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New gravel

Will Fisher from Marinette Wisconsin on 6/22/2021 6:45:12 PM:
Just an FYI. There is new gravel that has made the sect from Norfolk to O’Neal very difficult. Deep sand and gravel. We are going across the country and this was a huge disappointment. We are on gravel bikes with 38mm tires with packs . we came across two women that were giving up after falling several times. We finally finished on highway 20. I made a call into the trail manager Alex to express my disappointment but never heard back.

Peter Sheridan from Santa Rosa California on 6/23/2021 8:47:37 AM:
I agree. Worst trail conditions I have ever experienced in all the trail riding I have done. It's inexcusable. Gap trail, Katy trail, c&o trail and Alps to Ocean and Otago in New Zealand have none of these issues. Why can't these people get it right?

Ah Jeez from Iowa on 6/23/2021 9:38:02 AM:
How long is the stretch of new gravel? I am heading to Valentine tomorrow to ride the trail back to Norfolk. I am riding recumbent and this could be a game changer for me. It surely isn't loose gravel all the way from Norfolk to O'neill.

Peter Sheridan from Santa Rosa California on 6/23/2021 1:18:08 PM:
Somewhere between Neligh and Norfolk the sand traps got the best of me. It was about 20 feet long and about 6 inches deep. After a few maneuvers I got stuck and stoped dead and went over. The rest of the trail is good to moderate. You have to stay alert for the drifts of sand and small sand holes. You'll have to get out and push through a few places if you're not used to it.

Alex from Lincoln on 6/29/2021 2:51:52 PM:
Thanks for reporting these conditions. A unprecedented flood in 2019 had deposited a lot of silt on the trail and eroded the base material in a number of areas which is likely the cause of these soft spots. We made a bunch of temporary repairs to re-open the trail so folks could use it until a permanent fix could be done. If you recall the exact location of any of these areas please report them here:

West to east from Boulder co on 7/3/2021 10:37:27 AM:
We are in Bassett riding west to east on 700x38mm tires. The reported goat heads are not out yet. There are brushy parts of the trail and some gravel patches but for strong riders with good bike handling skills everything east of lone pine is a good ride. There is a detour around a section of closed trail east of lone pine.

opedaler from Ne nerbraska on 7/4/2021 1:13:12 AM:
The cowboy trail has been fraught with issues since its opening, and the flooding is just one issue imo. Another has been lack of interest from riders. There is the "If you build it they will come" crowd, and then there is the "We will fix if we see interest" crowd. Both have legitimate concerns imo. When it was first opened it was in pretty good shape imo, but it was frustrating to see so many taking the highway anyway. We rode from Norfolk to Neligh and back and only saw one other individual......a bird watcher on foot.....on the trail. It is my sincere hope that covid will bring out some more outdoors people to such a fun pastime. As for us, retirement is giving us the chance to try some new trails.......Coeur d'Alene, Hiawatha, Mickelson (we've done that one before), Katy, and the Mopac, Homestead and Standing Bear in Nebraska. We'll have a better chance to evaluate after this year.

Biker4 from Papillion, NE on 7/6/2021 11:54:22 AM:
Thank You opedaler for your comments. I agree with your thoughts- riders still taking the highway. One thing that is wrong is the negative comments other riders post as to repairs done to the trail but not posted on their completion . Riders do not want to go half way through an area they heard was to be repaired but not posted as completed ie trail sign for completed work or updates posted at trailheads. I have ridden all of the trail you listed and more. When doing so talking to other riders they have a bad opinion of the cowboy trail with bridges out, loose gravel, goat heads poor sign instructions as well as slow repairs. I live in Papillion and have not tried to ride the trail since the flood and was hopping to ride late this year if I hear better reviews on the trail. WHO DO YOU BELIEVE?

Cynthya from Lewis,KS on 7/6/2021 12:55:03 PM:
As I have said in previous posts, my husband and I rode this trail in 2017. It was challenging at times, but still rideable. We rode Ranz recumbents (V and Formula LE) with 20 " wheel on front and 26" on back. We got off the trail at Ainsworth just before the Co-Op. A local person told us that the stickers were really bad along that area. The only other highway riding we did was where we had to get off at Clearwater because the bridge was out (and it is still out), due to the flooding that they had years ago. Getting a rails to trail up and going is a lot of work. You have to have people that want to do a lot of hard work as well as all the paperwork and struggles dealing with people not on board. Any of these trails that are up and running and have really good conditions have been there because of dedicated interested people who have put in a lot of hard work.. not to mention maintenance. It's the old rock and hard place...Make a trail and they'll come...maybe. Fix it and they'll come ...maybe. Problems or no...I hope someday to ride The Cowboy Trail again. Things are never easy... but if people wait for will never happen!.