In July 2021 we took a trip to visit some family in Dubuque, Iowa. We also took the opportunity to try out some mountain bike trails around the Dubuque area.
John Deere Proving Grounds
The Proving Grounds are built on land donated by the John Deere company a few miles outside of Dubuque (you know you're getting close when you see the massive John Deere complex). The Proving Grounds include a mix of walking and biking trails build in and around dense forest.
Next to the road just before the parking lot is a small pump track with a couple of intermediate level wooden features that were, unfortunately, home to many wasps.
There is a gravel road that cuts the proving grounds in two and provides a convenient shortcut back to the parking lot if you need an early exit.
The trails were reasonably well maintained and clear of brush, though many sections had black dirt that doesn't pack and well as a clay mix. Some of the sections were not yet complete (July 2021), like the landing for these impressive drops.
Tucked away about one hundred yards from the parking lot is a paved skills course with lots of wooden features.