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Find the top rated atv trails in Iowa, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
I have completed twice, once actually started in Sac City on County Blacktops to add miles but it also added some hills. Both times camped at Swan Lake State Park, there is huge amount of tent camper space available and lots of shade, I believe 100 rv sites. Two newer shower houses. The trail is well maintained and in great condition, wild flower, animal abundant. As others have mentioned, bring all the water you will need. There are about 4 port a pots but mostly southern half of trail, approx. 6 or 8 small shelters. Swan Lake Campground to Lake View my app showed 25.1 miles 370 ft gain. The $2 trail fee well worth it. 3 miles closest to South end are most challenging. The Swan Lake loop is also a challenge but beautiful.
Skated this trail from the trestle bridge to the oasis after Sheldahl. The pavement is like a big, wide sidewalk until Slater and beyond to the south, where it is more like asphalt. Trail was fairly busy, even away from the bridge. The bridge was well worth the trip, especially if you see it at night. The rest of the trail is standard Iowa scenery with pretty much no slopes and very long straight stretches.
We rode the inverted T section shown in the map here as of July 2018. It has been extended to Cash and 8th streets, south of the Case factory. We saw a great blue heron in the Flint River. Surface is paved concrete. Travelers looking to ride in the Burlington area should also check out the northern section of this trail; a pdf map is available at the Des Moines County website. We have not been there. There are some sections further south that look like they will be connected up eventually; local riders appear to know how to use road links to do that.
This summer I’ve ridden (1) Flint Hills which I didn’t like at all due to large chunks of tire popping flint rock and poor overall condition, (2) Katy Trail twice which I liked a lot, then (3) Wabash Trace from Council Bluffs to Malvern and back. This was my favorite for trail condition, canopy, and the towns of Mineola, Silver City, and Malvern. I’ll repeat this ride several times this summer getting ready for RAGBRAI.
I rode this trail right after some heavy June rains so sections of the trail were either closed or muddy even though I navigated around or through. I went by the Eagle cam and fish hatchery. Also, rode a paved trail northeast of town--called Freeport trail to get in some extra miles. The hills were steep so my legs got a good workout.
Would like to have spent some time in the town itself . . . maybe next time. Well worth doing if you're in the area riding other nearby trails such as Prairie Farmer from Cresco to Calamar. There is a nice campground a little SW of Cresco with a connecting trail into town.
This was an awesome ride. It was well groomed and you can tell that the people that maintain this trail care about it. We had a picnic at Ridgeway and rode to Calmar for ice cream. But it was closed. Thankfully the restroom was open.
Steepest grade (according to our Garmin GPSMap64) was 8% on the trail; on the detour (crossing the dam to accomplish the detour) was 15%. No signs to direct you around the detour ¿¿, but there is a foot bridge crossing the river that connects Hoewell Station Rec Area with North Overlook Rec Area. But it requires riding across the dam. While crossing the dam you will see that the trail could be reopened ¿¿.
Rode this trail 32 miles on 6/23/18. The trailhead parking lot across the highway from Melbourne is not well marked or mowed, branches and weeds were high, so we elected to park in the town. The trail was nice but beware of the cracks in the concrete surface. The gravel trail crossings were not problem on my gravel bike but a roadie made want to slow down. Another rider informed us that all the crossings are supposed to updated to concrete by next year. Nice trail that gets nicer on closer to the Linn Creek trail near Marshalltown. All in all, a nice ride that was worth the trip to try this trailride
I've ridden this entire trail and have really come to love it. It has a personality all its own and is completely different than the other trails I've ridden in the region.
From my perspective, it can be broken into four sections, each of which has a different feel. From the south, the first section starts at Swan Lake State Park and skirts Carroll to the south and west before reaching Maple River. This section is about 8.5 miles long and surprisingly hilly. After leaving the state park, you will pass through some subdivisions before crossing underneath US 71 and US 30. The pavement here is a mixed bag but in reasonably good shape. There are some tight spots but they're well marked. Use caution when crossing the Union Pacific mainline at Iris and Jade. There are a lot of trains on this route and they're typically moving pretty quickly.
The 7.2 mile stretch from Maple River to Breda is my favorite part of the trail. It's a gentle rise almost the whole way but you're surrounded by bigger hills that give it more of a mountain feel without the steep climb. It was a really pleasant surprise. There's also a wind farm here. The pavement is nice wide poured concrete. Breda's a nice little town with a general store on the main street.
The third section runs from Breda to the railroad underpass on Quincy. It's about 6.4 miles and pleasant. The pavement is poured concrete like the second section and as smooth as it gets. The jog to get under the railroad overpass is gravel, so use caution.
The last section is what I call the water section. It runs by Black Hawk Marsh on its way to Lake View and Black Hawk Lake State Park. It's heavily forested and runs through wetlands before ending just a few blocks from the heart of one of the prettiest little towns in the Upper Midwest.
We can’t say much about this trail since we decided to try it out for the first time during a day with 25+ mile an hour winds coming from the south. But what we were able to do, about 6 miles starting from Lake View, was very well maintained. The first 3 miles are nicely wooded & protected. We happily paid the daily fee which is asked to help with maintenance of the trail. Other bikers that we talked to said we’d be one of the few who have actually paid, which I find to be sad when it’s such a nice trail that’s for the enjoyment of all.
I was traveling through the Quad Cities on the way home to northwest Iowa from Indiana and had a chance to stop and ride some of the trails on both sides of the river here. Most of my riding was on the Illinois side, but I crossed the river on the Centennial Bridge, rode through downtown Davenport on this trail and then crossed the river again on the Arsenal Bridge.
So this review is only for the section of the trail between the two bridges. That said, I loved it. Downtown Davenport was vibrant and this trail was smooth, safe, easy to navigate and well signed. To see the Mississippi up close on a bike gives you a real sense for just how big and powerful it is. I loved the entire experience and will come back to ride more.
This is a short, crushed limestone trail located just north of I-80 at West Branch Iowa. I rode it on Thursday June 7, 2018. I wasn't expecting much but really enjoyed it. A big part of it is West Branch. What a delightful town. If you have time, stop and see the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Visitor Center.
The trail is well used. There was a guy on a bike with pruning sheers taking out low hanging branches. Everyone was friendly. Be careful at the first road crossing out of West Branch. It's at a weird angle and it's a relatively high speed road. Other than that, just enjoy it.
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