A real gem close to the city. A lot of beautiful scenery, a couple bridges, and a few loops that can help add to the distance if you’re looking for a longer hike than what’s listed.

hiking
14 days ago

For being right in the city this trail is awesome. With that being said, you can hear traffic from the highway for pretty much the whole trail. Otherwise it was a really enjoyable hike today.

perfect day perfect walk

We had a great time. The paved trails are shaded and very nice. We found some challenging unpaved trails to explore with the kids. We will definitely come back.

mountain biking
30 days ago

A great trail system with various paths, although they weren’t always clearly marked. I found myself on some easy paths and some that were challenging. Very scenic as much of the paths follow the river. Saw lots of wildlife as well, including a bunch of turtles in a backwater pond. Also connects with some paved trails.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Good option for introduction to non- paved trail biking. Some challenging dips and obstacles to go over and around. Great scenery

mountain biking
1 month ago

This trail is great for a beginner. It was my first single track experience and gave me a good introduction. Some 2-4ft steel uphills, and some decent sized roots add a bit of extra challenge. If you’re looking for a little extra challenge, across the paved trail is a small section in another stand of trees that is more challenging.

These trails were in good condition, and we went before the leaves grew on the trees, so we got to see the forest floor covered in gorgeous spring ephemerals. I don't think the trails are marked well enough, and each trail is VERY short and requires some problem solving/navigating to get from trail to trail. Challenging enough in spots to be adventurous for our three year old!

hiking
1 month ago

My dog and I really enjoyed this trail. There were a few narrower paths along side the main trail that we took to stay out of the way of bicycles. We went about 6 in the evening, and saw a handful of people. Definitely still felt we were all spaced out. The trail was easy to navigate. I liked how the looped pinched together in some spots so that you could circle back if you didn’t want to go the full length. Great access to the river banks and beaches, and awesome views of the river. I would say that this trail isn’t meant for small children. There are some steep areas, and few obstacles in the paths... I would definitely do this trail again.

it's 45 degrees and windy which made for an exhilarating walk.

Liked how the trail was secluded despite being in the heart of Des Moines. However, this trail is probably better suited for mountain bikers than pedestrians, as we encountered several mountain bikers (who appeared very quickly in some instances). Most were accommodating to us but a few acted annoyed that we were walking in their space.

This is a quick little jaunt through a wooded area in the middle of the city. There are some great trees and good views of Walnut Creek. We saw a couple of deer as well.

a little humid today

I encountered a few early season mosquitoes in the wooded area as well as a little mud. Nothing that could spoil a walk however.

This is a nice mosey around a lake in the middle of the city, with a bridge or two to cross. It's a little crowded but an easy scenic stroll.

This is just a little mosey through the woods up to some picnic benches in a camping area. The side trail leads to a nice view of the water.

hiking
muddy
off trail
1 month ago

Had a lot of fun. It was our fault for going when it was muddy but it was still a nice trail. Even saw a barred owl and got some good pictures

Nice trail that is fun

Lots and of litter. Otherwise nice.

hiking
flooded
2 months ago

Sycamore side of the loop is flooded, highline trail is mostly good. Saw deer, a skunk, a nesting pair of geese & many other birds. Lots of fat tire bikers out this afternoon.

hiking
flooded
muddy
2 months ago

Went out with the family (Husky hoodlums included) today to try our hand (foot?) at this trail. Oh was it an event! First off, these 6 month old huskies were attached to my weight vest (I highly recommend NOT doing this). I usually run with them, but I wanted to do a nice little hike instead. These little SOBs got much more distracted in these woods and dragged me through the mud like it was the goddamn Iditarod. We had to stop quite a few times to try and compose ourselves (which ended up with lots of anxious puppy yipping). The views were gorgeous each time we stopped, even with all of the mud and lack of leaves. My son had a blast looking at everything (it was his first hike). Disregarding my suddenly disobedient canines, all went well so far. We were nearing the final loop when we decided to stop by the swimming hole and let the pooches take a dip, which had quite a few openings. A little further past this point, my 5 month old decided he was over our shit and wanted to go home. His screaming led us to end the trail about .25 miles short and turn around. Now let me tell you. Make sure you keep an eye out for dips in the road. With over 3 miles to go back, out of nowhere, a hole jumped out at me and tripped me, breaking my ankle.. The sweetest ol’ lady doing the trail asks if she can help me, I THINK NOT MA’AM. All 95lbs of you couldn’t move a 200 lb tubby like me even WITHOUT these insane dogs and the weight vest. So after a few minutes laying in the ground contemplating life, I picked myself up and hobbled down the trail. The trip back must’ve been the most interesting scene to outsiders. Two huskies pulling a cripple, an exhausted mama getting screamed at, and a dad dreaming of a nice glass of beer (or 8). We looked like a group of homegrown Iowa crackheads. Now as I sit here at home, the first winner of Survivor Season 41: Ankeny Edition, rewarded with a softball sized ankle, two tired puppies, and still no beer, I look back on the trail. It was a blast. I recommend this trail to anyone willing to head down it. Although, be sure to be wary of holes, huskies, and cranky babies.

walking
2 months ago

Nice short walk. The majority of it is paved and well taken care of. There is a couple places where you need to get on some grassy areas.

road biking
2 months ago

The trail was clean and very well maintained. The 6th Street Bridge was out so we had to ride in the street to get back on the trail. We will do this one again when we are in the area.

Dangerously icy with refreeze today. (2/18/2029).

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