Trails are carved through a wooded area surrounding a large creek. The north section is fairly easy with an occasional small log to hop and some steep climbs and descents. The ride through this area is pleasant, and it can take you across a small bridge to a relatively flat area that is also easy and smooth and very conducive to speed. However, if you are looking for more technical areas, don't fret, just head south from the bridge on the west side of the creek, and you will get into some nice rocky, winding trails cutting back and forth a small watershed. At one point the trail drops into the rocky creek bed with no readily obvious exit. Just ride through the creek bed until you see an exit on the same side you entered on (about 20 to 30 meters). The scenery is lovely aside from some scattered trash, and the trash reminds one that it is truly an urban trail adventure. Some really nice sections have been added more recently to the northern end of the east facing wooded slope.
How to get there:
Go to the east side of Topeka (south of Kansas river) and get on California Ave. Drive on Cal. to 25th (south of Highland Park school) and then head east. 25th street ends at the park consisting of some grassland, woods, and a couple baseball diamonds. Go past the ball diamond to a small parking area near an old stone dairy barn set in the trees. This is where one of the trail begins. I have been told that it is safer to park at or near the baseball diamonds rather than in the small lot at the trail head. Break-ins and theft are a problem, so hide or cover your valuables and use good judgement. If you park at the southern-most diamond, you can access another length of trail by riding straight south from the west side of that diamond into the scrub brush. You should be able to see the trail entrance easily. Lastly, it is possible to access the trails from the end of Carnahan road south of 21st street (parking available) and from Wittenberg road on the southwest side of the first bridge you cross coming south from 21st street (no parking at all though).
I like Dornwood whereas some people have gotten bored with it. The northern end offers some interesting variety.