Swope Park Loop

Fantastic, swoopy, rock-filled mountain biking in the suburbs of Kansas City.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
19 km
Ascent
333 m
Descent
333 m
Low Point
232 m
High Point
292 m
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Swope Park Loop Map

Description

Swope Park is tucked away in the hustle and bustle of the Kansas City suburbs, providing a beautiful natural respite from the crush of traffic and city life. In this metropolitan park, you'll find playgrounds and a golf course, but you'll also find some of the most fantastic singletrack mountain bike trails in the region!

The park is home to several interconnecting loops and trails that can be combined together or cut down to make rides of varying lengths and difficulties. In addition, if you utilize the A2B trail and just a little pavement, you can easily pedal down to the Blue River Parkway Trails and put together a 30+ mile ride, right here in the heart of Kansas City!

But if you only ride in Swope Park proper, you'll still be treated to a fantastic mountain bike experience. The black dirt trails swoop and flow through the woods, rolling up along the ridges then plummeting down short, fast descents before swooping up the next one. One wonders if the "Swope" is onomatopeia for the sensation of mountain biking through these woods!

The vast majority of the trails here are relatively smooth and non-technical, but they are punctuated by rock gardens, both small and large. The most substantial rock features are formed by protrusions of limestone bedrock thrusting out of the black dirt. In places, you'll drop into narrow gulleys between upthrust bedrock, clamber up and over exposed rock ledges, and launch your bike off of rock drops on the short downhills.

While the trails won't brutalize you with rock obstacles all the time, the average difficulty of the riding here at Swope isn't for the faint of heart. While I can't quite give it a "Severe" FATMAP difficulty rating, negotiating these rocks will require both adept bike handling and respectable fitness for the uphill power moves. If you're looking for true long-distance non-technical cross country riding in Kansas City, it can be found... just not here!

The incredibly entertaining technical mountain biking and endless singletrack found here in the outskirts of the metropolis will surprise out-of-town visitors, but the locals know: Kansas City is a hotbed for mountain biking!

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

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