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Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in Monticello, whether you're looking for an easy short cross country skiing trail or a long cross country skiing trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a cross country skiing trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
This was a nice trail with a lot of shade and wide gates. We did Elaine visitors center to Lake View and back. Trail was smooth and paving good. Enjoyed the short side ride to see Lake View and read about it’s history. The restrooms were clean at visitors center and we changed out of our bike clothes there. Like to ride balance of trail another time.
The trail surface is very smooth right now - we rode from Barton to Lakeview (20 miles round trip) on gravel/cross bikes with our children. The gravel is small and well groomed, and most road bike riders would not have problems with it; it is definitely suitable for hybrids. The visitors center is easy to find, has ample parking, and has clean bathrooms. Almost all road crossings are over low traffic minor dirt roads or driveways, so we did not have to stop for traffic while riding. The trail is shaded, in parts by very large, old trees. The state parks have secured a large matching grant from the Walton Foundation and will have all 84 miles complete within five years. Nearby Mississippi River State Park has a lovely RV campground and more roads to explore by bike.
We "put in" at the Helena Junction trailhead and had to turn around at Barton - only 2 miles into our ride. When we read that the trail was crushed rock and that it was in excellent condition we thought that we'd see a Katy Trail type of surface ("The Katy" is one of our faves).
Such is not the case. The crushed limestone that we encountered was #57 or #5. We expected #8.
It was a bummer that we had to abort our ride, especially after having driven for two hours to get there. It was a beautiful day, and the trail scenery is spectacular.
Just do not attempt this unless you are prepared for a trail bike experience.
My wife and I rode this trail a week ago - started in Watson and finished in the very sleep town of Arkansas City. First 9 miles were shaded with trees on both sides. Trail of crushed limestone in excellent shape. Final 14 miles were paved road along the top of the Mississippi river levee. Amazing views from top of the levee. You can see for miles across forests, lakes, and fields of soybeans and corn. Town of Arkansas City is a shadow of its former heyday before the 1927 floods. Lots of history there. Will do this ride again.
I rode from Lexa to Elaine today (~21 miles) on a hybrid in 90-95 degree heat. Overall condition of the trail is excellent, however, the first 2 miles (Lexa to Barton) were a little rough, with some loose stones. Those first two miles probably need a little grooming / reconditioning. First 14 miles of the trail (Lexa to Lake View) is generally shady which helps a LOT. Very pretty. The last 7 miles between Lake View and Elaine has very little shade, running between massive fields of rice, soybeans, and corn. These fields are actually quite scenic, and was a nice change from just the trail surrounded by trees. I'll be doing this trail again. Excellent.
What an awesome experience on the Delta Heritage Trail !! This was our first "Rails to Trails" experience ever. The state park folks were oh so helpful and informative!! Riding the trail, the same as the 'Delta Eagle" did as a passenger train in years gone by and looking down at the trail and seeing bits of the old railroad timbers was great ! We had a late start and just managed a little over 12 miles ' but we'll be back !! Loved it and looking forward to exploring more Rails to Trails !!
me and my husband walked this trail about 2 weeks ago and i can honestly say you will take a walk down history lane iv recently over the last couple years have really gottin into learning the history of our past im memorized with it and i love it and to walk down that what once was the union railroad where a battle fought and later burned is just speachless...
its beautifull duriing the fall trees turning, leaves fallin, sun shineing wind whistlein, ............... just peacefull
It's a shame more people do not use this trail. It is very well maintained and very shaded for most of the trip. My brother and I live 3 hours away and do this trail at least 3 times a year. For a Sunday family outing there is a picnic area with grills at the state park at mile mark 2, and then 4 generations from babies in strollers to great-great grandparents can walk or bike parts of the trail. Two negatives though. crushed stone and except at mile marker 2, there are no restrooms, no food, no water along the trail, only benches for breaks; hence the 4 rating.
My wife and I bike this trail occasionally and love it. Great trailhead with a very nice visitors center on hwy 49. It starts off with a few miles of tree shaded trail that turns into wide open farm field viewing. It’s a small gravel trail that is very flat. Bring plenty of water! We highly recommend it. When it is completed, it will be one of the most beautiful trails in the country as it will go through the “last frontier” white river refuge. Can’t wait!
John and Kelly
We did an out and back on this trail south from the state park to about mile 15, where it emerges from the trees and continues through farm fields along a road.
The trail is well-maintained and there is some interesting historical info. along the way. The trail is tucked into a tree lined strip between fields, so there is really nothing like the hardwood forest that the literature suggests, although the ride is pleasant enough.
Watch out for dogs that were loose from a nearby house between mile markers 8 and 9.
It seems the remaining 64 miles, if ever completed, may be the best part of the trail, since some of it would pass through a national wildlife refuge.
The people at the state park were very friendly, even offering to come rescue us if we had a flat!
We drove three hours to ride this trail and explore Helena and it was worth every minute of travel! At the Welcome Center, we were greeted by the friendly, informative (glad I was listening) staff and clean restrooms; thanks, and what a pleasant start and you may primitive tent camp on the grounds by the center! Our plan was to head south towards the end of the line at Elaine and return to yoyo the Lexa section. This half of the trail is beautifully shaded, peaceful, quiet and a joy to ride. We rode past the shaded trailhead at the Lick Creek bridge, dog-legged across Hwy. 85, rode over a 5’ coiled blue racer and right passed the Lake View TH where we were going to lunch at Old Town Lake (a definite stop). The delta was beautiful at his time of year with the cotton covering the landscape in a white blanket. It was at this time that we were reminded of the trail’s name; long flats, stronger winds, no shade and deeper, less-traveled gravel but finally, we arrived at Elaine. FYI, the trail restrooms were locked and the towns “store” may only be open during harvest season. Unfortunately, on our return journey my spouse developed severe leg cramps. So………we had to call the center for assistance and within 15 minutes our hero, Ranger Rick, picked us up at Lake View. We overnighted at Helena’s B&B and had an unexpectedly great supper at the casino across the river.
I rode this trail on Sept 13 and was extremely pleased in the trail surface and the amount of shade. Because it was predicted to get above 90 for the day, I started a little after 8 am after driving from Village Creek State Park. There was not a lot of diversity, but still nice. Excellent mile markers and again, the trail surface was in excellent shape. My wife and I enjoyed reading the history of the area around the lake at the Kiosh at Lakeview.
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