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Sunbridge Downhill



0.4 mile 0.6 kilometer loop
76% Runnable


Ascent: 101' 31 m
Descent: -105' -32 m
High: 973' 297 m
Low: 872' 266 m


Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)


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Trail shared by Lee Clark


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A long descent followed by a rough climb.

Lee Clark

Features -none-

Please note there are multiple land managers for this trail with separate regulations and restrictions. Just past the tree gap, one goes from MO Department of Conservation land into City of Saint Joseph land.


To begin this downhill trail, start by heading west on the southern portion of Sunbridge Hills Conservation Area Trail from the junction with The Comeback Trail.

The bottom, below the lower intersection, has been a main invasion route for quads and motorcycles. That was cleaned up to extend the trail to the absolute limit of our local hills. Unfortunately, the lower segment was too steep for most people to climb back to the main intersection and the need for the return climb arose.

The trail begins at the intersection of The Comeback Trail and Sunbridge Hills Conservation Area loop trail within feet of Huntoon Road. Out of towners would have driven by the unmarked trailhead on their way to the main parking lot. Parking is allowed but it's VERY important not to block the access of water company vehicles that actively use that area. Roadside parking on the grass is allowed to the south at another trailhead (not included on the map, yet) a very short distance away.

The opening stretch is an easy, level trail with a couple turns. Then, there is a long wide open straight section. A tiny step down and an ever-present drainage ditch add some variety, before the tree appears.

A large tree had fallen years ago and a small gap was cut into it. This is shortly followed by a rocky section.

Just after it flattens out at the main intersection of Upper River Bluffs trail, it gets steep, the rocks return, and are a bit bigger.

Within sight of the railroad at the bottom of the hill, the return climb begins across the drainage on the right. There is a brief, narrow, rough bench cut climb to a mellow but slightly rough un-benched section. The climbing is rewarded by a traverse, to a fairly big step down into a smooth dirt section.

Then, the climb resumes. There are some tight spots and some rock thrown in, and a little bit of exposure, but nothing gnarly. The trail wraps around large limestone rocks before ending at the main lower intersection.

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