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Moonrise Bike Ride is Ottawa Bike and Trail's premier bikepacking, music, and food festival on the Flint Hills Trail State Park

Moonrise Bike Ride Rider's Guide

This page contains all of the information and Links for Moonrise Bike Ride 2024

Note:  The riders guide has not been finalized for 2024.  Riders Guide will be updated as we get closer to the event.  

Weekend Schedule:

Check-in and Start Times:

All riders will need to check-in with Moonrise Bike Ride staff before starting their ride.  At check-in riders will receive their wrist-band and we will confirm that you have filled out the waiver form.  All riders must sign a waiver form.  

There are three different check-in times depending on which route option you chose.  

Campfire: check in at Riverfront Brewing in Council Grove on Friday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  

Main Event Council Grove Start: check-in at Watts Coffee at 120 W. Main, Council Grove, Saturday from 7:00 am to 9:00 am.

Main Event Ottawa Start: check-in at Ottawa Bike and Trail on Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  

Alternate Check-in Options:

If you need to check-in outside of the check-in windows that's ok.  We'll just need a signed waiver from you before you start the ride.  

Ride Start Times:

We'll have a mass start at the end of each check-in window.  However, riders are welcome to start at any time.   If you require more time feel free to leave earlier.  If you are planning to take advantage of luggage transportation you will be able to drop off your gear during the check-in windows above.  Also note you will be required to follow our luggage drop-off windows on Sunday.  

Gear Transportation: 

Moonrise Bike Ride is a self-supported bikepacking event and we encourage participants to carry their own gear on their bicycle if possible.  However, we want everyone to be able to participate regardless of bikepacking experience.  Therefore, we offer gear transportation from all starting locations.  If you are using our gear transportation services please follow our pick-up and drop-off times if you are using our gear transportation services.

Packing Guidelines:

1) Pack as light as possible.  Try to limit your gear to one-bag and a small cooler or folding chair if possible.  

2) Label your gear with name, phone number, and start location.

3) Bring a folding chair.  There is picnic table seating at Pomona Lake State Park, but if you want to bring a folding chair or blanket you might be more comfortable.

Gear Pick-up and Drop-off Times:

If you are using gear transportation service you'll drop your bags off during the check-in windows (see schedule above).

On Sunday morning, we'll transport your gear back to the starting point and have it ready for you to pick up there.  

Council Grove: Riverbank Brewing between 12:00 - 4:00 pm

Ottawa: Ottawa Bike and Trail between 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

PLEASE KEEP THE PICK-UP WINDOW IN MIND WHEN TIMING YOUR RETURN TRIP.  If you miss the pick-up window you're gear will be taken to Ottawa Bike and Trail where you can pick-up during normal business hours.

Site Map:

We're at a new location this year.  Our camping area and music area are located just outside of the Pamona Lake Marina.  Here's a picture of the area:

Moonrise Bike Ride Site Map

Tent/Hammock Camping: 

There are plenty of tent camping spots in the primitive camping areas along the water as well as in the field further away from the lake.  The primitive areas along the water are somewhat rocky, but if you have a sleeping pad you should be able to find a comfortable spot.  There are plenty of Hammock spots available in both areas.  Please do not camp in the RV spots surrounding our designated area (orange markers).  

Marina Access

The Pomona Lake Marina will be open Saturday until 9:00 pm.  The marina is just a few yards from the Music/Food area of the event.  They will have cold beer, drinks, and many other items available.  So, please feel free to stop in if you need anything.  They also have canoe, kayak and pontoon boat rentals.  Give them a call if you have any questions about their services.

Planning for the Heat

We may be experiencing extreme heat during the weekend.  Please take whatever steps are necessary to prepare yourself for the heat.  

Stay Hydrated:

We will have plenty of cold water, ice, and Gatorade available at Pomona Lake State Park and Base Camp Flint Hills.   The ride itself is self-supported so make sure you are able to carry enough cold water to get to your destination.  Also, make sure you are aware of the available water sources on the routes.  For riders coming from Council Grove there will be water at Allen (Base Camp Flint Hills) and Osage City (Henry's Coffee, Casey's and others).  For riders coming from Ottawa there is a short detour to Casey's in the town of Pomona.  

For riders returning to Council Grove on Sunday we may plan additional water drops along the route.  We'll provide more information about this at check-in.

Ride with a group:

It is always a good idea to ride with a group, but especially in extreme conditions.  There will be plenty of opportunity to ride with others so make some friends and help out others that may need help.

Change your plans?:

Riders returning to Council Grove on Sunday may want to consider modifying their plans.  Parking is available at Base Camp Flint Hills for riders who want to park a car there to shorten the return ride.  

