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Johnstown NE on the Cowboy Trail

Mile marker 152.5
Elevation: 2598
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Cowboy Trail
L Bow Room
101 Main St, Johnstown
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Forum Discussions about Johnstown

Marna from Belle Fourche, SD on 08/24/2017 05:04 PM:
My husband and I have ridden the Katy Trail End to End and the entire Mickelson Both Directions.

We are planning a trip to Nebraska to ride one the Cowboy Trail from Valentine to Arabia.

We heard that some sections of the Cowboy Trail are being illegally fenced by ranchers there. Does anyone know if this are we are going to be riding is fence free and in good repair?

Cynthya from Salina on 08/25/2017 01:35 AM:
This trail is definitely not the Katy Trail. We just rode this section earlier this month. It is rougher than Katy. Some weedy areas and holes, lose gravel. None of it was fenced off (though we got that impression from the local police in Valentine). The big bridge you will ride across is spectacular and the scenery along this section beautiful. It is disappointing that there is opposition, however we did not run into any of that and we rode to Norfolk. The lack of maintenance in parts of the trail is disappointing also. They have a great treasure here and I hope that they will keep it up and folks will come to ride!

Marna from Belle Fourche, SD on 08/25/2017 11:30 AM:

We knew it was not the Katy and or the Mickleson..... and I am so glad to have your input.

I bought the book on the Cowboy Trail, but could tell right away when I started reading it that it is PC Bull....especially after talking to others that have ridden the trail.

We are looking forward to starting this Trail and again, THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPLY!

Stephen McGregor from Hannibal, MO on 09/13/2017 11:38 AM:
Everyone we met was friendly. And yes, a little maintenance would be good, just trying to keep some of the vegetation down, and the only place the trail was really bad for "mushy" conditions was from Bassett to Newport, that's where my friend Lisa took a tumble and cut her elbow and knee. There seemed to be a lot of "loose" granite gravel, and were later told by one of the local ranchers we were talking to that the ground is really "sub irrigated" from the aquifer, and there is little you can do about it. He (and correctly so) advised the ride from Stuart on would be different. One rancher's wife that was out walking with her dog on the trail in that area told us that water was only about 2 feet down.

But I think if they would brush out their four wheeler tracks a bit with something behind them when they spray that would help some. Most of the roughness we found was from fourwheeler tracks.

Marna from Belle Fourche, SD on 09/14/2017 09:30 AM:
Thanks for your reply!
And again, I really enjoyed reading about your trip on the Cowboy....
Let us know when you come do the Mickelson....we will try to meet you for at least a short ride and perhaps a meal together.

Stephen McGregor from Hannibal, MO on 09/14/2017 02:46 PM:
Hi Marna, yes, if we get to come back up that way next year and ride the Mickleson, we certainly will. Right now that is in our sights...

Marna from Belle Fourche, SD on 09/17/2017 11:20 AM:
Sounds Great!
We are hoping to get back out on the Mickelson this week....although we got a LOT of recent rain. I do have a Blog about Mickelson if you were interested in seeing it....

We are also hoping/praying to get to ride some of the Katy Trail later this year with our Children and Grandchildren who live in St. Louis County. We started riding bicycle with our children as babies....and they are still riding bicycles and now riding with their children.

Still planning that Cowboy Trail Trip for this Fall...hoping this month or next.

Stephen McGregor from Hannibal, MO on 09/18/2017 08:31 AM:
Hi Marna, I looked at your blog (I'll print it, I don't read well on the screen), but I like how you've done this. Lisa and I have ridden the Katy extensively (except the little piece from Clinton to Sedalia)... And we love it. The Cowboy Trail was lots more challenging, but it was a great time. If you come to Missouri (StL) let me know and we'll try and ride a bit with you.


Marna from Belle Fourche, SD on 09/18/2017 10:13 AM:

IF you enjoyed the Cowboy Trail for the adventure, you might like the Ice Age Trail in WI. There is (or was) camping on or near the trail in some areas and WI IS LOVELY! We lived there 9 years and left kicking and screaming. ;-)

The Mickelson is not the Katy, but I bet you guys will LOVE IT!

Again. Thanks for your note.

ps.... I do not like reading 'on screen' either. I often print out pages to sit down and read.

Brad Hayward from Bolivar MO on 10/06/2017 11:03 AM:
We just rode the trail from Atkinson to Valentine and back and we never noticed any illegal fencing going on. As for the section between Valentine and Arabia one should prepare for some pretty major washboarding for a few miles west of Arabia.

Stephen McGregor from Hannibal, MO on 10/13/2017 11:23 AM:
Videos of our three day ride from Valentine to Inman (Glad to see the car still where we left it three days earlier in the last of the day 3 video). But you can get some ideas of trail conditions from each of our days. One WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE:

Kevin Meier from Huntsville, Alabama on 10/15/2019 01:41 PM:
My wife are planning a trip that will start at the top of the Mickleson Trail and end at the eastern terminus of the Cowboy Trail. But we are unfamiliar with the dirt roads of South Dakota. (Which Google has us on from Edgemont to Oelrichs.) Are they traversable via bicycle or should we only stick to paved roads? Thanks!

Bassett to O Neill
Pepper from Grant NE on 10/14/2019 11:12 AM:
My friend from S D just biked the trail from Bassett to O Neill ( we l picked up there from biking from Valentine a year ago). This year was a bad year for flooding I. This area, so we rescheduled our trip 3 times before we were able to meet up! We love to bike this trail, but this time parts were rough and one bridge was washed out. Just be careful and alert! We camped in the Stuart and Adkison City Parks! Great facilities in both Parks. Hope you will take the time to explore these towns along The Trail! We are planning to meet in O Neill and finish at Norfolk!!

Cynthya from Salina, Kansas on 08/12/2017 08:47 AM:
We rode this section August 9, 2017. One of our harder days. The first few miles ok.Some weeds and grass on trail. Then we started picking up puncture vine, mainly moving across intersections. Pushed across and would have to pick out numerous stickers before going on. A couple times carried bikes across. A local advised riding on highway along the co-op. We took that advice. The trail from that point on into town was good.

Maynard from Oklahoma City on 10/25/2015 08:10 PM:
When passing Johnstown stop by the L Bow room saloon!
The owner Ruth is very nice and she has a full kitchen and bar if you need to calorie up.