May 2024 Trails Talk


Spirit Lake 4th graders, along with several volunteers, spent the last day of school on May 17 participating in the 10th annual BRAWL (Bike Ride Along West Lake).

Spirit Lake PE teacher and ride organizer Tim O’Hagan shares that every year it takes a dedicated group of people to make the big day happen. The Spirit Lake PIE program helps with providing snacks and lunch for the two rest stations. Lakeside Lab and First Lutheran Church offer their facilities for the rest stops and Titterington, Inc. provides a semi for hauling all of the bicycles to and from the event. Additional volunteers also provide tandem rides for those students who have not honed their bicycling skills yet.

The ride features three routes ranging from 8.5-12.5 miles and it is an excellent opportunity to teach the students about bike safety and the joy of our local trails. Thank you to Tim O’Hagan and all of the volunteers that make this great event a reality including Iowa Lakeside Lab and First Lutheran Church for hosting the student riders and Titterington, Inc. for transporting all of the bicycles.


Getting out on the trails is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise.  However, there are times when we hear complaints or see issues that concern trail users.  The trails are being used more than ever these days and it is important to remember that thoughtful trail etiquette makes the experience better for everyone. This month we will focus on taking our dogs on the trail. This is a great activity and the trails are an excellent place for us to get exercise with our pets.  Keep in mind that most cities have leash laws that require their use and having our dogs on a leash helps keep them and other trail users safe.  Even the best-behaved dogs can be startled by approaching bicycles or unexpected interactions. We also have to presume that some people are afraid of dogs.  Likewise, we need to pick up after our pets. Besides being unsightly and smelly, animal waste can be hazardous to the health of children and other pets using the trail.  Being polite and using common courtesy while on the trail with our pets will make it more enjoyable for everyone.


40TH ANNUAL U of O CAMPUS BIKE RIDE:  Saturday, June 29 – Enjoy a ride around the Iowa Great Lakes of 25, 50 or 100 miles. A pancake breakfast at Florence Park in Milford starts at 7:00am with ride to follow at 9:00am.  Take in the beauty of scenic trails and lakeside roads on your bicycle and return to the park for a barbecue with live music at 2:00pm. Proceeds from the ride go to area projects, local police and fire departments and the trails system. Visit the Okoboji Chamber’s Campus Ride website for ride details and registration.


BRASL – BIKE RIDE AROUND SPIRIT LAKE:  Saturday, July 13 – Enjoy a 15-mile bike cruise around Iowa’s largest natural lake or power bike new 25 and 50-mile routes around the Iowa Great Lakes.  This is a family friendly ride that treats you to scenic lakeside trails and includes a t-shirt and lunch certificate. Proceeds from the event will benefit Dickinson County Trails. Visit the Spirit Lake Chamber website for ride details and registration.



2024 DCTB SUMMER FUNDRAISER: Friday, July 19 – Plans are coming together for the 2024 “Bikes – Brews – Bites” trails celebration that will take place at the Maser Monarch Lodge near the Dickinson County Nature Center. There will be a variety of brews and wine along with a bourbon tasting, live music and a fantastic menu provided by Back Alley BBQ. Keep an eye out for sponsorship opportunities and tickets that are available soon through the DCTB’s website and Facebook pages. For more information, please contact us at or visit our website at .


As always, Happy Trails to You and Yours.
Erin Reed, Executive Director