Explore the most popular 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.



dogs on leash




kid friendly


trail running


mountain biking

nature trips

wild flowers

Des Moines, Iowa Map
road biking
1 month ago

Great paved bike trail with parking at the bridge in Water Works Park. When you get into Ashworth Park there is a web of dirt trails for mountain biking and hiking which I would love to explore sometime!

Easy walk around the lake on a wide paved path. Dogs on leash, but had fun in the lake.

mountain biking
3 months ago

06/19/18 - I headed north from the Douglas Ave trail head and made it only about a quarter mile before the trail was impassable due to the high level of the river. It was fun while it lasted, though. I'll head back when it dries out some.

3 months ago

Awesome trail to ride on! Connects with many other trails. Shaded, stop at Captain Roy's for food and beer. Takes you to Birdland Marina.

Just a nice beautiful hidden gem, a great walk and just a beautiful area since it’s all been redone!!

I love taking the dog out here to get some air. Sometimes we run it and other times we just walk it and enjoy the sunset. It's got a beautiful view of the city. Very dog friendly. I've only been here in the winter but we love it.

mountain biking
Monday, September 04, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Nick walk on shaded trails .

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Busy but very dog friendly

Monday, June 05, 2017

I like that I can accumulate some decent mileage on this trail. It's not a super peaceful trail mostly due to traffic noise from the interstate. Flat and easy.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Muddy nature trails at this time of the year but will be very nice in the springs and summer. Saw a deer, river is nice and goes over a train track.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Great trail for kids to learn the love of mountain biking:)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

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.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Great trail. Hard to find the trail head.

Fun trail. Watch for rocks,roots and fallen trees on path.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Great trail for all ages and skill levels

trail running
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Monday, November 23, 2015

Went walking along the trails the last weekend, pretty decent. They all can be done in 10 minutes or less.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Pretty area, lots of different trails and close to downtown.

6 trails. Only completed the first three. Will get the last three next time. Unpaved. Easy to moderate. Fun.

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.

trail running
Sunday, December 14, 2014

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.

mountain biking
Friday, July 20, 2012

For the Des Moines metro area this is about as good as it gets for mountain biking. Very flat and fast single track. A few good obstacles to challenge a good rider as well. The trail flows very well and is well worth the ride.

mountain biking
Thursday, July 05, 2012

Fun and fast flowing single track MTB trail. Two small teeter todders and a couple low rails keep the trail interesting. Keep your head up for hikers and trail runners.

24 days ago

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