons at the main trail head and plenty of parking is available. Food, drinks and bike shops are all just across the river in down town Lawrence. * Review edited 4/24/2012

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