We may also have spots available on the sag wagon for the return trip.  But, spots may be limited, so please let us know at check-in if you think you may want to claim a spot.  


Stay Cool:

While it will certainly be hot at Pomona Lake we are fortunate to be surrounded by an enormous body water.  Here' a few things you can do to stay cool at the lake.  

1) Jump in the lake

2) Cool off in the shower house

3) Rent a kayak or canoe

4) Shop in the air-conditioned Marina

5) Drink plenty of ice cold water and Gatorade

6) Get a spray down at the water station


The first map is for Council Grove to Pomoma Lake State Park.  Here's the link to the map on Ride with GPS.

Route Notes:

Please pay attention to these special notes about the routes.

Council Grove to Pomona:

1) Base Camp Flint Hills (BCFH):  BCFH, on the west side of Allen, will be our overnight stop for Moonrise Camp Fire.  It will also be a water stop for riders starting in Council Grove on Saturday.  You'll see the Base Camp Flint Hills sign from the trail.  There are very little water sources on the Council Grove to Osage City segment, so be sure and take advantage of the stop.

2) Detour in Osage City: The Flint Hills Trail inside the city limits in Osage City is not complete.  When you come in to Osage City from either direction you'll see where the trail goes from completed trail to what looks like a grass field.  Our map contains the preferred route around the unfinished section.  It also takes you through downtown Osage City which provides access to a coffee shop and convenience stores.  Also, there is a trail detour to the east of Osage City.  This section of the trail is currently being improved.  To get around this take Brant Road which is just north of the trail. 

Ottawa to Pomona:

Moonrise Main Event Riders will use the Ottawa to Pomona Route.  Here's the link to the route.


1) Detour west of Ottawa:  As you ride west of Ottawa there is a 3.2 mile detour on a gravel road.  The detour is well-marked and the road is very hard-packed gravel.  The detour is in place to allow for safe crossing of the BNSF railroad.  The State has an active and funded project to build a bridge over the BNSF railroad tracks.  There is no official completion date for the bridge but we're expecting it to be complete in 2024.

2) Town of Pomona:  There are no water stops on the route to Pomona.  However, there is a new bathroom that was recently completed on the trailhead in the city of Pomona.  If should need water or supplies you can ride north about a half-mile to the Casey's in Pomona.


Overnight Parking is available at the starting locations.  Please be respectful of the businesses in both starting towns and park in the designated parking areas. These parking areas are generally safe for overnight parking, but please don't leave valuables overnight in your car.

Overnight Parking in Council Grove:

Riders starting in Council Grove for Moonrise Camp Fire or Main Event can park their vehicles overnight in the public parking spot at the Neosho Riverwalk Amphitheater.  It's directly across the street from Riverbank Brewing.  Riverbank Brewing will be the check-in spot for Friday and the finish spot for Sunday.  Check-in on Saturday morning will be just down the street at Wells Coffee, 120 W. Main. 

Moonrise Bike Ride Parking Council Grove Kansas

Overnight Parking in Ottawa:

We have several parking lots available for overnight parking in Ottawa.  Home base in Ottawa will be Ottawa Bike and Trail.  Please do not park in Legacy Square parking directly behind the shop as it's used heavily by the small businesses on the block.

Ottawa Bike and Trail Moonrise Parking in Ottawa

Overnight Parking at Base Camp Flint Hills

Limited overnight parking is available at Base Camp Flint Hills.  Riders wanting to start at Base Camp Flint Hills are welcome, just let the staff know that you'll be leaving your car overnight. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What kind of bicycle do I need? Any bike that you would ride on the Flint Hills Trail will do. We recommend tires that are 35mm or wider, but any tire will work on the packed limestone surface of the Flint Hills Trail. The other consideration is how much gear you plan on loading on your bike. If you are not comfortable carrying your gear, just let us transport it for you. 

Is alcohol allowed at Pomona Lake State Park?  Yes.  Please drink responsibly.

Can I park a car at Pomona Lake State Park?  Yes.  When you arrive to Pomona State Park you'll need to purchase a vehicle permit.  

Can I park an RV at Pomona Lake State Park?  Yes.  We recommend that you call Pomona State Park ahead of time and reserve an RV spot.  If you let them know you're with Moonrise Bike Ride they'll help you reserve a spot near our event.

Can I start early or late?  Yes, there is no official start time.  Just remember to check-in before you start. 

What if I need help on the trail?  This is a self-supported ride, so please be prepared and bring everything you'll need to repair your bike and complete the ride.  There will be a lot of riders on the trail and everyone will be more than willing to help out if you need it.  Keep in mind the cell reception on the trail may be limited so calling for help may be difficult.



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