Monday, October 15, 2018

Trail Work Day, Sunday October 21st

DHPT plans to have a trail work day on Sunday, October 21st starting at 9 a.m. to work on the Carlson Property Trails!

1703 Pleasant Ave
Decorah, IA 52101
(Carlson Property is on the OPPOSITE side of the road)

At this address look for the cemetery on the left. Entry point / trail head will be roughly just before the cemetery begins. Please use caution parking and do not park or drive on private property or residential driveways.

Many hands make light work, and it's a great way to give back to the trails we love to ride, hike, and run on.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

DHPT Trail Work Day- Sunday, October 14th

DHPT plans to have a trail work day on Sunday, October 14th starting at 9 a.m. to work on the Carlson Property Trails!

1703 Pleasant Ave
Decorah, IA 52101
(Carlson Property is on the OPPOSITE side of the road)

At this address look for the cemetery on the left. Entry point / trail head will be roughly just before the cemetery begins. Please use caution parking and do not park or drive on private property or residential driveways.

Many hands make light work, and it's a great way to give back to the trails we love to ride, hike, and run on.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

DHPT Trail Work Day- Sunday, October 7th

Thanks to the great crew that showed up today for trail work! “Fred” trail got lots of love!

Next workday will be Sunday, October 7th starting at 9 a.m. to work on the Carlson Property Trails!

1703 Pleasant Ave
Decorah, IA 52101
(Carlson Property is on the opposite side of the road)

At this address look for the cemetery on the left. Entry point / trail head will be roughly just before the cemetery begins. Please use caution parking and do not park or drive on private property or residential driveways.

Many hands make light work, and it's a great way to give back to the trails we love to ride, hike, and run on.

We have created an event on Facebook for those who are on social media.

There should be tools available, but you are welcome to bring your own if you prefer along with gloves, water, good trail shoes/boots!

If you would like to receive emails on when DHPT has workdays, send an email to and she'll get you added to the list!

1. What if I don't have tools?
We can provide you with something!

2. What if I don't know anyone?
This is a great time to meet new friends!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Trail Work Day

DHPT plans to have a trail workday on Sunday, September 23rd starting at 11 a.m. Meet at the Bruening Garage across from Luge trail.

We have created an event on Facebook for those who are on social media.

We have several trails that need some TLC: Luge, Fred, Dust Bowl, & IPT

Many hands make light work, and it's a great way to give back to the trails we love to ride, hike, and run on. If you can show up to lend a hand for any amount of time- it's greatly appreciated!

Where to meet is located in the picture indicated by the circle.

There should be tools available, but you are welcome to bring your own if you prefer.

Friday, August 31, 2018

DHPT Meeting 9/4/18

Tuesday, September 4th
7 p.m.

Current Agenda Items:

Time Trials- Race Director & Discussion of timeline for prep.

Trail Work Days- We need a couple

Carlson Property Update

Thank you letter to DHPT donors

Beginner Trail on East side of river concept

Any other agenda notes should be sent to me before Tuesday, September 4th.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bike Month DHPT Fundraiser

Decorah Bicycles has hosted a raffle ticket-style fundraiser for DHPT: Decorah Human Powered Trails since 2015. The format of this fundraiser is simple! Donate $5.00 to DHPT in cash or check format (sorry, no credit card transactions) and you get a raffle ticket that gives you the chance of winning 1 of 3 gift certificates to Decorah Bicycles!

As you can see from the image, the gift certificate amounts are:

There is NO limit to how many raffle tickets you purchase. You can buy one or one hundred- the choice is yours!

You do not have to be local to Decorah to participate. You can easily send a check for any amount to:
Decorah Bicycles
101 College Dr.
Decorah, IA 52101

If you prefer to donate without partaking in the fundraiser, click here.

We encourage anyone who uses the trails on foot, bike, or horse to consider donating a minimum of $5.00 as every little bit helps. It takes funds from folks like you to keep the tools DHPT volunteers need to maintain our soft trails in good working order. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Trail Workday 5/6/18

We have a workday scheduled for Sunday, May 6th at 12:00 p.m. (noon)
Meet by the Bruening's old shop across from Luge trail.

If you are not able to make the trail workday but you have time to invest in doing some work, leave a comment where you worked or send an email to the DHPT list so they know what work has already been done. Thank you!

