Stark Falls

Met up with a couple of fellas in Stark KS for a little gravel road ride up to the Bourbon State Fishing Lake waterfall. The big waterfall wasn’t flowing, so that was a letdown, but the ride was otherwise enjoyable. There’s some ruggedly beautiful country around the lake. The weather was cool (mid-30s to mid-40s) but sunny, with a stiff WNW wind that was, of course, alternately for and against us.

Here’s the route, and here are some photos:

The old railroad depot at Stark, KS
The derelict Stark Grain Elevator in Stark KS
Heading onto gravel out of Stark, under wispy clouds.
The surprisingly clear waters of Flat Rock Creek
A small waterfall on Wolfpen Creek, at the upper end of Bourbon State Fishing Lake.
It was all smiles and sunbeams riding down the bluff road to the Marmaton River.
There were a few long climbs out of the Marmaton River valley.
Stopped for food and libations at the Bourbon Allen Bar and Grill in Elsmore KS.

I really enjoy this part of Southeast Kansas. Small towns, remote roads, low-water crossings galore, beautiful scenery, and some challenging terrain. It’s hard to beat.

DirtBum Written by:

I enjoy riding bicycles all over — city streets, suburbia, rural roads, gravel roads, dirt roads, rail-trails, and singletrack. I love exploring the countryside and finding the interesting and historical treasures hidden in plain sight. You can follow my rides on Strava.