Iowa Cross Country Skiing Trails and Maps

394 Reviews

Looking for the best Cross Country Skiing trails around Iowa?

Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in Iowa, whether you're looking for an easy short cross country skiing trail or a long cross country skiing trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a cross country skiing trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

City Trails and Maps in Iowa

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  • Length
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
67 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Bear River Recreation Trail

5.6 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Cedar Prairie Trail

7.9 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Cedar Valley Lakes Trail

11.3 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Cedar Valley Nature Trail

67.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Cedar View Trail

4.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete, Gravel

Chichaqua Valley Trail

27 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Cinder Path

13.5 mi
State: IA
Cinder, Crushed Stone

Clive Greenbelt Trail

7.9 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Comet Trail

7 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone, Grass

Copper Creek Trail

0.75 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Ed Winkel Memorial Trail

4.7 mi
State: IA
Gravel

Fairfield Loop Trail

16 mi
State: IA
Concrete, Crushed Stone, Gravel

Flint River Trail (IA)

1.5 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Fort Dodge Nature Trail

2.6 mi
State: IA
Cinder

Galloping Goose Trail (IA)

0.5 mi
State: IA
Ballast, Dirt, Grass

Gay Lea Wilson Trail

20.9 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Grant Wood Trail (Linn County Segment)

8 mi
State: IA
Grass, Gravel, Sand

Great Western Trail (IA)

16.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Grundy County Lake Trail

3 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete
Accordion

Harry Cook Nature Trail

2 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Heart of Iowa Nature Trail

25.8 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass

Heritage Trail (IA)

29.4 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

High Trestle Trail

25.6 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Hoover Nature Trail (Nichols)

2.7 mi
State: IA
Grass, Gravel

Hoover Nature Trail (West Liberty)

0.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Hubbard Prairie Trail

1.3 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Iowa Great Lakes Trail

14.3 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Kewash Nature Trail

13.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Lake Manawa Trail

7.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Lamoni Rail-Trail

4.7 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Little River Scenic Pathway

1.8 mi
State: IA
Concrete

Mapleleaf Pathway

1.5 mi
State: IA
Grass, Gravel

Old Creamery Trail

15.3 mi
State: IA
Cinder, Crushed Stone, Gravel

Paint Creek Trail (IA)

2.5 mi
State: IA
Dirt

Pine Lake Trail

2.4 mi
State: IA
Concrete

Pioneer Trail

11.5 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Pony Hollow Trail

3.6 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass

Praeri Rail Trail

10.5 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass

Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail

20 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Puddle Jumper Trail

2 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Raccoon River Valley Trail

89 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Readlyn Grump Trail

6.3 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Reumpers Nature Trail

0.3 mi
State: IA
Cinder

Ringgold Trailway

2 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Riverside Trail (IA)

1.2 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail

4 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Russell White Nature Trail

3.8 mi
State: IA
Ballast, Grass

Sac and Fox Trail

7.2 mi
State: IA
Concrete, Crushed Stone

Sauk Rail Trail

33.2 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Sergeant Road Trail

9.9 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Solon-Lake Macbride Recreation Trail

5.3 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

South Riverside Trail

3.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

South Tama Recreation Trail

5.6 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone, Dirt

Spencer Recreational Trail

10.5 mi
State: IA
Concrete

Summerset Trail

12 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

T-Bone Trail

19.6 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Three Rivers Trail

39.9 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Trout Run Trail

11 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Volksweg Trail

12.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Wabash Trace Nature Trail

62.6 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

27 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Waverly Rail Trail

7.6 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Winnebago Trail

3.7 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Wolf Creek Trail (IA)

