Forget the pavement, hit the dirt!
Kansas is the Gravel Cycling capital of the USA - and the Flint Hills are the premiere gravel cycling destination in the State!
El Dorado sits on the edge of the beautiful Flint Hills and is the perfect launching spot for some of the best gravel cycling routes in the country!
The Golden Loop
The Golden Loop is El Dorado's signature route. This loop begins in Downtown El Dorado where you can find free parking at the Chamber of Commerce or at City Hall. A short 2-block ride on the El Dorado Bike path later and you're hitting the gravel and making your way past El Dorado Lake and into the beautiful Flint Hills. This path includes beautiful views and picture perfect scenes.
Note: There are NO services along this route.
Ghost Town Route
This route starts at the El Dorado Oil Museum (which hosts a large collection of historical equipment from El Dorado's Oil Boom, free parking and restrooms). The path follows the El Dorado Bike Path and passes through a residential neighborhood before hitting the gravel just North of El Dorado. This area was home to one of El Dorado's two oil fields. The route follows refinery road and passes through beautiful scenic countryside before coming to Stapleton No. 1 (where oil was first discovered in the region). The site is marked with a historic marker (during WWI this oil field produced 12% of GLOBAL oil production). As you continue you'll pass through the ghost town of the former community known as Oil Hill. The few abandoned buildings in Oil Hill are all that remain of this small community just outside of El Dorado that once housed 20,000 oil field workers and their families in the 1910s, 20s, and 30s.
Dam Slam Loop
This route (which is roughly 50% paved) begins at East Park in El Dorado (free parking, restrooms, visitor's center inside the Kansas Oil Museum). This loop follows the El Dorado Bike Path toward El Dorado State Park and El Dorado Lake. You'll follow a gravel road along the top of the El Dorado Dam for spectacular views of the lake and surrounding areas. The path then winds through the Walnut River Campgrounds and circles back to the El Dorado Bike Path.
Wine About It Loop
Don't Wine About It! This loop takes you along Northern El Dorado and the edge of the scenic Flint Hills, following gravel roads winding to just outside of Whitewater, Kansas. The halfway point is Grace Hill Winery, one of the best wineries in Kansas. Here you can use the restroom, enjoy a meal and take a break with a delicious glass of wine (we suggest Dodging Tornadoes, but you can't go wrong)!
Once you've rested and ready to hit the gravel, you'll follow a different route through the farmland, passing creeks and historic cemeteries before re-connecting in El Dorado.
This route begins at the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Center (free parking and restrooms).