How to prepare for a trail work day and some tips to make the experience more enjoyable.
Clearing & Grubbing - Clearing vegetation and debris from the planned trail corridor. Typically 4-6 feet in width. Stumps are removed that fall within the planned trail tread. Hand saws, chainsaws, & rogue hoes are best suited here.
Benching - Involves digging into the hillside to create a flat surface for the trail tread. This flat ledge is called a bench. Rogue hoes and flat shovels do a majority of this work.
Rut Repair - Repairing footprints and tire ruts that hold water and keep the trails closed.
Trail Trimming - Cutting back encroaching vegetation to open up the trail corridor using pruning saws, loppers, and string trimmers.
Drainage Improvements ...
Dorrance Forest Preserve is located right in the middle of Port Byron, IL making it a prime choice for recreation and specifically trails. This 80 acre park features moderate to steep terrain and is covered by large hardwood trees typical of the Mississippi River valley. The park is located just a short ride from downtown Port Byron making it a convenient recreation destination for locals or those just visiting.
Check out our current plan for the Dorrance Trails. We gave this short presentation to the Village of Port Byron that outlines what we are doing at the park: Dorrance Trails Presentation
There is currently one short out-and-back hiking trail/road along the northernmost ridge paralleling Agnes Street.
FORC is working with RICFPD to develop new trails at Dorrance. The new system is still in the planning phase but dirt moving is scheduled to begin spring 2016. Total singletrack trail mileage when completed is expected to be around 3 miles. Layout will be done as a stacked loop system, like many other local trails, with a main loop that is wider and less technical and a couple more technical/difficult loops branching off. Permitted trail uses are to include mountain biking and other human powered activities.
Looking over the prairie trail at Geneseo Prairie Park.
Geneseo Prairie Park (GPP) is located on the northern outskirts of Geneseo across from the Hennepin Canal Parkway Trail. There are ~55 acres of forested and restored prairie land at the park on which ~1 mile of old school doubletrack/singletrack hiking trail exists.
Most sections of trail are easily ridden on a mountain bike but there are a couple of punchy climbs that might require a dismount. We recommend avoiding the Ike's Fen trail (closest to the canal) because it has many muddy areas, slick narrow boardwalks (ie. 2x6's laid on the ground), and a RR tie stairway that requires a hike-a-bike.
Soils at the park are very sandy which lends itself well to fat bikes and quick dry times after rain.
Small log over on one of the trails at Geneseo Prairie Park.
Trail difficulty falls between beginner (green) and intermediate (blue) skill level. Expect a couple punchy climbs, some tight loose corners, and a few small trail features.
The existing trails are not well signed but trail maps are posted near common access points which are helpful. The trails are laid out in a network with many intersections in the forested area. It's possible to stitch together a large loop that will incorporate most of the trails.
Click here to view the trail map currently posted on the kiosk.
FORC maintains eight trail systems within the greater Quad Cities area. Click the links below to see more information about each trail system such as trail maps, trail descriptions, directions, and hours.
Dirt trails are extremely venerable to rut damage during the transition to and from winter because colder temps prevent the soil from drying. When soil freezes the growth of ice crystals push soil particles apart leaving large gaps that can fill with water when the ice melts. In a thawed state this dirt is much like a sponge and will absorb large amounts of water. It is also hyper sensitive to disturbance by foot/bike traffic and flowing water and will form ruts with little effort. Direct sunlight and above freezing daytime temperatures can thaw the top layer of frozen dirt and create an easily rutted, greasy, muddy mess on the surface. Overnight, lower temperatures refreeze the top surface of the trails, ruts included, and the process repeats when conditions allow (hence the name freeze thaw cycle).
The 206 trail weaves through branches of a large fallen tree.
After nearly two years of hard work and close to 1000 volunteer hours logged, six loops of new singletrack trail at Westbrook Park have been constructed. Two more loops are in the works but may not be completed until 2017. Riding all current trails will add up to a 5 mile lap. These trails were designed with sustainability and user experience in mind meaning lots of curves, gentle grades, good flow, and easy wayfinding.
