Explore the best trails near Des Moines with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Very heavily used for a weekday. Large majority of the trails are paved, but there are some nice dirt trails with lots of wildlife. Saw deer and river otters. The trailhead shown by this app and Google maps is NOT a good place to start. Had to ask residents for directions and cut through back yards to get to the trails.
Y B. on J11 Mountain Bike Trail
Pretty area, lots of different trails and close to downtown.
Waterworks Park is best for walking or biking paved roads. My family and I couldn't exactly find any apparent established hiking trails per se. Squirrels Nest is best for Frisbee throwing, dog walks, power walking, and or biking. I'll definitely come back and use the Great Western Trail to go biking on though.
The north end starts just off of 66th St. in Johnston, IA and it has a new piece of single track that leaves from the north lot and connects back to the main trail after 1.5 miles. The main trail (from north to south) is double wide dirt for 3.5 miles, connects to a paved trail for 2 miles, and then dips back into the woods for 1.75 miles before reaching the south end parking lot at the Polk Co. Building in Des Moines, IA. Most sections of the trail have a high line and a low line which are 50 feet or more apart with the high line staying dry more often than the low one. This is a very beginner friendly trail and the local run club holds the Sycamore 8 Mile Trail Race on it, the first Sat. of each Dec.