Bike Riding Trails
Regional Bike Trails
Dawson Springs, Kentucky makes an excellent base for road cycling in the Pennyrile region. Hundreds of miles of good pavement on sparsely traveled and scenic roads provide an excellent location for a short, leisurely spin to a challenging century ride in the hills.
|Mountain Bike Trails
In nearby Pennyrile Forest, there are 10 miles of challenging mountain bike trails along scenic creeks and bluffs. Across from the trail-head and campground, a mountain bike skills area will be built. The 13-mile Pennyrile Nature Trail connects these trails to Dawson Springs.
Upper White Loop: This trail is accessed from the new trailhead. You can go either direction. Heading downhill (east) from the trailhead is the quickest way to access the Lower White Loop. The Upper, traveling north, parallels HWY 398, and is good for beginners (until the wooden bridge, where the downhill starts.) After that, it’s a fast-flowing downhill to some tricky creek crossings just past a cascade, and then you parallel a scenic bluff. It continues at an intermediate level with a steep climb, followed by rollers with some rocky drainage crossings. Continue uphill at the junction with the Lower to reach the trailhead.
Lower White Loop: Access from the Upper as described above, usually ridden turning right at the junction. This is probably the least technical loop overall. Just after leaving the Upper, you parallel a large creek, with some easy rollers to follow. As it loops back north on the other side of the same creek, there are 2 creek crossings that can be ridden, but if the water is too high, they can be crossed by walking just a bit off trail. More rollers follow, with a major creek crossing that all except experts will want to walk across. Just after that, it connects back with the Upper White, where you can go back to the trailhead, or continue along the Upper.
Blue Trail: This trail can be accessed from the Upper White at the Blue Connector. Going right (east,) you soon come to the junction with the Red, and continuing on the Blue is a steep climb. At the top of this is the Yellow Trail junction. Continuing on the Blue is mostly beginner terrain, with some easy rollers and a few rocks here and there. It continues almost to HWY 398, where the old trailhead was located. Just after that, the trail is more intermediate with some harder climbs and descents, and some rocky creek crossings that can easily be walked for beginners. You can take the connector back to the White Loop to the trailhead, or continue on to the Red and Yellow trails.
Red Trail: This trail has some of the most technical sections in the area. Most of these are located on the southern section of the trail, accessed by taking a right at the first junction. This can be bypassed by taking the Blue uphill as described above, taking the Red Trail there and continuing past the first Yellow junction to the more southerly junction with the Yellow. This section of the Red is mostly intermediate, passing through some old stands of hardwood and some very nice single-track. The technical section of the Red is very scenic, passing just below a beautiful bluff line, and just edging a large creek. There are some very rocky sections and roots, which makes it a very fun section for upper intermediate riders.
Yellow Trail: Mostly intermediate, this trail also has some sections of older trail through hard woods, which is great single-track. Some sections can be ridden fast, curving through the trees. If accessing from the Red at the southern junction, you pass through a small briar thicket, then quickly reach a wide creek crossing which is usually easy, but at high water can be walked. Just after there is a moderate climb into some really nice older trail. This continues for a while, until you come to a few rocky areas and a tricky rocky drainage crossing. After that, you come to a wide area of trail with lots of pines suffering from ice storm damage. There are frequent downed trees there, and sometimes some drainage issues. You will cross a metal bridge across the creek, and the trail narrows into a briar thicket, which can sometimes be a problem, but this section is short. It then connects back to the Red Trail.