Trails or Spots that need work:
Bottom of Dust Bowl crossing the big hill/crossing IPT
Some spots on the bottom/flat end of North 40 (counter clockwise)
Some shoring on Julia needing repair (couldn't hear exactly where)
Horsey (crossover to top)
Fred (Jeff)
Death Valley 
Old Randy
New Randy (Doug)
Cross Country
Backside of Upper Dunnings (Clay Corner area)
Van Peenen fire road

Monday, April 30, 2018

Driftless Discovery Run

Come to Northeast Iowa's bluff country, a place unlike anywhere else in the state, and perhaps the Midwest to run the off-road, single track trails of Van Peenen Memorial Park.

Van Peenen Memorial Park is one of Decorah’s 13 parks that make outdoor fun and staying fit a way of life in Winneshiek County. The trails are groomed, marked and ready for the more adventurous types like you.

This area is part of the outstanding 17-mile system of single-track mountain bike trails. Here is your chance to challenge your body by running them.

The parks were even cause to be mentioned in Men’s Journal magazines “52 Great American Weekends” feature. Enthusiasts drive in from all parts of the Midwest to enjoy these trails. Come see why!

On your adventure to Decorah as you experience our trail run, you will find our city’s premier campground, lush butterfly gardens, a scenic waterfall, the Upper Iowa River tubing and canoeing attractions, hiking, biking, and walking trails; not to mention the modern twist on Midwestern charmed business district where unique shops offer gifts and gear galore! But don't take our word for it...check it out!

-All runners in the 5k, 10k and 50k receive a nice piece of custom race swag; this year is a T-Shirt. Ultra-finishers receive a special gift. Other goodies rustled up from our super supporting businesses in town will be offered up in a general entry raffle. You must be present to win and pick up your prize.

All money goes into the event and any leftover money will be donated to the Northeast Iowa Montessori School and 25% is split between the Decorah Human Powered Trails (the creators and caretakers of the trails) and the Decorah Park and Rev.

All registrations are final but transferrable.

Crater 50k – 6AM start with cutoff being 3PM and no runner is allowed to start a 2nd loop after 11AM.

Meteor 10k & Basin 5k – Start immediately following the Lunar 1mile finish. Typically, this happens before 8:30AM.

Lunar 1mile – 8AM start, adults/parents can line the course to cheer on the little drifters on their run.
Start and Finish will be at the trail head of Van Peenen Park entrance on Quarry Hill Rd.

- There is one (1) aid station at the start/finish. The 5k passes the on-course aid station once, the 10k passes it twice and the 50k runners will have multiple aid stations along the course. Feel free to fuel your own race. We know you’ll take out anything you bring in so the trails stay beautifully rugged.

-All turns will be marked clearly for each race.

Driftless Discovery Run on Facebook
Driftless Discovery Run Event
Driftless Discovery Run

If you are interested in volunteering at the Driftless Discovery Run:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Trail Update 4/26/18

Hello All,
A bunch of the trails on the south side are really good and ride able, so get out and enjoy. On another note, a bunch of the trails have sustained damage from the heavy rains a few weeks back, when the frost wasn't out of the ground.  This caused major rut damage, small rivers right down the middle.
I went out today and fixed all of Public TV, which was probably the worst trail.  I think we may have a work day soon, but if you have some free time get out and vote with your shovel and get something that really matters taken care of. If you don't work, you shouldn't speak.
I know Rocky Road is really bad, Little Big Horn on both sides of GT Park and coming out of the cedars into the ravines are all in need of work.

If you fix a spot, please email the DHPT email list so everyone is on the same page with what has been fixed.
If you don't know how to fix it, look at these pictures.  All you need is a rouge hoe and a garden rake.

1st, shave both side of the trail toward the middle, trying to keep the blade and cut as close to the 
 natural grade of the land as possible.

2nd, after you get both sides shaved to the middle, walk back and forth to pack in.

3rd, Take the tines of the rake and smooth it out, walking down the middle again

4th, take the back side of the rake and smooth it out.

It is not hard, but it is work. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Time Trials Update #5

This spring has been a roller coaster of seasons combined into one, sometimes for a full 24 hours. We had our most epic dumping of snow on Wednesday, 4/18/18. Nearly 8 inches of snow fell during the day and into the evening hours. Granted, temps would be warming and snow would be melting....the spring thaw process has not fully finished.

With this we share the news that the 2018 Time Trials will be canceled.

Race Director, Ron Moffit made the call:
For only the second time in 28 years of the Decorah Time Trials, Mother Nature has decided to take a giant dump on this event (we were flooded out one other year). And so we sadly must cancel the 2018 Time Trails. While it’s not like us to cancel this thing due to bad weather. Heck we like watching you suffer out there. 

