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Riding some gravel roads in Yellowwood State Forest

Monday, December 14th, 2009

On Saturday, I wanted to get out and ride my new mountain bike. The trails were way too muddy, so I rode on some of the gravel roads in Yellowwood State Forest. Wikipedia only has a brief entry about this state forest, but its description of the roads is apt:

Many of the unpaved roads within the forest are dusty and narrow, and those driving cars within the forest will often have to ford creeks.

In other words, riding there is lots of fun! It’s also the closest state forest to where we live. Still, I drove there so I could spend my entire ride within state forest boundaries. I did a loop that I’ve done a few times in the past, with some variations. Here’s a map.


View 2009-12-12 Yellowwood Loop in a larger map

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I was hoping I could ride with my friend Dave, but he wasn’t feeling well, so this was a solo ride. It was cool outside, maybe in the lower to mid 30s. There were icy areas in some puddles and creeks.

I rolled through quiet, deserted woods and through creeks …

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And rode up to the dam to get some views of Yellowwood Lake.

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Then continued, on some more gravel roads.

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I climbed a hill, and then reached another access point for the lake. It looked even better, from here.

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Some rolling hills took me to another, icier part of the lake.

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I crossed a couple more creeks, and climbed the one large climb of the whole ride. I noticed some icy creeks and tried to imagine the whole area blanketed in snow. It’s going to be very beautiful once we get a real snow … I’ll have to go back and see it.

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I spent a few minutes on a paved road, then turned back onto gravel. This is where all the climbing paid off, in a long descent. But not before I stopped at a favorite spot at Prange Pond. It was icier than the lake, thanks to being smaller and in a shadier location.

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After the long descent, which was loads of fun, I rolled on paved roads for a few minutes, and re-entered the state forest. Earlier in the day, I had been disappointed that I couldn’t hit the mountain bike trails. But I was very happy with where I ended up. Rolling through my favorite state forest on a beautiful day on my new bike … what’s not to like?

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3 Responses to “Riding some gravel roads in Yellowwood State Forest”

  1. Chris Says:

    Way to stay flexible and work with what you are given. Nicely done, and appropriately rewarded.

  2. Jon Grinder Says:

    Any new thoughts on the new bike?

  3. 29erPilot Says:

    Awesome pictures.I just stumbled onto this.We just started riding Morgan Monroe and Yellowwood.I’m stoked to see your routes.We’ve been riding out and backs and haven’t gotten a good loop down yet. This place is amazing to ride!

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