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Gravel Day?

Just wondering if anyone knows if there will be a gravel day/loop on this years route?

14 Replies

Greg Pfab, March 27, 2022 at 10:39 am

I am also interested in this information. I was looking forward to doing my first gravel loop this year.


William Mugan, March 27, 2022 at 2:46 pm

Yes, look at the map text for Day 3.
Good luck.


David, March 27, 2022 at 3:12 pm

@William, are you talking about the mention of the Three Rivers Trail on day 3? That isn’t part of the route itself. It wouldn’t be practical to send ragbrai down a rail trail.

Since it heads in the wrong direction you would get in some extra miles :)


montestaples, March 27, 2022 at 5:05 pm

David mentioned “It wouldn’t be practical to send ragbrai down a rail trail.” Many years ago, I would have (did) said the same thing but after doing the Bacoon Ride every year I know it would not be a problem. Especially for a gravel loop or even a Karras Loop. The Bacoon ride has 71 miles on the Raccoon River Valley Trail and about 3000 riders. You would think it would be crowded but it has never been a problem. Even at my age I like to try and pass everybody in sight. I may have said “On your left” 1000 times but never got held up for more than maybe 10 seconds at a time and only a few times. Like RAGBRAI the Bacoon Ride is not a mass start and people are really spread out, so it works just fine.


jonmarkel, March 28, 2022 at 1:16 pm

I hope there is additional info coming regarding a gravel route, its one of my favorite features of the ride. While a gravel rail trail bike path would be doable for the amount of traffic on past gravel routes (I would estimate a density of fewer than 10 riders per mile in past years) it is less than ideal from a riding viewpoint. Additionally, the Three rivers trail goes to the southeast from Rolfe while the rest of the ride goes to the north. It would be a significant increase in mileage to make that route work.


HughAinATX, March 28, 2022 at 1:22 pm

The January route announcement indicated gravel day is from Pocahontas to Emmetsburg (Tuesday). I assume that has not changed.


David, March 28, 2022 at 1:24 pm

BikeIowa mentions it should be on Tuesday.

I don’t think it has anything to do with that specific trail. It wouldn’t really make a “gravel day” so much as a diversion. Also while it wouldn’t be too crowded sending that many people down a rail trail if the conditions are wet would cause a lot of damage. I hope the new RAGBRAI crew continues to remember we are guests and should reduce the risk to cause that much damage.


HughAinATX, March 29, 2022 at 9:24 am

I confirmed the gravel day is Tuesday. Route to be released soonish.


jonmarkel, June 5, 2022 at 3:33 pm

While RAGBRAI has put out very detailed zoomable maps for the main route I haven’t seen anything for the gravel day. I made my best guess as to what the route will be based on the overview map for Day 3 and posted it to The route is available here:


Jimbodog, June 6, 2022 at 5:44 am

I posted a few months ago about the Three Rivers Trail, mentioned in this thread above. I posted after Ragbrai announced the gravel day would be between Pocahantas and Emmetsburg. I am riding to St Anthony, IA from Emmetsburg on June 22nd this summer. I mentioned in my post that I will be taking a combo of gravel, pavement and trails. One of the trails will be the Three Rivers Trail. I will use pavement and gravel to Rolfe which is a pass-through town and ride 32 miles on the Three Rivers Trail to the end, outside of Eagle Grove. The only reason I posted was because I was curious about how close the Ragbrai gravel route would match mine. My planned route will only intersect once with the Ragbrai gravel route and use several miles of the Ragbrai pavement passing through Rodman on my way to Rolfe. My route is nowhere close to the Ragbrai route, nor should it be. I think the gravel route that day is sweet because it crosses the pave route several times and would give anyone who wanted a chance at trying a few gravel miles then hopping back on pavement. I agree with David above that if the trail was wet it would damage the surface, besides the wrong direction for Ragbrai purposes.


Thom M, July 17, 2022 at 8:33 am

They’ve now posted the GPX for Gravel Day.


Altidude, July 18, 2022 at 7:35 am

Could you post a link to the GPX files for the gravel day? I’ve been all over the site and can’t find them.


Matthew Lewis, July 19, 2022 at 1:35 am

Hitting the 2 Iowa Craft Beer Tents if you are doing the Gravel Route might require a little forethought….. here are some potential tips:


Matthew Lewis, July 19, 2022 at 1:42 am

here’s where I found a GPX for Gravel Day:

I also could not find a link on the main RAGBRAI home page to this page.


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