Explore the most popular cross country skiing trails in Iowa with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

snowshoeing
3 days ago

Did a nice out and back on the trail today with snowshoes. Not quite enough snow but still a great trip. The snow was pretty, the birds were singing and the creek was lovely. Bonus, I meet a very nice dog :)

trail running
7 days ago

Fast and smooth trail great for getting a quick run in while in the city.

For an infrequent biker, this has been challenging for many years. I’ve done the entire trail only twice. Wish it could have continued into Missouri.

Brisk 25 degrees weather. Ground is frozen and the lake has a cover of ice on it. Good hike, the foot bridges need some TLC.

Nice fall hike!

2 months ago

Love the view. Going back there for sure. Pretty easy loop trail even toddlers can do it ;)

road biking
3 months ago

Very scenic trail. Crushed limestone makes the trail easy on the body. Must-do for bikers is the Taco Ride on Thursday nights.

I went last weekend. the pond is drained and there is a significant amount of work being done around the trail. the paths are mostly closed as of 9/2018. I'm sure they will be open and great in the future but it was a disappointment for now.

Crushed gravel trails. Have your map on you. Trail splits at cross roads and the trail head are not always visible.

trail running
4 months ago

Great trail, very minor technical areas. There was a large tree down on the north side and I came across a wasp or something that stung me in the chest. Otherwise it was very open and very well maintained. I typically run 7-10 miles of trails every weekend. I did 6 miles and I feel like I could run this often if I didn't live out of state. No mosquitoes, but I was moving at a decent pace.

Great hike. Gorgeous and nice elevation challenge. I threw in the exercise stations to up the difficulty . Nice touch

Heard gunshots in the distance even though it’s a conservation area. Be careful.. Nice and short- some abrupt steep hills.

Love this trail. It’s beautiful and well maintained. Some decent elevation changes for a bit of a challenge. The only drawback in my mind is that it’s open for horseback riding as well. In my experience the horse waste does not get cleaned up all that well so you have to keep a bit of an eye out.

mountain biking
4 months ago

First, the app is wrong about the trail length. From beginning to end it's just over 7 miles. There are a couple of parking lots that make great jump off points, if you dont want to do the whole trail. One is The Indian Creek Nature Center lot. The app has two parking lots in the middle third of the tail marked as the whole trail.

The trail is very well maintained, hard packed skree, so it's wet weather friendly and easy to ride. It's wide enough to ride at last two abreast, and wider in most places. The hills are subtle and most are short, so it's a great trail for beginners. It's mostly timber, along the Cedar River and Indian Creek, with some great views and lots of wild life viewing opportunities. The environment and length make it enjoyable even if you're not a beginner. It's surface is equally good for either a slow ride through nature, or a hard ride for exercise, with only a few sharp or blind turns forcing you to slow down.

The areas along Indian Creek offer excellent bass fishing. The trail is also a fun cross country ski trip, or nature hike.

The only thing keeping it from being 5 stars is the lack of a "loop." You either go out and back, set up a drop off and pick up, or ride city streets to complete the loop. The trail is nice, but the city streets [to complete the loop] have a couple of sizeable hills, and parts are through streets that are not bike friendly and high traffic. Most of the streets are bike friendly, and traffic is light or manageable, but parts of the connection are downright scary.

Beautiful trail, just don’t forget the bug spray!

Great hard-surface trail - walking or biking. Parts are flat; parts give you a run for your money with steep hills and switchbacks. Very scenic in most parts.

The Description is a little deceiving. There’s actually a lot more to this trail and what is marked on the app. It’s fairly scenic, well-maintained, and easy to walk.

trail running
5 months ago

Great trail, one of my weekly runs. 3.2 miles around the big loop, but doesn’t get boring if your doing multiple laps. The construction that has been going on seems to be completed.

Nice flat trail. Lots of wildlife including birds, butterflies and fish.

hiking
5 months ago

Very good clean trail. Great for family hikes.

Easy, simple hike.

The path is very poorly marked. But when you figure out where you’re going, it’s a great trail. Nice to be near the water, there were several look out areas with seating. The paths varied in width and incline, which was a nice mix. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves.

hiking
5 months ago

Good trail, easy to get turned around when you reach the river, especially if you are on the wilderness loop and end up going an extra 2 miles on the northern loop! Peaceful walk with a moderate incline near the river but not too bad. Would recommend bug spray if going during the summer.

My favorite place to do my long runs! Friendly people. Lots of bicyclists. Well mannered users. There is a port-a-potty at the start and at mile 6. Not sure beyond that. Lots of benches to stop along the way. Love this place!

Main part of the trail was under construction when we went. We read reviews and completely covered ourselves in deep woods bug spray and were still swarmed! I plan to give it another chance at the end of fall when the bugs are gone

walking
6 months ago

Great views. Bring bug spray- the mosquitos swarm around walkers and joggers.

road biking
6 months ago

Great paved trail, easy and would be perfect for families with smaller children. Fairly heavy use, from families to to folks preparing for RAGBRAI! Great ride on the 4th of July!

road biking
6 months ago

Actually, my family and I did this trail on rollerblades, though I imagine it would be great for biking. The trail is nice, though hillier than one would expect Iowa to be, and it does not offer much shade coverage. If you go out on a hot day, bring lots of water. The fishery is a really interesting stop as you’re going along—I thought it was neat to see. Afterwards, have a nice meal in the downtown, and even stop by Luther College and take a quick tour about the beautiful campus.

Beautiful trail. Would have been 5 stars if it was marked better with signs, etc.

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