Explore Long Iowa Trails - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Long Iowa Trails Map

love this trail! use it for training for long distance hikes.

Today was snowy but above freezing. The trail was a good amount of hills and tree cover. It blocked the wind and made for an enjoyable hike. Since we could here hunters toward the eastern end of the trail, we only did the western half. We will definitely go back again.

trail running
4 months ago

Nice surface, tons of wildlife, no interruptions.

Real hilly trails this place has! I wish I lived closer so I could hike/jog it more often. I haven't found a better place to go than Hitchcock in at least a 200 mile radius from where I live.

6 months ago

Nice kept trail!

I loved it. I hiked two trails and was one with nature.

7 months ago

My favorite local hike.

Great trail for an easy walk. Travel the loop counter clockwise and camp at the last camp. It's an awesome little open grass field with great shade trees and a good creek for collecting water. I did this trail in a few hours with my 14 year old son...so needless to say it's a pretty easy walk. Very enjoyable and I would do it again.

7 months ago

This trail is very well maintained in both counties, however Wayne County side of the trail is grass. When I biked the trail, the grass was mowed short and we are in a draught so it was pretty much all dead. According to my Garmin it is 15.5 miles from Chariton to Humeston. 10 miles to Derby from Chariton. This is on an old rail line so the sites are nice and they do have areas to rest on the way (some are in need of repair). I would highly recommend the trail for trail running, biking, walking and best of all, dogs are allowed.

Love it. Clearly marked trailed. Beautiful scenery. Lots of options.

This trail was a great place to hike on! The path isn't very "paved" so it was ragged and rough after the first quarter mile. Also, not much tree coverage so expect lots of sun! We started on the Fox Run Ridge and cut over to Dozer Cut which felt like mostly steep downhill trekking and then jumped back on to Fox Run Ridge (they meet at a point) until we hit the dead end which was kind of rewarding as it's a beautiful look out! We turned around and hit the Hohneke Trail to Hawk Ridge. Just before taking Hawk Ridge there's a small "pond" which wasn't worth walking by as it was swampy and gross. Hawk Ridge is marked as a moderate trail on the paper map, but it was very difficult since it was all uphill and again not paved at all. Then we made it up to the boardwalk and walked around the road to get back to our vehicle.

The paper map marks trails blue - easy, yellow - moderate and red - difficult. Fix Hill Ridge and Dozer Cut were both Blue and it they were moderate and yellow was definitely difficult so we could only imagine what red had going on.

**Going downhill was steep and going uphill was probably the best (most difficult part).

horseback riding
8 months ago

This is an equestrian trail. The lake is pretty, but equestrian trails do not make good hiking trails.

$2 entrance fee. Nice trail options. Bathroom available at the Lodge. Cool tower to climb.

road biking
9 months ago

Easy ride, perfect for family outings. Plenty to see in a pretty prairie area.

on Five-Ridge Prairie

9 months ago

Went there today. Some of the trails are pretty overgrown. Make sure to google the park and find the map on the mycountyparks website. The paths aren't maintained and sometimes very overgrown. I managed to get myself lost down some fire break paths but having a map made it easy to figure out.

pretty place. never been covered in ticks so thoroughly before. stripped down before getting into the truck. pretty place

A hidden gem right outside of Omaha with plenty of trails from easy to difficult. The trails lead to picturesque views of the Loess Hills into the prairie grasses of Iowa.

11 months ago


Love coming out here during the summer. This is probably one of my favorite places to camp close to Madison and I love the trails. When your up on the bluffs you have great views of the campsite and creek below. The "bluff trail" being my favorite as you can find delicious chanterelles up there (and angry wasps too haha) if you know what your looking for... They pop up all long the trail. Just save some for me please! Speaking of, this area is a hot bed for fungi hunters, found a nice chicken of the woods and a few other random edibles while out. Lots of good memories out here with my dog and my girlfriend hiking the bluffs.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Excellent trail system. Used this area to train for the Appalachian trail and the roughness and elevation variances made for a good workout. Go online for maps because it's easy to get lost here with the trails and fire break paths.
I've seen the trails get quite overgrown in late summer also with a lot of nettles so beware.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Paved rail to trail. Nothing special just a flat straight paved road with occasional trees and a bridge over a creek

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Had a great weekend at yellow river. We hiked about 15 mi Saturday and only saw one other person out trail running the whole time and the weather was fantastic. We did see a few horse riders. The trails are very easy most are set up for horses. The Bluff view trail had gret views of the river and big paint camp ground. There was alot of water in the streams we forded the river twice in almost knee deep fast moving water which was fun. Camp ground was nice and well kept. Primitive toilets and no running water, not a problem for us but thought other might want to know.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Great rolling hills and beautiful in the Fall. Nice open space with little traffic.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Overall a nice trail with a lot of shade, which is well appreciated over the summer. The greenery was also absolutely beautiful. Just wish there was a little more water in some of the smaller streams. Surprisingly, for a holiday weekend, there were very few people on the trails (averaged about one group every hour out hiking). There were a lot of people camping at the Big Paint Campground though.
Like the rest of this state, this trail was overall very flat, other than the Heffern's Hill Loop which went all the way up without a vista or anything other than the trail ahead of us. We went all the way up to go all the way back down.
The only downside was unexpectedly wading through the Paint Creek when we were on the Paint Creek Trail. Some equestrians ahead of us forded the waters. We were a little worse for wear when we came across the knee-high waters without a bridge or any easy way to cross the 6-foot plus gap of water. There is a way to go around this if you go up a little ways, but this will still likely involve some sketchy traversing and likely getting a little wet or muddy.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Most of the trails were mowed and well maintained. There were some that had trees that had fallen across them. Some trails ended for no reason. A good hike and a good workout, especially if you're gearing up for a longer hike. The worst part was that the trails were not marked well. There are signs that show loop or main trail and the distance but very easy to get turned around and not sure of where you're going. Be sure to take water. A couple of primitive camp sites. Lots and lots of giant butterflies of all different kinds, lots of gorgeous prairie flowers of all kinds, and a variety of different pines. Brightly colored gold finch. August 2016.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The drive to the park was probably better than the actual hike. There's a main trail with multiple loops off of it. To get the full 9 mile hike you have to do all of the loops. It's a pretty park, but while half of the trail was well groomed grass, the other half though, almost made it unbearable. Lots of mosquitos while going through the trees to the creek at the bottom. Then WAY TOO MANY TICKS in the back end pasture part of the trail. Between 2 people we found about 10 ticks on us. The grass hadn't been mowed in a while, and we think this was the reason. The only real elevation change is down to the creek and up. Probably not going to go back.

Monday, July 04, 2016

This is a fun park with many trails and very nice backpacking campsites. Many of the trails are shared with hikers (we saw only a few on a busy weekend), mountain bikers (we didn't see any), and horses (there were many, and therefore many pounds of horse waste on the trails). We hiked a total of about 16 miles over two days. The elevation changes are among the most you will find in Iowa.

The campsites are all well maintained. If you plan to filter water, however, Heffern's Hill is you only real choice.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hiked this trail about a month ago, the trail was closed for maintenance but we went anyways. It was about 8-9 miles long. The grass was just a little tall so ticks were drawn to us! The hike was beautiful and quite! Worth it!!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

This is a gorgeous State Park that is well-maintained. We hiked a small loop and fished small ponds along the way. Fairly easy trail for eight and six-year-old although the low spots were a little bit muddy from the last rain. Wear good shoes that you don't mind getting muddy! The amenities are excellent. Our family will certainly come back and enjoy the park!

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