Brown's Woods Trail

MODERATE 8 reviews

Brown's Woods Trail is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near West Des Moines, IA that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.1 miles 229 feet Loop

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running


cross country skiing




wild flowers


This is a great location to hike or run. It is a double wide trail that is only a short drive from the city and bikes are not allowed. This is a nice moderate dirt trail through Browns Woods. It has primitive benches to rest along the trail, a cellular phone audio tour, and port-a-pottys at the parking lot.

nature trips
1 month ago

Great morning hike for locals or visitors. There are a few inclines. None are longer than .25 miles. It is close to the airport. No mistaking you are still close to civilization, but we came face to face with deer and found some interesting local vegetation. FYI - the trail is slippery when wet, wear hiking boots or shoes.

2 months ago

Nice little hiking loop. Enjoyed the fact that it was a dirt trail and not paved. Takes you back deep into the woods and almost makes you forget that you are in the Des Moines area.

3 months ago

This was my first time on this trail and I loved it! I took my dog out, and she loved it just as much  There is a short and long route. We did the long route and it is a perfect length and difficulty for an intermediate hiker. It was extremely buggy so make sure you wear repellent!

3 months ago

First time out today with two kids and a dog. Loved every minute! Took the long trail loop. Beautiful.

4 months ago

So peaceful! Great place to go for a run in Des Moines without dodging bikes.

1 year ago

Enjoyable hike. Lots of interesting birds along the way. Some downed trees across the trail, but easy to get over or around. As a curvy woman, I wished I had brought my hiking sticks. There were several up and downhill slopes that would have been helpful to my knees if I had a little extra support. Only saw two other people on the trail. Very quiet and relaxing.

2 years ago

This is a great go-to place for individuals, families/friends, and dogs. Bikes are not allowed, so you don't have a constant worry that someone will come flying around the corner and take you or your dog out. This is just south of Des Moines, so very conveniently located if you live in town. We hike our dogs there usually once a week or more, depending on weather. It can get a little muddy in areas, so if we had a good rain, you might want to wait it out for a couple of days, as spots can get messy and/or slick. Very beautiful year round, but especially in the spring and fall. Excellent shade on a warm summer day, too. Right now they are adding some longer loops (I think set to be complete sometime in 2015), which I'm excited about so I can take longer hikes out there. It's a little hilly, so if you are bringing little ones, you might want to try the small loop first. There are a couple of steeper hills on the big loop.

3 years ago

I love this trail and hike it several times a week. 1.9 miles of woods with gentle hills, gives this 74 year old cardiologist all the cardiovascular workout he needs.