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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 9 mi (14.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +202/86 ft
Total: 8 riders
 

Mountain Biking Lehigh Portland Trails

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#8 of 78 mountain bike trails in Kansas
#1445 in the world

The Lehigh Portland Trails are built on the site of a former cement plant and quarry, along the banks of Elm Creek in Iola, Kansas. The trails consist of approximately 2.25 mile of wide gravel trails and 9 miles of natural-surface trails for mountain biking, trail running, and nature hikes. The trail's name pays homage to Allen County's industrial past and specifically to the Lehigh Portland Cement Company, which purchased the Iola Portland Cement Company in 1917 and operated a major plant in Iola until 1970. The trail system will be free and open to the general public year round. There are two trailheads for the Lehigh Portland Trails, one located at the western end of the trail (approximately Washington Avenue and Elm Creek), and one towards the eastern end, at 1600th Street and Nebraska Road. Vehicle parking is available at both trailheads. Please be respectful of the neighbors, and do not block the roadways, litter, or make excessive noise. Also, please do not block the entrance gate itself, as maintenance or emergency vehicles may need access. The Lehigh Portland Trails are built and maintained by volunteers with Thrive Allen County, via a Healthy Living grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, on land owned by Iola Industries, Inc. through an easement granted to the Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy, Inc. The trails wind through a diverse natural environment, with riparian areas, cedar forest, the foundations of historic structures, grassy prairie, and a large spring-fed quarry lake. There are rocky ledges with great features, small climbs, and tricky roots. Stop to take photos on the bluffs over Elm Creek, and along the limestone quarry.

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
Traveling from the north or the south take US 169 to the Iola Exit, US 54 and turn west. Take US 54 west to S. State St. and turn south. Take S. State St. south to Montana Rd. and turn east. Take Montana Rd. east and the road will change to 1650th St. as it turns to the north. Follow 1650th St. north to Nebraska Rd. and turn west. About a 1/4 mile west on Nebraska Rd. the road makes a sharp turn to the north. At this turn you will see the trailhead and parking lot, enjoy your ride.
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Lehigh Portland Trails Trail map

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motoscotch (on Mar 26, 2020)
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Wet (on Mar 26, 2020)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Iola, Kansas

*****
Easiest | 7 mi

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Reviews

  • Schmo
    Reviewing Cave Trail North:
    *****

    This addition to Lehigh is fantastic. You would never know all this beauty was hidden right here. The crew did a great job on the layout. The trail flows so effortlessly. You travel a good amount of trail and don't realize you have gone that far. The trails through the pine trees are my favorite. The texture of the dirt it so different than anything else. It feels like you are riding on carpet. Keep your eyes open over here. There is a lot of cool stuff to see. The historical element of everything is just breath taking. This makes Lehigh so much more unique than most trails. Get out and ride this one you'll enjoy every minute.

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  • Schmo
    *****

    Well it's been two years since I've been out here. There has been some changes and lots of progress. There has been some additions to the trail system. The crew out here does a fabulous job in keeping the Trail well groomed. There are trail markers all along the trails to keep you going in the right direction. This is key. I found it best to contact Randy (DirtBum) to give me a tour. You won't miss a inch of scenery which is spectacular. This is a great ride. You don't want to blast through this one and miss out on everything around you. There are some nice mid key technical challenges along the trails that keep you paying attention to the trail.

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  • Bill Hendry
    ***

    Very well groomed and maintained system. Some decent windy stuff through the woods but no technical challenge. Similar to Lawrence River trails but not as long.

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  • Schmo
    *****

    This is a fun trail. It's still a bit raw and no directional markers YET! I had a blast exploring this new trail. The singletrack is tight and windy, then opens up a bit along the Elm Creek. Some light technical challenges through this part. Finding the trails was a little difficult. You just have to really look. The trail that takes you along the bluff tops of the Quarry lake is my favorite. The rocky terrain gives you the aggressive kick in the pants I was hoping for. This summer the trail will be 100% complete and I say " You got to check it out for yourself".

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