Nicholson-Ford OHV Area, Marshalltown, Iowa
First Impressions: Nicholson-Ford OHV area is located just northeast of Marshalltown Iowa. The drive up to Nicholson-Ford OHV area was FLAT, so I knew I wouldn’t be finding any hills to climb. The park is also located on the wrong side of a levy. I knew muddy ruts were going to be an issue.
Property Type: Nicholson-Ford OHV area is managed by the Iowa DNR, so tags are required.
Related: What Do You Have In Your Trail Pack?
Time There: Friday, December 26th
Location: Nicholson-Ford sits beside a small river, on the wrong side of the levy.
Elevation: 880 feet
Inside Nicholson-Ford OHV Park Iowa
Trail Type: Nicholson-Ford OHV area offers wide trails to accommodate dirt bikes, ATV and SxS. The open trails and wide open view allow for fast riding with a reduced risk of crashing into another rider.
Terrain: The terrain at Nicholson-Ford OHV area consists of BLACK dirt, and some gravel on the main road. The black dirt found in central Iowa is excellent for agriculture and great for riding when it’s dry. As soon as it gets wet (as you will see in my Ride through of Nicholson-Ford), the dirt becomes a greasy, muddy sludge. It can get the better of you if you’re not paying attention!
Type of Riding: Nicholson-Ford OHV area is the ideal place to learn, There are very few sections that will give you a hard time, and the wide open dirt trails won’t mess with your balance. This park can also be extremely fun, as you can ride fast without worrying about crashing into other riders or catching a stray rock or rut.
Outstanding Features: Nicholson-Ford OHV offers fast trails, is a great place to learn, and has a few hidden play areas I was not expecting. There is an old spillway deeper into the park with steep concrete walls and broken bits to play around on.
Weather: I was riding the day after Christmas, so I wasn’t expecting to be very warm. The wind was minimal, and the sun was out occasionally. Once I got into the woods, the breeze was knocked down considerably.
Good for a Fun Weekend!
Facilities: Vault toilets at the staging area.
Length of Stay: 1 day
Other Riders: The few times I have been to Nicholson-Ford OHV the other riders were considerate on the trails.
Final Word: The Nicholson-Ford OHV area is NOT a destination ride, but if you are passing through it’s a fun stop just to play around. As a learning park, I haven’t found anything better. The wide open and level trails of the Nicholson-Ford OHV area allow for the whole family to have fun without worrying about crashing or getting stuck.
|Nicholson-Ford OHV||Marshalltown, Iowa|
|Property Type:||County, DNR managed|
|Trail length:||Over 20 miles|
|Trail Type:||All Dirt and Hard Pack|
|Weather||Seasonally Predictable for the Region, no Big Surprises.|
|Riding Fees:||Iowa OHV Sticker - $20ish|
|Camping Fees:||No camping|
|Nearest Gas:||Marshalltown, IA|
|On Site Facilities:||Vault Toilets|
|Primitive Camping Available:||No|
|Primitive Camping Locations:||None|
|Safe to Ride Alone?||Yes|
|Dirt Bike Exclusive Trails?||Few|
|Bring a Camera?||No|
|Bring a Lunch?||Yes|
|Recommended Stay||1 Day|