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Level: Intermediate
Length: 12 mi (19.3 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +132/ -95 ft
Total: 90 riders

Mountain Biking Smithville Lake Trails

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#16 of 168 mountain bike trails in Missouri
#1,338 in the world

Network of trails that coexist with a soon-to-be paved multiuse trail. They are great XC single track. Not super technical, but not boring either. Lots of wildlife. Trails can be confusing, check out Earthriders.com for maps that are updated periodically. These trails are very much a work in progress. Watch for additions and improvements over the coming years.

Recommended route? Ride it all. They are a lot of fun and much love has been put down into them.

First added by Baneamofe on Sep 23, 2004. Last updated May 7, 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
Take Highway 169 north from Kass City through Smithville. A few miles north of Smithville, take Highway W east. As you cross the bridge over the lake, there will be a parking lot on the right side about 100 yards up the road. Park there. Alternatively, stay on W until you come to Paradise, MO. Turn on Paradise road and drive to sailboat cove (about 1/3 mile off of W). Park by the guard stand. This is the southern terminus of the singletrack.
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Smithville Lake Trails Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail conditions

Dry (on Jun 2, 2020)
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Smithville Lake Trails videos

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Smithville Trails
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  • snoltz

    This is a great trail system to fly. For this into technical riding there are a couple of options but this system is mostly x-country. A loop will garner you 8-11 miles, so do two.

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  • Midmoab

    It was a beautiful ride, the trails are well maintained and there were very few people on the trail. I rode the entire trail, and a couple of portions twice. The western portions of the trail [lakeside, lower lakeside] felt like mountain bike trails with some variation in elevation to enjoy. The lower lakeside was tagged as black and there are a couple of spots on it that warrant that rating, but most of it is ride-able by those with intermediate skills. Most of the remaining trails are very flat so speed, either up or down, is a product of pedal, pedal, pedal. This is not necessarily bad, but if you are looking for "mountain bike" type terrain that varies and allows for some pumping. . .this is not it. There were enjoyable tight switchbacks on portions in cedar stands on Ol Grandad, WTT and Thirty Four. TNT had limited pump area, but more then most of the rest. I downloaded a map from Earth Riders [thank you]. . .without it directions would have been difficult. I do not think I saw a single blaze on any trail, just a sign with the trail name at the start, or intersection of the trail. I think that this system would be terrific for new riders to cut their teeth and can be fun for experienced riders on the western portions.

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  • NuckinFutz

    Really well maintained thanks to Earth Riders - Not overly technical but none the less a fun trail - Some faster sections, some uphill, some nice switchbacks - Overall well balanced and fun

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  • ITP78

    Great trails

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  • pedaling away the poison

    Rode this track today, great ride lots of corners, tons of roots and rocks, rocks, rocks, more tech than you might think. The black diamond trails will kick your ass but it's worth it! Absolute be back!

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  • CuzinMike

    I've been riding these trails for years, and they are a blast for everyone from beginners to advanced riders. The majority of the trails are intermediate-level flowy singletrack, though there are a pair of beginner loops at each end of the trail system and a few advanced trails near the lake shore.

    The singletrack snakes around miles of paved biking and jogging trails, so it's a great place to bring beginners to experience a little dirt, then bail to the pavement when they need a break. There are no real sustained climbs here, so it's very popular for singlespeed riders.

    Riders in search of gnar probably won't be too impressed with Smithville, but it's well worth a trip if you just want to ride fast, flowy singletrack 30 min from downtown KC.

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  • kayakerfan

    I would say most all the trails are relatively easy to intermediate. I am a beginner-intermediate level rider and I was able to navigate all trails relatively easily, that said, they are challenging and ridable at the the same time. My brother and I throughly enjoyed our afternoon, the trails were better than we expected, and we'll definitely be back.

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  • kayakerfan

    I am an intermediate rider...
    These trails are challenging, yet they are very ridable, with any experience at all you'd never need to get off your bike. They are ideal for beginner to intermediate riders. Hardcore riders expecting trails requiring advanced skills would be disappointed.

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  • Nick Hopper

    Great set of trails that flow good once you've gone through them a couple times. It is well maintained through out the year but gets wet and stays damp threw the spring almost no matter what.
    Probably want to grab one of the maps in the parking lot before the ride because people tend to take down signs from time to time.
    Overall very happy with the trails and the fact that its a ten minute drive from the house.

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  • dcteater

    Been here twice and thoroughly enjoy every second of my time at this trail system. The paved multi-use is a nice touch and keeps a lot of hikers off the MTB trails. Some rocky portions that challenge. Hills not too difficult but will get your heart pumping. I love riding through the cornfield area for some reason. Some areas are pretty fast which adds challenge and is fun. I think this is my second favorite place to ride in the greater KC area of KS and MO.

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  • ameryan

    Trails were varied in type and terrain, with most in the shade of trees. Rolling dips and turns, with roots and rocks, rock step jumps and log obstacles add interest. Fun, some challenges if you want them. Well maintained .

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  • smithoskii

    This is a good trail. It's pretty quick single track in some places (although there are a few berms that need to be put in place), and some fun log obstacles. There's a couple places with TONS of ~3'' rocks scattered on the trail, which is fun and easy if you keep your speed... or bumpy and annoying if you can't find a line or simply don't put the effort into your pedals. I got lost. Yeah, they're confusing, but if you just keep riding, you'll find the paved trail soon enough. I didn't see the whole trail (since I got lost), but my favorite section was the "Posson" something or another. Good log obstacles and a couple "sweet jumps", which were fun, but gave about the same amount of lift as the side of someone's driveway as it meets the curb at the street. T'was fun though.

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  • Bwpaulk

    Started mt biking a year ago and make the drive to Smithville from Kansas City on a regular basis. A great set of trails. Fast and flowing with a few tech areas and log crosses, but nothing brutal like Swope or Killcreek.
    With 10 miles of singletrack along the lake the scenery is great. Trails cross several times over paved multi-use paths which allows one to vary the course and get back to the trailhead quickly in case of a breakdown. Don't see a lot of crowds, most of the hikers stay on the pavement.
    The maintenance is outstanding; someone actually raked leaves from the trail last fall; a nice touch.

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  • GAC

    These trails have come a long way in the past few years. Very SS friendly. I have taken to riding my fixed gear out there recently as well. Trails are better marked/signed than prior, but still a perpetual work in progress. Lots of fast swoopy stuff, with a mix of technical/rocky areas as well. Little climbing overall, lots of quick ups/downs.

    Nearly all single track, less than 1/2 mile of fields/double track. A lot of paved trails out there as well, so if you have a non-technical riding spouse, or kids, you can hit these for 15+ miles of paved trails. The single track crosses the paved trails frequently, so caution at the junctions. A lot of bald eagles in the winter along the lake edge, a lot of wildlife overall. Great trail system, and more trails to come in the future. A very reponsive and busy trailbuilding group and land managers, so feedback is welcome.

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  • ssjackman

    Good system of trails. They are doing a lot of maintenance right now so the trails do get confusing. You can download a map on earthriders.org or go to the Corps of Engineers building by the dam of the lake if you forget to bring a map.

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