Forecast Winds RAGBRAI Sources Snowmobiling
Road map for bicyclists--OBrien County

Biking around Primghar seems to be safe--not the most scenic in the world--just safe, relaxing, and good exercise. The terrain poses few problems (loose gravel on the gravel roads, mud caking your wheels to a stop on a dirt road after the rain, but little else). The wind is another story. There are two philosophies about the wind--go into the wind first so you can easily make it back with the wind, or, go with the wind first so you feel like "going forever." And then you get plenty of exercise getting back.

With proper planning you could have a tail wind both outbound and inbound. Sign up for a KTIV personal weather forecast. They show hour by hour weather including wind direction and speed.

A trip from Primghar to Sanborn is an easy 8 miles on the shoulder of Highway 59 (Silver Avenue). You can retrace your path home or go another mile west and come south on a very sparsely traveled blacktop (L48). There are three, north-south blacktops (L40 thru Archer, L48 west of Sanborn, and L54 3 miles east of Primghar that are all very sparsely traveled--indicated on my map by the white line through the line coloring assigned by the state.

Another nice trip is three miles on the nice shoulder of Highway 59 north to B24 (360th Avenue). Take B24 3 east to L54 (Taft Avenue). The B24 leg does have the traffic to and from Spencer, Iowa, so you need to be vigilant. At L54 turn south 3 miles to B40 (390th Avenue). If you head back to Primghar on B40, watch the traffic. You can continue south 4 miles to 430th Avenue near Gaza, swing west to 59 and back to Primghar. This latter route is a 20 mile loop with only 3 miles on mildly traveled highway. The rest is not devoid of traffic but seems quite friendly to bicycling. You could continue down Taft to meet highway 59 and make the loop a total of 28 miles.

The gravel roads are acceptable riding if the maintainer (road grader) hasn't loosened everything. There are no particular routes on gravel to recommend around Primghar. In the southeast corner of the county you might find some interesting gravel road tours.

The dirt roads are as good as pavement when they are dry and hard packed. These I recommend for solitude and an occasional encounter with wildlife (deer, fox, turkey, pheasants, etc.). Find the green in the map above to find the dirt roads. One nice collection of roads is, from Primghar, 6 south, 2 east on dirt, 1 more east on gravel, one south on blacktop (Taft Ave) and three east on dirt. You will be on the NW edge of Sutherland. Drop in for refreshments and then head back to Primghar on the paved shoulder of highway 10, highway 59. This loop would be 28 miles.

About scenery in Iowa. In 1999, a story in the Des Moines Register had a rider not from Iowa remark that the scenery did vary:,"soybeans on the left, corn on the right, or maybe soybeans on the right, corn left; or maybe corn on both sides; or soybeans on both sides. --There you have it!" Yup.

Map based on the 1999 Iowa Bicyclist Map. Call 800-345-IOWA to request your free copy of the map.


Extend the Season Without, you ain't much!
Rules-2005 (pdf file- 330 kbytes)

Designated snowmobile routes

The trails are in blue otherwise use the legend for the bicycling map.

The snowmobile routes are, for the most part, ditches alongside county blacktops. The O'Brien County Snowtrackers' Groomer is used to groom the trails. There are hazard and traffic control signs along the trails but all riders must use caution. And motorists--be alert for snowmobilers; they may maneuver unexpectedly.

This map of the trails is based on a snowmobile trails map available at the County Recorder's Office in Primghar. That map has blowups to show the trail around each city.

For more information, contact the O'Brien County Snowtrackers: Z. B. Christensen, email, 5441 380th St., Archer, IA 51231.

Assembled by ovk. Last updated 918/2006.
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