Saturday, May 28, 2016

Glasgow Road: the Gateway South

Riding out of Fairfield, Glasgow Road slants off Burlington Avenue at the Little League baseball fields. Extending thirteen miles south and east, this country road is one of the bicycling gateways out of Fairfield and into adventure cycling. 


A short mile or so of rural, residential housing quickly transforms to farmhouses and then to bean and corn fields, pasturage, and some wooded areas, which are mostly bordering creeks. The two-lane black topped county road is maintained, and although there is not much verge, traffic is usually light and drivers courteous. I keep an eye to the mirror for safety, and to be aware when vehicles coming and going are going to meet near my line of travel, especially at the crests of hills. Speaking of those lovely hills, there are plenty of them for your enjoyment, although there are also sections of flat farmland.
Up and down the hills will get you to the first Glasgow “gateway,” Osage Avenue, a gravel road that leads to Jefferson County’s Turkey Run Wildlife Area, about nine miles from Fairfield. Enjoy almost four miles of Glasgow Road before grinding gravel for the rest of the ride.

Just past the Osage turn lies Zillman’s Hills Recreation Area, four and a half miles into the ride.

A touch over seven and a half miles is the intersection with Stockport Road, Route W30. This paved road leads south to turn-offs to Morris Memorial County Park (about 15 miles SE), Van Buren County, and, of course, the small town of Stockport (15 miles south).

Ten miles down Glasgow Road heralds the turn-off to Round Prairie Park on Tamarack Road, two miles of gravel getting you to the county park. If you wish, traveling further on Tamarack will also get you to Morris Park, the two parks being close together, Round Prairie in Jefferson County and Morris in Van Buren.

At mile thirteen Glasgow Road ends, but traveling east on gravel surfaced 250th St., destinations in Iowa’s Henry County await. Most notable (and closest) are Oakland Mills County Park (21 miles from Fairfield) and Geode State Park (38 miles).

There are, of course, alternative routes south and east from Fairfield, since gravel roads abound, but good old Glasgow provides easy egress from town to country for day rides, overnighters, weekend excursions, or longer treks east or south that just begin in SE Iowa. 

Glasgow Road, take me home . . .

--from my iPhone 6+

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