Mountain biker riding down rough terrain at Sugar Bottom Trails

Sugar Bottom

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One of the premier mountain biking destinations in Iowa is located in the midst of hardwood forest along the Coralville Lake, just north of Iowa City and between North Liberty and Solon. The Sugar Bottom mountain bike trail system, in the Sugar Bottom Recreation Area, includes roughly 12 miles and 1,400 climbing feet of outstanding hand-built trails. The one-way trails range from beginner to expert and are configured in a stacked loop system. You can enjoy a green ride on a continuous loop through the whole system, or check out the blues and blacks that loop off of the main trail. Along the way, you might hear the calls of barred owls, startle a group of deer or turkeys, or see an osprey working on its nest.

Races are held at the trail system several times a year and draw riders from across the Midwest.

Trail status is updated here and via signage at the trails; fines are imposed for riding closed trails.

Camping is available at the Sugar Bottom Recreation Area, along with disc golf, a beach area, playground, barrier-free asphalt trail, nearby boat access, and more. There is plenty to do between mountain bike rides!

Mountain biker riding through Woodpecker Singletrack Coralville

Woodpecker Single Track

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This urban single track is a newer addition to the cycling amenities in Johnson County. Starting at the Tom Harken Trailhead, the trails meander and flow through a wooded area along Clear Creek; the east and west trail sections are split by Camp Cardinal Boulevard with a connector passing under the street. Featuring mostly green/beginner difficulty level trails and some pump track-like sections, these are fun trails for riders of all types, from kids starting out to the expert looking to squeeze in some convenient training miles. You’ll find lots of solid wooden bridges over water features and wetlands, sandy soil that tends to drain well after rain, and many urban deer that call these woods home.

In the winter, local riders chip in with snowshoeing and stomping to groom snowy trails for fat biking.