Head to Salem Hills/Harmon Park Reserve for Beginner/Intermediate MTB Skills Practice and Improvement

I recently took a trip to the Salem Hills Park/Harmon Park Reserve in Inver Grove Heights to check out the 4.3 miles of singletrack located there.  Construction of these trails started back in 2003 and was completed in 2005 with a cooperative effort from the City of Inver Grove Height and MORC (Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists) with the help of a federal RTP grant.  The trails wind through the rolling prairies, woods and wetlands of the parks.  While there is only one real technical obstacle along the trails, this is a great spot for beginner and intermediate level mountain bikers to hone their skills.

You will find a map at the entrance of the trails that details the three loops that have their own distinctive character of landscape.  The A Loop "Singletrack Sawmill" is .70 miles long and travels mostly through a wooded area of the park.

The B Loop "Foul Pond" is 1.3 miles long and meanders through woods, fields and across three small bridges.  This section contains the only technical obstacle along the trail, a large rock, but has a bypass trail if you choose to go around it.

The C Loop "Prairie Fire" is the longest section of trail at 3.6 miles.  This section provides the rider with a mix of singletrack running through hardwood forests and rolling prairies.  While hill climbing isn't very difficult in this area, this loop does have the most elevation change of the three loops.

Visibility is limited in some areas due to woods, brush, tall grasses and tight turns, but this will help a fast moving rider in making split second decisions in following sight lines and negotiating the trail.  Rocks, roots, loose gravel and sand are some of the other obstacles that will give users a challenge as they speed through the loops.  These trails are fast and winding and will give the rider lots of practice braking and cornering. 

If you're new to mountain biking, have a kid that would like to give it a try or just want to improve your own speed, braking and cornering skills, Salem Hills Park/Harmon Park Reserve is a great place to start.

Trail Photo Gallery: Salem Hills/Harmon Park Reserve

Salem Hills/Harmon Park Reserve Map

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