I've hiked this trail hundreds of times (once lived nearby). It's a great park for year-round hiking, the season changes keep it interesting. Great for fall color, spring wildflowers, and snowshoeing in winter. Most trips I have encountered wildlife, although less likely on a busy weekend. Normal sightings include deer, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, many bird species, and occasionally bald eagles soaring over the Des Moines River. From mid-June to mid-September, strong bug spray is recommended