Known as Peterson's Pits to locals this park is found north of Ames. It's a twofer of sorts with the Skunk River dividing the park into East and West. As former gravel quarry, three small lakes were left behind for recreational use. Winding around the water in a series of loops are eight miles of off-road trails.
This was my first visit to the park with a mountain bike. As an off-road biking novice, I was hoping the trails would be scaredy-cat friendly with an easy terrain. I was in luck!
Wide, easy to spot dirt trails took me through timber. Smooth grass trail flanked the edge of a prairie. Things turned sandy in spots along the river bottom but wasn't difficult to manage. All were in good condition and a perfect match for my lack of riding skills.
A fat bike would be fun to ride here on snow covered trails. There's also a great picnic shelter overlooking a lake that would be a great spot for coffee outside.
I had the place to myself and had a blast. It was fun to roll the small hills. I felt zippy around corners and wondered if maybe not all my nerve has disappeared! Perhaps there's hope for this old dog to learn how to shred (as the young whippersnappers would say) off-road trails.