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Level: Advanced
Length: 5 mi (8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +872/ -818 ft
Total: 13 riders

Mountain Biking Palisades Park

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#5 of 94 mountain bike trails in Iowa
#1,306 in the world

The trail starts out climbing on a grass trail then turns to climbing dirt trail.
Twisty singletrack with rocks and roots. Loophole/Larson Loop and Log Jam
have a few technical features, mostly log piles or large downed trees. Dead
Pet has the most rocks and roots and one creek crossing (without the
water though.) Be very careful when crossing Palisades Road, trails dump
you out directly on the road a few times.
Recommended route: Smeby's to Loophole/Larson Loop (for a challenge) to
Captain's/Lees Loop, to Upper Palisades to Log Jam (for a challenge) to
Middle and then lower Palisades. Finish by riding down Palisades Road or
take Dead Pet for an added challenge.

First added by Jared13 on Jul 31, 2011. Last updated May 6, 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 downtown in Decorah take College Drive to Quarry Street/Ice Cave
Road. The parking lot is about 1 mile down the road, at the four-way stop.
Be sure to pick up a map at the bike store on College Drive (Decorah Bicycles)
The actual trailhead is east long Ice Cave Road on your left side. It's kind of
hidden, so be watching for it.
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Palisades Park Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

staffers55959 (on Sep 8, 2018)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Sep 8, 2018)
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Rider questions

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  • meyers.mick6

    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

    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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  • Jared13   ✓ supporter

    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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