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Off-Road Developers!

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Published on: May. 2, 2005

Last revision: Nov. 29, 2010

made the Lost Valley Trail a popular destination for both mountain bikers and hikers. The trail now offers a 9-mile loop through the hilly, oak/hickory forest of the Weldon Spring CA. Sections of the trail still use existing service roads on the area, but the new sections wind through mature forests on semi-technical, single-track trails. You can ride or hike past a small waterfall along a creek or near a turn-of-the-century homestead and cemetery. Special features built into the new trail, like the stonework on both sides of one of the creek crossings, help to protect the trail from erosion and keep sediment from entering the creek.

Because Weldon Spring Conservation Area is open until 10 p.m., the Lost Valley Trail offers the unique challenge of night riding to experienced bikers. The late hours also allow a hiking or biking opportunity to those whose workdays end at sunset.

The trail also provides hunters, birdwatchers and a variety of other area users easier access to the Weldon Spring CA.

If you plan to visit the Weldon Spring CA to enjoy the Lost Valley Trail, remember that the area is open during most hunting seasons. You can check at the Department’s St. Louis Regional Office for more details on current hunting seasons.

For more information about trail riding at Weldon Spring Conservation Area, call (636) 441-4554, or visit the MDC site and type the area’s name into the search field. For information about the Gateway Off-Road Cyclists go to www.gorctrails.com. Their Web site has information about club meetings and activities, and it provides numerous links to other biking sites.

Adopt a Trail

Help manage your favorite trail on one of Missouri’s conservation areas by participating in the Conservation Department’s Adopt-A-Trail program. This volunteer program provides opportunities for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians to assist Conservation Area staff by monitoring, maintaining and enhancing trails and trailhead facilities. For more information about trails on conservation areas and the Adopt-A-Trail program, visit online.

Riding on Conservation Areas

Mountain bikers share trails and conservation areas with other people enjoying the outdoors. Riders will minimize conflicts with other users by adhering to the following rules and guidelines:

  1. Ride only on open, designated trails.
  2. Groups of more than 10 riders have to obtain a special-use permit from the area manager.
  3. Be polite and ready to yield the right of way.
  4. Always alert others to your presence.
  5. Never scare or chase wildlife.
  6. Guard against erosion by not riding when the trail is muddy.
  7. Equip your bike and yourself with safety equipment.
  8. Carry a cell phone and tell others where you will be riding.
  9. Where bicycling is allowed during hunting season, avoid riding during the prime hunting periods of early morning and late afternoon. When on the trail during hunting season, wear bright colors, preferably hunter orange, for maximum visibility.
  10. Leave no litter.

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