Explore the most popular hiking 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.

hiking
off trail
snow
4 days ago

Went to this trail on 1/15/19 in the snow and spotted four bald eagles, tons of different types of woodpeckers. In the snow there was a wide variety of paw prints from local animals. Extremely peaceful.

cross country skiing
6 days ago

snowshoeing
8 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 :)

Went beginning of January, on an unseasonably warm day. We got there midmorning, and only met one person. The trail itself was easy and generally well-marked. Our only wish was that the mounds were marked - we initially weren't sure if we had stumbled on them or if they were just small hills. Otherwise, a scenic and quiet hike.

trail running
12 days ago

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

trail running
12 days ago

Fun loop with lots of up and down hill. I run this trail year round. It can be muddy if it has rained or a warm winter day. The horse tracks make some sections fairly technical. There are a few water crossings that will get your feet wet.

The trails are completely overgrown. When you hike even with trail maps you're cutting your own way. I would not recommend this trail.

This loop isn’t near as worn in as the other loop on the west side of the road where parking is. Fall and winter months can be a little more difficult to see the trail with all the leaves on the ground.

I prefer to run the trails in Whitebreast and Lucas Units. They are more technical and scenic.

trail running
14 days ago

I run or bike it several times a week. It’s rail to trail so it’s straight and flat. Surface is fine rock/dirt that stays smooth most of the time. It can be very muddy after rain and during warm winter days. I haven’t been west of Derby since there isn’t much of a trail left.

There are quite a few bridges and a nice covered bridge just over 6 miles from Chariton and Derby is about 10 miles out. Watch out for raised nails on some of the bridges.

road biking
14 days ago

Paved, long and straight.

trail running
14 days ago

It’s just over 4 miles if you loop the lake without getting away from it on the other trails. I’ve only ran this in the winter, when no one else is around. It’s mostly dirt and can be muddy.

trail running
14 days ago

Great trail to run with all different types of terrain and a few moderate hills.

hiking
14 days ago

Starts on a field edge but once you get to the acutal trailhead, it's easy to follow. The entire trail follows a ridge line so there are some beautiful views. Just a note: This is not in the Mondamin Unit of the forest. It's in the Preparation Canyon Unit of the forest.

hiking
14 days ago

Very pretty moderate hike. Icicles hanging from the caverns made for a beautiful views. Worth doing in the winter - fewer leaves means better views of the bluffs.

Very well maintained trails and gorgeous fields of Iowa Sunflowers!

We started at the west side of the park and had a really great hike. The trail was wide, very well marked, even with distance walked information. We went in just over two miles and turned around, looking forward to going back and entering from another location to see what we missed. Winter time, so no tick trouble but with all the great timber, they should be expected during warm weather. Great for dogs as well, we had our two with us. :)

trail running
1 month ago

Great trail! Will definitely do it again. Wish it had route markings or maps at the forks - I get turned around easily.

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.

Spent Thanksgiving afternoon hiking this loop. Initial ascent from visitors center may be steep for some but rest of hike is flat and scenic. A bald eagle soared above us at Third Scenic View. Definitely do the Fire Pointe loop (not shown on this map).

Nice fall hike!

Beautiful caves, great trails.

This park is beautiful. I will definitely be visiting again! Lots of caves to explore and it’s very well kept. Bring a head lamp if you’re going into the caves !

Very nice hike trails. We took in more then just the Dan Sherman trail and really enjoyed the day hiking around in the woods.

This trail is actually longer than what is shown here. It starts in Slater (near the High Trestle Trail) and leaves town going East. There is a short gravel road and paved road section (with bike lane) going to Huxley. Likewise, the trail map shows it stopping at Maxwell, but it continues on to Collins. It goes by a Casey’s store in Huxley and close to a Casey’s in Maxwell. Taken to Collins, it comes to a small park with water and restrooms. You can continue out of Collins on the 310 going East (blacktop) until the road becomes gravel, go a mile and take a left on 730th and you’ll see the trailhead start again. This last section (4 or so miles) is a really neat area that is simply a mowed grass trail... super quiet and tree-lined. Most of this trail is crushed rock. It does have a couple soft / sandy areas, and there can be ruts and wash outs at times. I’ve seen people ride it on road bikes, but most common would be cross or mountain bikes, with slightly wider tires. It’s mostly tree lined, reducing the wind and providing some shade.

Went on an unusually cold November afternoon with some snow on the ground, still very much enjoyed the hike. Once get past the initial assent, it's pretty easy.

As others have noted, the difference between the "main trail" and the "trail loops" is multiple miles and not always clear. I went in the late Fall after the frost so ticks weren't an issue, but the trail is in prairie grass the whole way so I imagine it would be terrible in the summer.

2 months ago

Super short trail but great view over rail road and Mississippi River. Good knowledge on history though ;)

2 months ago

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

It’s a great hike and easy for most the hike. However, the Badger trail , which you have to jump onto at some point, is rated a moderate trail by Hitchcock so if you’re looking for 100% easy, you won’t find it here. There are some good, ass-kicking hills but it’s still a lovely homie overall.

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