Temporary signage has been installed marking each loop and its difficulty rating until more permanent signage can be put in place. Trail blazes engraved with the trail number and difficulty rating can be found along the loops and were manufactured/donated by Custom-Pak in DeWitt. See the trail map for suggested riding direction (counterclockwise).
The trails are marked frequently with blazes. Donated by Custom-Pak in DeWitt
101 - Beginner - The 101 loop is 1.3 miles in length, generally traverses the south and east perimeter of the park, and is the main gateway to all other trail loops.. There is a short climb 0.3 mi after crossing the Silver Creek bridge (going in a CCW direction) but minimal elevation gain through the rest of the loop. There are plenty of areas routed through tight woodlands featuring gentle sweeping turns.
102 - Beginner - The 102 loop is 0.7 miles in length and begins by following the eastern boundary of the park before turning back along the the slopes of Silver Creek. Along the creek riders will encounter a short descent and climb, flowy turns, and gently rolling terrain.
201 - Intermediate - The 201 loop snakes through the southwestern corner of the park and begins with a gentle climb to the top of a plateau. Once on top, the trail winds its way through open woodlands with minimal elevation change, transitions to a short turn packed descent, through a temporary stream crossing, and finishes along the banks of an undulating watershed. This trail is around 0.5 miles in length.
202 - Intermediate - The 202 loop starts as a short climb to the top of a small bluff that overlooks the lowlands surrounding Silver Creek. Next comes a short zig-zagging descent down a gentle watershead towards a small feeder creek and follows it upstream to the south. Moderate rolling terrain with sweeping corners eventually get you back up to the top of the hill and reconnect with 101. This trail adds another 0.6 miles to the system.
Stream crossing on the 206 trail.
Berm bridge on the Jubilee trail.
Sunderbruch Park is the crown jewel of off-road riding in Davenport, Iowa. Comprised of 99% singletrack trails, a full gamut of difficulty levels (green to black diamond) are incorporated into the seven mile trail system.
Sunderbruchís GREEN trails boast 2 miles of the most beautiful wooded scenery found in Davenport and test riders with a few small, beginner log crossings, one ladder bridge and one corduroy feature Our BLUE trails offer riders moderate changes in elevation, some rooted and off-camber terrain, a variety of corduroy sections and log-crossings, and large wooden berms and other wooden structures. BLACK Sunderbruch trails greet riders with fast descents and challenging climbs, creek crossings, some narrow winding trails, roots, skinnies, drops, and a plethora of logs. Sunderbruch has something to meet every riderís interest. You will not go home disappointed!
Typical feature on the Jump Line trail at Sunderbruch.
Overlooking a lower section of the North Loop descent.
Set amongst the bluffs of northern Rock Island County, Illiniwek Forest Preserve features 5 miles of ultra flowy singletrack with the longest sustained climbs and descents in the QC area. The park offers a wide range of amenities besides the off road trails and is located on the Great River Trail bike path for easy car free access.
Wooden berm on the South Loop descent.
The trail system is made up of five miles of purpose built single track trail which will satisfy riders of all abilities. The trails follow the natural contours of the surrounding terrain with many overlooks of the Mississippi River Valley and the park's deep ravines. One large ravine divides the park separating the trails into two distinct systems: the North and South ...
Boardwalk on the Tarmac trail.
The Scott County Park trail system offers the largest amount of singletrack at one location in the QC area. A full loop will be near 11 miles in length. The trails offer a variety of difficulty level from beginner to advanced and explore the diverse terrain and natural areas of the park. Trail character varies from open and flowy to extremely tight and twisty (bring the 26er!) with some short climbs and descents thrown into the mix. Be sure to try the many, optional, technical features along the way to add an extra challenge.
In addition to the singletrack trail system, there are also 5-6 miles of mowed grassy doubletrack trail that follow the perimeter of the park. These trails are open to equestrians, hiking, biking, and cross country skiing in the winter. There are also a few miles of hiking only trails located in the interior of the park. Check out the park overview map for locations of these trails.