Friday, December 26, 2008

12/27/08 Workday Cancelled

FYI -the workday schedule for tomorrow (12/27/08) is cancelled. Sorry for the late your kitchen pass for the next workday, 1/17/09. We hope to see you then!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Managed Deer Hunt 12/12-12/13 **TRAILS CLOSED**

Twice each year during the fall/winter season the Corp of Engineers closes the Mountain Biking, hiking and paved trails to conduct a managed deer hunt.

From the COE's website:

"The managed deer hunt is held each year during the last weekend of the fall firearms deer season. This year’s event will be held on December 12-13, 2009. The hunt is designed to provide a deer hunting opportunity for persons with permanent mobility impairments, with priority given to persons confined to wheelchairs. The hunt is fully catered with volunteers provided to assist the hunters in all aspects of the hunt, from transportation to field dressing.

The hunt is a very high quality hunting experience with great emphasis placed on safety, comfort and good hunting opportunity. There is no charge for the hunt, except all hunters must purchase a managed deer hunt tag.

Anyone interested in hunting or volunteering to assist a hunter should call the Smithville Lake Project Office at 816-532-0174 or E-mail our office at "

The dates of the first closing were November 22nd and 23rd.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another great workday and Neale's Trail

What a GREAT DAY the 29th was! Not really with the weather but the results. It was a cold, rainy/snowy and windy Saturday workday followed by the “opening ceremony” for Neale’s trail!

First a bit on what we got done during the workday;
We had twenty plus hardy soles that braved the weather and came for breakfast and then a bit of muddy but rewarding work. We split into four work groups and headed out. One group took a truck load of gravel, 45 feet of perforated drain pipe and a bunch of shovels then headed for that always muddy spot on Paradise Alley to install a French Drain system. The crew did a great job and I think it will fix the problem, but time will tell! The second crew headed off down TNT and did some vertical rock armoring and deberming all the way down to the end of old Granddad! The third crew headed over to the Pulpit and installed a set of step ups that should add some good challenge for some folks. And the fourth crew worked on putting up some new trail name signs, adding a couple carsonites and fixing some missing/wrong intersection numbers. They also opened up the ends of the new trail!

After we completed our tasks we headed up to the parking lot and surprised Neale by handing him a trail map and showing him a newly added trail! In his words he was “BLOWN AWAY” by the fact that we built that trail without his knowledge.

A little history and why Neale’s Trail is such a big deal;

Neale first started talking about forming a club back in 1990. He had this dream of creating an advocacy group to help us open doors to places to build trails in KC. That initial concept was called HAATBA (Heart of America All Terrain Bicycle Association) and didn’t go too far because we were busy with other things, mostly road riding. Anyway, not long after the HAATBA idea, a Northland shop called Mike’s Bikes (Mike Hamilton) came up with the Earth Riders name and the club was born. Some of the very first members were Mike Hamilton, Jay Williams, Rob Stitt, Mike Cleveland, Sean Cairns, Myke Borylo, Matt Harrah, and Neale of course. They were all Northland guys (except Sean) and the club was much more geared towards the social aspect than advocacy. At some point over those early years Neale served as president. The club’s numbers grew slowly until around 1995 when email and internet access became widely available and we started reaching a lot more people. About that same time the club took a dramatic turn towards being more of a race team and less of a social club…and even less of an advocacy organization. Neale kept at it though and after a couple of years of finessing a handful of cocky alpha male types into agreement, ERTA was finally formed. Somewhere along the line Neale put his stamp on ER by re-creating the club’s logo. He was the one that first came up with the globe and cog idea that Sean Cairns later modernized into the logo that we use today. Neale was instrumental in creating the relationship with Clay County for the SMV trails and spent hundreds of hours lobbying the city of KC for access to Tiffany Springs Park. Neale has been very involved in the Northland Trails Association. I could go on and on about all Neale has done but I think you get the picture! Earth Riders have come a long way and it has been lot of things, but even before its inception Neale knew that there was a correlation between membership size and strength as an advocacy organization. To that end he’s been focused on turning the club into the powerful advocacy organization that it is today. We (ERTA and ER) are well respected organizations that are well known across the city and Midwest. The opportunities that exist today would not exist if it weren’t for Neale’s efforts. Neale has talked for years about a trail he wanted to build along the lake, parallel with Posson Trot. He knew this trail would be a tough build as it is all on a steep side slope and would mean 100% bench cut in rocky, loamy soil. He always thought it was better to create trail where we could get more “bang for the buck” so the dream just sat there. Three years ago the SMV core group discussed the plan to build the trail for him as a tribute to all he has done and to do it with out his knowledge. We flagged the trail in the winter of 2006 with many days going back and tweaking it. In the fall of 2007, we began the task of clearing corridor. Late winter found us starting the bench cutting along the new corridor and the trail was starting to take shape. We quit work in late spring and picked back up on it in the last couple months. It was completed on Friday the 21st with the help of a bunch of different people! It is tough to build a trail when Neale is out there all the time!

This trail is technically challenging (by SMV standards) with a couple interesting features. It is only about ½ mile long, but I think it ranks amongst the hardest ½ mile trail build I have worked on! If you are looking for it, look to the south end of Lakeside Speedway and you will find it just before the paved trail. Be careful, it is a challenging trail and I have the scabs to prove it!

Come on out and test your skills on Neale’s trail and if you happen to see him along the way stop and say “THANKS”!

We will see you on the trails,


Monday, November 24, 2008

Trail Workday 11-29-08

Yep, the greatest trail crew in the free world is hosting our annual after Turkey day work it off extravaganza! Be there for a breakfast feed (we gotta feed you so you can work harder) and then a reroute on ol' Granddad and repair on a muddy, seepy spot. There may be other fun things too, like putting up trail name signs and stickering carsonites, or maybe even blowing leaves!

Breakfast starts at 7:30 am, bring an appetite and strong back along with gloves, eye protection, sturdy shoes, snacks and water.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rock On!

One of the items on the "to do" list for this fall's workdays was to rework the creek crossing on Lakeside Speedway. On 11-1-08, one of the crews tackled this project.... below are some images. This crossing turned out great and should hold up very good under wheel and foot traffic, as well as handling the occasional runoff.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trail Workday Schedule

November 1st
November 29th*
December 27th
January 17th
February 21st
March 14th*
April 18th

Workdays start at 8:00 AM and typically last till about noon. If you would like to help out please come on any or all the above dates. No experience or special tools required. Please bring sturdy shoes, gloves, protective eyewear, water and food. Dress for the weather and in layers, as you will warm up quickly.

For further information contact smithville AT

*Special food day-breakfast or lunch served!

These trails are built and maintained by a volunteer crew in cooperation with the Clay County Parks Department.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Enjoyable Trip for some of the SMV Trail Crew volunteers

Earthriders held the annual Bonktoberfest club ride and camping trip October 9-12 at Blanchard Srpings Recreation Area near Mountain View, Arkansas. We had a great turn out from the Smithville Trails regular group of riders/volunteer trail workers. The photo was shot from a gorgeous peak that overlooks the White River Valley.

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Home for the Smithville Lake MTB Trails

Welcome! You've found the web home for the Smithville Lake mountain bike and hiking trails. This site has been established to help keep the general public informed about activities surround the trails, current conditions, photos and contact information of the volunteers that have built and maintain these trails.

Latest Map

Here is a link to the latest map!