Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 25

BENTON COUNTY NICA TEAM
trails for beginners and for those with
advanced skills.
Stockton, for example, features
an easy flowy trail with few climbs.
That contrasts with Table Rock State
Park where mountain bikers will need
every inch of travel and all their gears
to get around the rocky trails.
"Mountain bike trails have always
been something available in Missouri
State Parks," the director says. "But
in the next few years you will see
more emphasis on mountain biking
because not only are many of the
superintendents enthusiastic about
doing that, but the demand is there."
Trails that were once only open
to hikers may see their designations
change to multi-use where appropriate. And trails that have been around
for years will get facelifts using modern, sustainable trail-building techniques. It's all about making state
parks more accessible to more people.
To find state park trails visit www.
mostateparks.com

STUDENT SHREDDERS
On a sultry summer Sunday
a dozen pint-sized riders do laps
around the parking lot at the Truman
Lake Mountain Bike Park. Members
of Benton County's National Interscholastic Cycling Association team,
they are itching to get on the trail.
But first, they go through a series of
drills in a grass field that offers soft
landings for the inevitable crashes.
Finally, they are deemed ready
for the trail. A 4-mile loop has been
marked in the woods. It's not easy,
but everyone completes the distance.

SHEPHERD MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK
This year was supposed to be the
inaugural season for Missouri's NICA
teams, but COVID-19 put a stop to
races. The Benton County team is one
of 18 NICA groups organized in Missouri since 2018. They join more than
18,500 kids currently racing mountain bikes on more than 1,000 teams
in 25 states.
NICA's goal is to promote mountain biking for students in grades
6-12 while hosting races that emphasize participation and well-being over
competition. And that's exactly what
organizers are seeing: Self-esteem increases as the teams grow in size and
riders learn new skills.
NICA teams are independent
of schools and can host cyclists
from multiple schools and home
schools.
For more information visit www.
missourimtb.org

RIDE THE OZARK TRAIL
Of all the places to ride off-road in
Missouri, none compare in length and
solitude to the Ozark Trail. According
to the Ozark Trail Association, more
than 300 miles of the trail is open to
mountain bikes depending on which
agency manages the trail section.
Mountain biking begins at the
trailhead near Bass Resort and
extends unbroken 182 miles to the
Roger Pryor Pioneer Backcountry
which is off limits to fat tires. Bikes
are again welcome south of Highway
60 to the Eleven Point section and on
the Wappapello, Victory and Marble
Creek sections.
As if that wasn't enough trail, the

OT connects to the Berryman Trail,
a marathon-distance loop, and the
12-mile Council Bluff Lake loop. With
so many miles of trail, the OT is a
favorite for bike campers. The trail is
open to camping for cyclists willing
to haul gear and provisions along for
the ride.
For more Ozark Trail information
visit www.ozarktrail.com

TWO RIVERS MBP
Two Rivers Mountain Bike Park
was the first of its kind in Missouri
when it opened in 2013. A place
dedicated to mountain bikers, trail
runners and hikers, the park was a
gift from Matt O'Reilly, who turned a
400-acre farm near Nixa into a premier cycling destination.
The park features 14 miles of trail
that is challenging mostly due to its
climbs. Once at the top, cyclists can
choose to return on the trail, or opt
for the downhill runs, which include
man-made berms, walls, ladders and
natural features perfect for adrenaline junkies. There's an area with
wooden features designed to build
skills for the downhill runs and a
place for repairs.
The park provides the stage for the
annual Singletrack Mind Festival held
in September. The event features entertainment, challenges and races for
runners and cyclists while bringing
in funds for other projects under the
auspices of Trailspring, an organization devoted to connecting people to
the outdoors in the Ozarks.
You can learn more about Two Rivers at www.trailspring.org/two-rivers
OCTOBER 2020 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

25


http://www.ozarktrail.com http://www.missourimtb.org http://www.missourimtb.org http://www.mostateparks.com http://www.mostateparks.com http://www.trailspring.org/two-rivers http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - October 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 8
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 9
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 10
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 11
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 12
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 13
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 14
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 15
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 16
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - 17
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Rural Missouri - October 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - October 2020 - Cover4
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