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Superior, Colorado, United States

Dirty Bismarck Loop

This mountain bike version of the famous Morgul-Bismarck bike race course, is a great loop trail near Superior, Colorado

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 12.1 miles / 19.5 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
 
Overview: Also known as the "Happy Meal Loop," the Bismarck Dirty Loop was completed in 2011 with the addition of the Meadowlark Trail section. This trail is easily accessible by Colorado Front Range trail users and is an especially enjoyable mountain bike trail.

Although challenging in a couple short sections, in general the Bismarck Dirty Loop is not a very difficult trail for mountain bikers or hikers. Other than a couple low-traffic dirt road crossings, the trail is very safe and road-free.

There is also a longer version of this loop. Stay tuned for a forthcoming Everytrail Guide.

This loop trail is good for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and trail running. Portions of it are also excellent for cross-country skiing.


Tips: - You will definitely want a mountain bike for this trail. Road bikes, recumbents, and Trikkes would not perform well on this trail.

-Weekdays provide great experiences on this trail. Weekends can get a little busy, but not too bad.

- Keep your speed in check and use your front brakes in moderation on the couple steep portions of this trail.

- This trail is easily accessible from Boulder, Superior, and Louisville, Colorado.

- If you are accessing this trail from Denver or the airport, there is an RTD Park-n-Ride at McCaslin Boulevard and hwy. 36. This Park-n-Ride is very close to the trailhead in Old Town Superior.

- If you are coming from Louisville, CO, the Coal Creek Trail ties into the Dirty Bismarck Loop in Old Town Superior. (You will cross under hwy. 36 and McCaslin Blvd.

- Dogs are commonly seen walking their humans on these trails, but they must keep a leash attached to their human's hand at all times.

Points of Interest

Parking
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Singletree Trail

Located in "Old Town" Superior, this is a nice, secluded little trail that skirts some of the old coal mining hot spots of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century coal mines. Remains and clues of these long-abandoned mines can be still be seen if you look carefully. There are a couple educational signs along the trail to help you recreate history.
Junction
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Dirt road crossing

This is one of two dirt roads you'll cross while traveling the loop. There's very little chance that you'll meet a vehicle on this road, but be a courteous little trail user and look both ways anyway.
Parking
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Dirt road crossing #2

After you cross this sparsely traveled dirt road, you'll be starting on the Cowdrey Draw Trail.
Landmark
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Old Silo

This is a popular resting spot for weary hikers and cyclists. You are almost guaranteed to see bird activity in this area. It seems to be a popular place for migratory birds as well as birds of prey.
Junction
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Junction of Cowdrey Draw and Community Ditch Trail

You can take either the high trail (this guide) or the low trail and still be on the Bismarck Dirty Loop. If you take the low trail, it adds at least a couple miles to the loop. Either way is equally scenic and enjoyable.
Junction
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Community Ditch Trail cutoff

If you are riding the loop counterclockwise, you'll cross a bridge over the Community Ditch and head up a short-but-steep section of the trail that leads to the Greenbelt Plateau Trail.
Junction
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Greenbelt Plateau Trail

This portion is usually the busiest part of the trail since it is shared by bicyclists, equestrians, and hikers. Fortunately, the main trail is very wide and there is a single-track mountain bike trail that runs alongside the Greenbelt Plateau Trail for most of its length.
Parking
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Greenbelt Plateau Trailhead

Located just off hwy. 128 near its intersection with hwy. 93, this is a large trailhead with ample parking including room to park horse trailers. This trailhead also accesses the High Plains Trail.
map

High Plains Trail

This trail provides an off-road route between the Greenbelt Plateau Trail and the Coalton Road Trail. It has some fairly rocky sections so a good front suspension comes in handy if you're biking this trail.
You will get some good, up-close views of the wind turbines at the National Renewable Energy Laboratories across hwy. 128.
Information
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Close gates and follow the trail rules.

Much of the Boulder County Open Space is shared by recreationalists and various agricultural interests. On this trail and many others, you will pass through numerous gates. Please be sure to shut the gates after you have gone through them, even if you didn't open the gate.
Also be sure to follow the rules that have been generously posted throughout this trail system.
map

Coalton Rd.

From a long, flat straight-stretch at the top to a screamin' downhill ride to the bottom, Coalton Road provides a little of everything for the lucky hikers and bikers who sample its offerings.
Restroom
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Coalton Rd. Trailhead

Construction of this trailhead is being finished as I write this guide. It can be found on the western edge of the infamous McCaslin Blvd. roundabout and contains restrooms, information, and ample parking. It is truly a state-of-the-art trailhead of which Superior, Colorado can be proud.
Viewpoint
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Meadowlark Trail

This is the newest portion of the Dirty Bismarck Loop trail. Completed in early 2011, it runs semi-parallel to McCaslin Boulevard in Superior, Colorado.
Pictures in this guide taken by: trailsnet, Shane Rich Photography, trailsnet.com

Dirty Bismarck Loop Trail Map


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trailsnet
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I am a recently retired teacher whose new "career" is to explore as many trails as possible. I am especially...

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