By Brad Lane
Whether it’s your first time hitting the trails or you’re a seasoned pro, the state of Iowa caters towards every level of action with its designated OHV and private land dirt motorcycle trails. Get your wheels pointed to places like Waterloo or Rathbun Lake for some excellent riding, and to get those tires really spinning, be sure to check out these five amazing dirt motorcycle trails in Iowa.
Featuring over 350 acres of available riding, what is now the Bluff Creek OHV Park in Mahaska County was once an active coal mine. The location has been long since abandoned and transformed into a great place to rev up your off-road motorcycle. The 20 miles of trail that make up the Bluff Creek OHV Park consists of rolling hills, deep pits, a beginner’s route, and a notoriously difficult run sometimes called the “gravity cavity.” Whether it’s your first time riding or it’s your 100th time, all skill levels and riders will surely find something to enjoy at the Bluff Creek OHV Park.
Serving as one of the few urban OHV parks in Iowa, the Riverview Recreation Area of Waterloo is a popular place to ride on the weekend, but with 180 acres to explore in the scenic surroundings, there is plenty of room to share. Besides a lot of trucks and trailers to be found in the large parking lot every weekend, patrons to the Riverview Recreation Area can also expect to find all ages, skill levels and types of off-road riders at Riverview. To really ride your way into this community, it’s recommended that you check out the Trailblazers Off Road Club’s website and take part in all the action.
The Timber Ridge Ranch, located on the Western side of the state, has had a long history of recreation and fun in Iowa. Once operating as a fully functioning winery, Timber Ridge is now labeled exclusively as a member-only ranch that provides many outlets for excitement. If you fancy yourself an off-road motorcycle rider, or ATV rider, then a membership with Timber Ridge Ranch is right for you. Featuring flat tracks, jumps, and enough scenery to want to stop every half-mile, members to the ranch can also enjoy fishing, camping, and swimming.
Open to off-road motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and off-road utility vehicles, the Gypsum City OHV Park provides some of the best dirt trails in the state. Not only does the area provide over 300 acres to explore, including 15 miles of trails that meanders up and down through a hilly forest, but with a designated 1.5-mile motocross track, you can really get your tires spinning at Gypsum City. With varying trail designations ranging from first-time rider routes to more technical climbs, there is enough to explore and achieve at Gypsum City to have you riding throughout the entire year.
Featuring one of the most scenic backdrops for any off-road vehicle trail in Iowa, the Rathbun OHV Park takes riders close to the shore and always near the action with 125 acres to explore. Featuring a practice course, a tot lot for the young riders and wide enough tracks to fit most off-road vehicles of choice, Rathbun has a lot of the amenities that make riding even more enjoyable. While you are there, it’s worth checking out the surrounding Rathbun Lake and the corresponding Honey Creek State Resort complete with campsites, boat rentals, and a relaxing atmosphere. It’s pretty easy to spend the entire weekend exploring all that this scenic OHV park has to offer.