View Full Version : St. Joe state park mountain bike trails?

09-15-2008, 05:11 PM
I have the option of two group rides this weekend- the "flat as a floodplain" ride up by St. Charles on Sunday, or "pedal the parkland" on Saturday. The Saturday ride offers the option of a 14 mile mountain bike ride.
I've never been to St. Joe park- I am a rookie mountain biker. I am fat and 50 years old. Will I die on the trails at St. Joe? I've ridden some of the trails at castlewood, mostly stinging nettle. I've ridden bangert island, and the trail at lion's club park in rolla. If the hills are steep I'll be walking up them.
I've read all the reviews I can find. One said it was great for the whole family; but I suspect they meant the paved bike trail there. Has anyone ridden this trail and can give me an idea what sort of challenges to expect?
I'm just planning in case my husband can't get off work Sunday, which means I won't be able to do the flat as a floodplain ride.
I may be too much of a beginner to be thinking about a group ride on a mtb trail, but if it's not too bad it would be a rare opportunity to ride a new trail and not be all by myself.

09-15-2008, 05:36 PM
I've ridden the trail they use as a race course and it's rocky and steep in places. Harder than the upper parts of Castlewood at those points, about the same as C'wood in others, really closer to Chubb in difficulty. I wouldn't call those particular sections of the trail a beginner trail though my sister's done it as a beginner with little experience. She's tough but then again, so are you. :D

I have to admit that's pretty much the only trail I am familiar with out there and don't know what else there is or if this is the one they're riding.

Found this info, which you may already have, gives you some idea of what's what. Looks like only one of the options would be mountain biking. Will say 15 mountain biking miles in that area would be a challenge for you as a beginner, you're prolly looking at 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours actual moving time I'm guessing, you'll have to factor in stop times on your own.

http://www.parklandcyclists.com/pedal_the_parkland ....

There is an email addy for additional questions.

09-15-2008, 05:39 PM
And 'fat' never once crossed my mind when I met you.

Once we got to moving, :cool: was more like it.

09-15-2008, 06:02 PM
thanks. I couldn't find a topographic map of the area, that might scare me away.
They actually have a SAG for the mountain bike part. Some reviews I read said the equestrian trails were very difficult. I think I'll call and try to get an idea of the trails they are riding. I'd hate to have to walk 14 miles up and down rocky bluffs pushing my bike.
I can usually ride down, but when I tried to do the switchbacks going up on grotpeter (the alternate to anaerobic hill or whatever it's called), I ended up walking most of that. I had wished I'd just pushed it up anaerobic hill- i think it was shorter.

09-16-2008, 04:52 AM
There's a couple of straight up climbs, one is Lone Wolf, which leads you up to the overlook....the same side of the road as the 'interesting' part of the River Scene trail is. :D

The other is on the opposite side of Ries Rd. from the Love trail....the Cardiac. It splits from Justin's at the bottom just off Kiefer Creek Rd. and meets again up at the top. The Cardiac is shorter but most of Justin's is (barring some switchbacks and maybe some of those really loose larger rocky rooty spots) still easier.

Just clarifying since I've heard some people refer to Lone Wolf as the Cardiac, and Cardiac as Anaerobic, which it may be, but isn't.

Sounds like you did Justin's, which is pretty much a section of the Grotpeter, in lieu of Cardiac. Justin's/Grotpeter/Cardiac is a decent comparison to the part of St. Joe I've ridden, in my opinion. Just for a few miles more. :p

09-16-2008, 05:43 AM
I rode some of St. Joe's back in February. I can't comment much on the terrain since he was a sloppy mess. I ended up not doing well because I was recovering from Bronchitis and had extreme difficulty breathing! I ended up calling it early and waited for my friend to finish. She was pre-riding the St. Joe's race course.

09-16-2008, 12:53 PM
And 'fat' never once crossed my mind when I met you.

Once we got to moving, :cool: was more like it.

No kidding. She just barrels on down the road/trail, doesn't she?

09-16-2008, 01:12 PM

09-16-2008, 03:28 PM
ha. you have not seen me crawling on hands and knees up the side of a berm after grinding to a halt and falling over sideways. In fact, it is a good thing that I have done most of my mountain bike riding by myself.
I sent an email to the contact info asking about the trail. If they ever stop laughing maybe they will reply and give me some info. I think I know the answer, but doesn't hurt to ask. Maybe I'll check on the conditions at castlewood and go on grotpeter again to humble myself.

09-16-2008, 05:54 PM
ha. you have not seen me crawling on hands and knees up the side of a berm after grinding to a halt and falling over sideways.

Now that I know you, I think I would enjoy seeing this!:D And Andy could shoot you with his watergun while you climb.

09-16-2008, 06:02 PM
Now don't be goin' and flatterin' yerself like that, I don't know anyone who hasn't done their own personal sort of berm crawl as a beginner mountain biker.

Just remember, the ones who try will get better. You may perceive yourself as looking silly but you are seen by others as cool, brave, persistant......
and maybe just a little bit dirty. :p

Your question won't be unique, I'm willing to bet.

09-17-2008, 07:22 AM
this is the response I got:
"The mountain bike scramble is an intermediate ride. I have not ridden any of the trails you mention so I don't have a reference point. I believe trails are what you make of them. I take my time, sometimes push my bike up hills or over rocks. It's not a race so take your time, rest when you need to, replenish fluids often, and you'll do fine. Please bring a new tube for your size tire. There will be people to help with repairs if you need it, but tubes vary in size and SAG vehicles will only be available for the road cyclists. See you there!"
So, I think I might try it. I've still got two more days to chicken out. One person's "intermediate" might be my "advanced".
Mapquest said it was an hour and half drive!!!
There are ATV trails too, and DH was kinda keen on that; he's got a seat on his ATV for Andy.
I'm pretty sure I won't get in a ride today (unless I ride on the road), the river doesn't crest till tonight, and I'll bet it's muddy with trees down.

09-17-2008, 12:59 PM
Vickie - the river trail at Castlewood is still under water for much of it. The higher trails (main park) have many trees down, but the trails have dried out.

09-17-2008, 03:51 PM
I rode part of grotpeter tonight. I went in by the office, and took "office connector" or something like that. It came out on ries road, but I doubled back on grotpeter (goes off to the right). I took that around. I didn't have to put a foot down on any of the hilly parts, but did get off a couple of times- letting a couple of joggers go by, at a muddy stretch, and two down trees. One was huge- I had to crawl under and there was just enough room for my bike's handlebars. The other was leaning down and I had to climb over. The first one was definitely chainsaw material. I also walked down that really rocky staircase with railroad ties. I had a blast, and was really proud of myself. Parts of the lower trails of grotpeter (on the other side of the road) were kind of muddy in places. The gate was still closed at the railroad bridge. I didn't even try stinging nettle because I know it's muddy, and there's a chance that al foster could even be affected.

09-20-2008, 03:31 PM
I drove most of the "Flat as a Pancake" today and it looks dry--except their website says the longest ride is shortened.