Explore the most popular snowshoeing 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.

I used to come fishing here quite a bit.. sad to see the lake is gone. There are some other smaller ponds around the trails I noticed. In terms of hiking, the trails are pretty and variable, though can be tricky to spot at times off the gravel paths / roadways.

lovely park-very clean and a great path! Made a lot of memories today creek stomping with my wee one before she heads off to college-she's majoring in Forrestry and Park Management

trail running
3 months ago

My favorite trail to run in Ames!

great trail for a half day trip or so!

Starr's Cave is beautiful, with limestone bluffs shadowing Flint Creek that runs through the park. During the winter you can rent cross country skis to explore either the creek or trails. The trail system starts at the nature center and has several areas where it veers off into other trails. If you stay on the main trail the entire loop will take you back around to the backside of the nature center for just under 3 miles of distance covered. It's an easy trail with only a couple good hills toward the end of the trail. Several bridges to cross along the way. The main cave that's across the long bridge toward the beginning of the trail is closed off, but you can still walk up to the entrance and look around. The view off the bridge is breathtaking, especially during fall colors peak season in October. There are 2 other smaller caves you can take the trails and either climb up to get inside, or climb down - depending on which trail you take to get to it. It's small, but big enough to stand up inside and go in to the back of it and check it out. I didn't get to the other cave, but I'm pretty sure it's on a trail across Flint Creek. There's a trailhead for that one out on Irish Ridge Road. I love hiking out there to explore nature as well as running the trails for a good workout.

6 months ago

Nice kept trail!

Nice wooded trail. Saw four deer and some people paddle boarding and canoeing on river. Lots of poison ivy on narrow trails. Trails were not labeled well at all. Very confusing to get around.

trail running
6 months ago

Enjoyed a great, short run down beautiful forested trails. Lots of options though minimal trail maintenance creates a few adventures in trail negotiation. Saw lots of deer.

No lake there, which was sad. Otherwise, super pretty field and tons of flat trail to hike.

Great small walk. Worth a stop. Bring a dog to enjoy the stream.

horseback riding
8 months ago

This is an equestrian trail. The lake is pretty, but equestrian trails do not make good hiking trails.

trail wasnt too difficult but I'd rate it a moderate over an easy. It was steeper and slicker in areas than I expected. the trail map is not accurate. it's possible the trail is overgrown in areas, so I would also rate it as lightly trafficked. Poison ivy was growing in the narrow footpath in multiple areas. it takes a minute to find the trail head, just hug the right side of the clearing with the shelter to find it.

had potential for some great views of the river but it's mostly hidden by trees. trail is difficult to do with toddlers but doable. wildlife spotted: snails, centipedes, deer, birds. we lost the trail and ended up walking back along the road. Overall nice park, fun trail, just not quite what we expected.

It was a moderate trail with logs that you have to walk over but pretty

10 months ago

Multiple short out-and-back trails to different overlooks. Canyon is pretty, good views, partial timber partial prairie

11 months ago


Wednesday, March 08, 2017

I have hiked this trail system many times. Lots of variations and usually encounter 1-2 others while hiking. Many deer sightings and other wildlife.
Used these trails to train for the Appalachian trail in 2016 and it served me well.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

The scenic overlook was so beautiful but it was confusing to find the trails. The sign looks like you should go right, but you need to go straight. The view is worth it. Could someone please tell me how to get to the caves? Also I see pictures of people kayaking here. Where do they get the boats into the creek?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Gorgeous place!

trail running
Friday, September 16, 2016

Nice and easy run on a paved path. Expect a mild swarm of insects on the trail: many grasshoppers and crickets abound, and if you've ever had the pleasure you know they often jump into you, rather than away. Besides that, a nice little lake among the fields and trees; take the river path to get there.

road biking
Friday, September 09, 2016

Beautiful view at the top

Sunday, September 04, 2016

We pulled into the lot and noticed it is a public hunting area. There were two truckloads of men and some had semi-automatic guns. Needless to say we did not hike as it didn't feel safe at all!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

There are some cool places here. The southern trail, through the canyon, is beautiful and unique. And the scenic overlook is gorgeous (but treacherous, with no railing of any kind). There are far more than 2.5 miles of trails here. Some are out and back spurs. We hiked nearly everything, and came in at just about eight miles of total hiking. My biggest criticism is that 90% of the trails are mowed paths. Fortunately it was cloudy (and then rained after we finished).

mountain biking
Monday, July 04, 2016

Great and well maintained

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hiked this trail about a month ago, the trail was closed for maintenance but we went anyways. It was about 8-9 miles long. The grass was just a little tall so ticks were drawn to us! The hike was beautiful and quite! Worth it!!!!

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Had knee replacement surgery a while back and finally able to get the kinks out. Challenging for me with the knee, but made it. Lots of trails to enjoy, and had two chipmunks playing in front of one of the benches I took a break on. They have a bird house with a red-tailed hawk and owl for getting up close. A couple of turkeys darted out, but was a nice hike. Definitely going to make it a habit. Trails are always open, but the center closes

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Very hilly but beautiful. Will go back soon.

Monday, May 30, 2016

The trails were short loops, no varying terrain. Very easy and family friendly, if that's what you are looking for. It wasn't what I was looking for.

Beautiful trail

Saturday, May 21, 2016

This is a gorgeous State Park that is well-maintained. We hiked a small loop and fished small ponds along the way. Fairly easy trail for eight and six-year-old although the low spots were a little bit muddy from the last rain. Wear good shoes that you don't mind getting muddy! The amenities are excellent. Our family will certainly come back and enjoy the park!

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