This spring (or should I say extended winter) has made it hard to predict what our trails will be like or if we can even get the work needed done on time for the race. I hope you all understand and will come down and ride these trails when the weather finally turns nice (I think sometime in July).

We will be back the last weekend of April 2019 (don’t ask me the date, that’s a year away) with more of the same crap you have learned to love (or hate).

Thanks for being understanding,

We are looking out for the trails as well as the safety of the riders. Our tardy spring weather and surprise winter snow is making it challenging to know what trail conditions will be. Obviously, in the past with Time Trials we have pushed forth and braved some gnarly conditions, but those times the trails were past the spring thaw process. Not quite the case for this spring season. 

Onward and forward!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Time Trials Update #4

Photo Credit- Nick Chill
The final countdown is on for the 28th annual Decorah Time Trials! Mother nature keeps things interesting as we continue with Time Trials prep.

Full course is going to be a little shorter than years prior.

Short course will be approximately 4 miles.

Full course entry fee- $25.00
Short course entry fee- $15.00
Kid's race- Free!

On-site registration starts at 10:00 a.m. at River Trail (across from Dunning's Spring Park sign.)You pick your starting spot in the lineup.

More details found here: Decorah Time Trials 2018

Those itching to pre-ride, we are not releasing course route details for a couple reasons.
#1. Trail conditions are not prime for folks pre-riding right now. (Thank you, nature!)
#2. It's uncertain of what conditions will be like the day of, and at this point, we want to ensure the integrity of the trails and if changes are going to be made last minute.There is no point of having a course released ahead of time.

Pretend it's Christmas! You wouldn't enjoy it as much if you knew what you were getting ahead of time. Know that the long course will be longer than the short course, you'll probably be climbing a lot of hills, and very likely having a fun time riding with fellow riders.

Another thank-you goes to T-Bock's for hosting our awards ceremony.
Always, we are so grateful to Decorah Parks and Recreation and for the wonderful volunteers who truly make the day special. Be sure to thank volunteers for their work, we all appreciate it!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Spring Thaw Update #1

We went out to scope trails in Van Peenen this morning (Sunday, March 25th 2018) when temps were around 26 degrees. As you can see, things are still on the fritz when it comes to Spring Thaw conditions.

IPT has a lot of ice cover (to be expected) and it wouldn't be surprising if it were closer to the middle of April until things shape up (considering our current weather pattern.)

Temps are still going down into the freezing temps at night and warming up during the day- this means frost is still coming out of the ground in many areas.

Not too much damage from bike and foot traffic, but you can tell there have been users out in less than ideal conditions. A lot of pock-marks from deer hooves. You'll have a bumpy ride no matter what.

We have an album up on Facebook for Van Peenen (so far.)

We are not going to waste our time with daily checks at this point. With thick ice in spots, it's not going to change an awful lot in a single day.

One of our trail checkers reported that Dunnings was shaping up on a couple trails, but the majority still had some ice and/or were soft in above freezing temps.

Long story short- unless you ride our trails in the morning while temps are still below 34 degrees, please respect them and stay off until they have firmed up.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Time Trials Update #3

We're fine-tuning some details and the countdown is on!

Race Director: Ron Moffit
If you have specific questions pertaining to the Time Trials, he's your guy!

Check out the TT event on Facebook!
Don't forget to like the TT page!

Registration starts at 10 a.m.
You pick your start time at registration.

Registration fee for the long course is $25.00
Registration fee for the short course: TBD
Registration fee for the kid race: Free!

Kid Race starts at 11 a.m. and lasts around 25 minutes.

Pre-Race meeting after awards for the Kid Race participants.

Roll Out to start after Pre-Race meeting.

Starting around 11:30(ish)

Short course riders go first.

Five minute gap between last short course rider and first long course rider.

Awards and general celebrating of a job well done will be at T-Bock's from 3-5 p.m.

Remember, don't forget to thank the awesome volunteers who donate their time to help make the race a success! We really appreciate their hard work and dedication to helping make the Decorah Time Trials a success. Also, a great big thank you to Decorah Parks and Recreation for their continued support of DHPT and Time Trials.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Freeze/Thaw Cycle

Trail ruts caused by riding partially thawed trails.
The transition from winter to spring is here and local trails will be experiencing freeze thaw cycles. This means trail conditions will be unsuitable for riding until the ground freezes solid and daytime temperatures stay well below freezing.

What's the big deal with freeze thaw cycles?
Dirt trails are extremely venerable to rut damage during the transition to and from winter because colder temps prevent the soil from drying. When soil freezes the growth of ice crystals push soil particles apart leaving large gaps that can fill with water when the ice melts. In a thawed state this dirt is much like a sponge and will absorb large amounts of water. It is also hyper sensitive to disturbance by foot/bike traffic and flowing water and will form ruts with little effort. Direct sunlight and above freezing daytime temperatures can thaw the top layer of frozen dirt and create an easily rutted, greasy, muddy mess on the surface. Overnight, lower temperatures refreeze the top surface of the trails, ruts included, and the process repeats when conditions allow (hence the name freeze thaw cycle).

Why are ruts bad for trails?
When ruts develop along a trail they channel water, causing erosion of the trail surface, and slow the drying process. Rain is highly erosive to trails when the ground is frozen and ruts greatly increase the chances of erosion by flowing water. When the soil is frozen, water can't soak in like normal and flows along the top in large quantities. Ruts on a trail can intercept these flows and divert them along the length of a trail. As the water flows down the trail and picks up speed it also picks up soil particles and washes them away from the trail. This can leave behind deep ruts tens or hundreds of feet long in extreme circumstances. Come spring time, ruts can also hold pools of water on the trail surface and prevent it from drying as quickly. If these puddles are disturbed by bike tires they can quickly turn into large mud pits. Fixing these areas eats up trail volunteer time that could be better spent on other projects. Wet areas like this also prolong trail closures.

Tips for riding during the winter/spring months where temps fluctuate between freezing/above-
Pay attention to the trail status
Don't ride frozen trails when the temperature is above freezing.
Ride frozen trails early in the morning before they have a chance to warm.
Don't ride if the temps are hovering around freezing and it is sunny. Wait until temps are below 25F and even then there may be thawed areas.
If after following all the above guidelines and the trails are still too soft, turn around and come back another time. A single rider can damage many thousands of feet of trail under these conditions.

Please respect the trails during the transition months in the winter/spring so everyone can maximize their enjoyment come spring time!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Next Meeting & Trail Update

The next meeting for DHPT will be held at T-Bock's on Tuesday, March 6th at 7 p.m. We will be *upstairs* for the meeting. You'll have to plan ahead if you want to eat/drink as there will not be service upstairs. Bus your dishes, tidy up, and please do not move any tables as the floor can be scratched easily.

On the agenda as of 3/1/18
DDTR update
Carlson Property Update
Fundraising Update
Social Media Update

MTB Trail Use Update:
We're experiencing spring thaw conditions at this time. No trail riding is being done by administrators of the Decorah Mountain Bike Trails page. A great read about the affects of riding of soft trails due to thaw conditions can be found here, (it is winter-riding based, but the thaw portion applies!) Trail conditions like this apply to all users, be on 2 wheels or foot.

Please note that Decorah Bicycles will *not* rent out mountain bikes for trail riding while spring thaw conditions apply.

Using the Trails Page as a resource to point folks to curious about if our trails are "closed" is ideal. Once temps stay consistent, updates will happen. Until then, bog down on peanut butter gravels or find some pavement to grind!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Time Trials Update #2

We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our sponsor, T-Bock's Sports Bar and Grill! Our Time Trial awards ceremony will be held upstairs from 3p.m. to 6 p.m.

T-Bock's has been an ongoing sponsor of DHPT: Decorah Human Powered Trails and we greatly appreciate their support!

Be sure to check T-Bock's out on Facebook! The have an awesome menu and a wonderful selection of beers on tap!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

DHPT Updates

Greetings folks who browse the internet. We have come into a new year with some awesome stuff planned for the 2018 season and beyond. We might not update this site regularly, but you can find us on Facebook. Heck, we might even get on that Instagram thing. Go give these a like and stay in the loop.

Pages of interest (drumroll.....)

On the leadership front, we have a new set of officers for the next couple years. 
President: Lars Hovden
Vice President/Secretary: Josie Smith
Treasurer: Jeff O'Gara

Upcoming Events of Interest.
Fearless Women of Dirt Membership (Opens April 1st) -$20 donation to DHPT
Fearless Women of Dirt Women's Night (April 24th) - Any woman interested in riding off-road or involving their son/daughter in off-road rides.
Decorah Bicycles DHPT Raffle Fundraiser (May 1st-May 31st) - $5.00 raffle tickets = prizes!