2.6 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Bear River Recreation Trail follows part of the Maquoketa River outside of Spragueville and Preston, through bucolic countryside of woodlands, farms and river lowlands. You can start the trail in...
IA 5.6 mi Crushed Stone
The Cedar Prairie Trail is an important component of the extensive trail system in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The trail runs between the South Riverside Trail at Waterloo Road and the Sergeant Road Trail...
IA 7.9 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The name “Cedar Valley Lakes Trail” conjures images of lazy summer days by the river and magnificent fall leaf-peeping excursions. The actual experience doesn’t disappoint; in fact, it exceeds...
IA 11.3 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Cedar Valley Nature Trail—part of the cross-country American Discovery Trail— follows the fertile Cedar River between Evansdale and Ely. The 68-mile trail comprises three former trails—the Cedar...
IA 67.8 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Cedar View Trail provides a connection between the small cities of Fairfield and Libertyville in southeastern Iowa. A trailhead with parking and information on the trail greets users at the...
IA 4.5 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Gravel
The Charley Western Recreational Trailway provides a useful off-road route around the outer limits of Charles City. Built on the site of the former Charles City Western Railway, the trail runs along...
IA 4 mi Asphalt
The paved Chichaqua Valley Trail crosses 27 miles of central Iowa farmland between the northeastern Des Moines suburbs and the rural community of Baxter. The trail’s name, pronounced chee-chak-wah, is...
IA 27 mi Asphalt
The Cinder Path in southern Iowa is notable as the state’s first rail-to-trail conversion. Following a shady route past farms and wetlands along the Chariton River between Chariton and Humeston for...
IA 13.5 mi Cinder, Crushed Stone
While Greater Des Moines is flush with multiuse trails, one of the paved pathways running through the suburb of Clive really stands out. Offering a string of trailside parks and fun twists and turns...
IA 7.9 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Comet Trail is built upon an abandoned right-of-way of the old Chicago Northwestern Railroad. It runs for 7 miles between the town of Conrad (City Park) and just east of Beaman, traversing a...
IA 7 mi Crushed Stone, Grass
The Copper Creek Trail runs for a short distance from the town of Preston, heading northwest along Copper Creek to meet with the Bear River Recreation Trail. You'll find a nice picnic spot with a...
IA 0.75 mi Crushed Stone
The Ed Winkel Memorial Trail runs for nearly 5 miles from the small town of Sibley in Osceola County, Iowa to just west of the unincorporated community of Allendorf. Offering a hint at much of Iowa's...
IA 4.7 mi Gravel
The Fairfield Loop Trail forms a 16-mile ring around the town of Fairfield, mostly in the outlying areas of the countryside. The trail links two major preserves and connects city and county parks....
IA 16 mi Concrete, Crushed Stone, Gravel
The Flint River Trail, when complete, will run for approximately 20 miles between downtown Burlington, Iowa, and the Big Hollow Creek Recreation Area in the northern part of Des Moines County. The...
IA 1.5 mi Crushed Stone
The Fort Dodge Nature Trail begins at the city's Snell-Crawford Park and runs northeast for nearly 3 miles. The trail travels adjacent to overhead power lines and crosses a couple of bridges over...
IA 2.6 mi Cinder
The Galloping Goose Trail is so called for the nickname of the old railroad that once ran through the area and upon which the trail sits. As of 2012, about 0.5 mile of trail have been built northeast...
IA 0.5 mi Ballast, Dirt, Grass
Nestled in the suburbs of Des Moines and traveling through the towns of Ankeny, Berwick, Pleasant Hill, and Altoona, the Gay Lea Wilson Trail is named for a local advocate who first conceived of a...
IA 20.9 mi Asphalt, Concrete
About 8 miles of the Grant Wood Trail in Linn County has been constructed so far (2012) along a former Milwaukee Road right-of-way between Marion and Martelle. The trail currently is in three separate...
IA 8 mi Grass, Gravel, Sand
Built on a former section of the Chicago Great Western Railroad (built in 1893), the Great Western Trail spans 16.5 miles from just outside of urban Des Moines southward to Martensdale. Begin your...
IA 16.5 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Grundy County Lake Trail circles its namesake 40-acre lake, where outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy fishing, boating, and many other recreational opportunities. The paved trail then continues north,...
IA 3 mi Asphalt, Concrete
Accordion
The Harry Cook Nature Trail runs for 2 miles from the edge of the small city of Osage, Iowa to the city's public Spring Park. The trail, which opened in the early 1990s, occupies the bed of an...
IA 2 mi Crushed Stone
The Heart of Iowa Nature Trail traverses classic Iowa farmland along the former route of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, also known as the Milwaukee Road. The trail transitions...
IA 25.8 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass
The Heritage Trail rolls along like a dream for nearly 30 miles from the Mississippi River town of Dubuque to Dyersville, home of the movie set for Field of Dreams. Along the way it passes through the...
IA 29.4 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The High Trestle Trail is one of the most pristine and highly trafficked trails in Iowa—even at night. The trail’s popularity is largely due to its famous 130-foot-tall High Trestle Bridge, which...
IA 25.6 mi Asphalt, Concrete
This section of the Hoover Nature Trail is the roughest and least maintained. The trail actually runs from just north of the small town of Nichols to a few miles south of West Liberty at 155th Street....
IA 2.7 mi Grass, Gravel
The small city of West Liberty in Muscatine County, Iowa, is home to a short segment of the Hoover Nature Trail. The paved pathway parallels Elm Street and is anchored at its southern end by an old...
IA 0.8 mi Asphalt
The Hubbard Prairie Trail is a one-mile rail-trail extending from the northwest edge of the small town of Hubbard in central Iowa to the Meier Wildlife Refuge. The refuge offers a pleasant place to...
IA 1.3 mi Crushed Stone
The Iowa Great Lakes resort on the northern border with Minnesota is a longtime destination for fishermen and vacationers who arrived from big cities by rail. Dickinson County employed two different...
IA 14.3 mi Asphalt
The Kewash Nature Trail winds for nearly 14 miles between the towns of Keota and Washington. These endpoints were creatively combined to form the trail's name. The trail has a crushed limestone...
IA 13.8 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Lake Manawa Trail in Council Bluffs links the city's industrial core along US 275 with Lake Manawa State Park, a popular destination for hiking, camping, boating, fishing and swimming. In the...
IA 7.5 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Lamoni Rail-Trail, also called the Lamoni Recreation Trail, is a delightful route through the downtown area, with a side loop through the campus of Graceland University. You can begin the trail at...
IA 4.7 mi Asphalt
Since 1994, the Little River Scenic Pathway has offered something for everyone to enjoy. Users can enjoy nature while hiking, biking, jogging or exercising at fitness areas along the trail or by...
IA 1.8 mi Concrete
The Mapleleaf Pathway is located in the small community of Diagonal, Iowa. The trail occupies an abandoned Chicago and North Western Railway corridor, which once formed part of a larger system that...
IA 1.5 mi Grass, Gravel
The Old Creamery Trail, running between Vinton and Dysart, is so named for the Old Creamery Theater Company building in Garrison, another tiny farm community through which the trail passes. The gravel...
IA 15.3 mi Cinder, Crushed Stone, Gravel
Iowa's Yellow River State Forest contains a sprawling network of hiking, equestrian and bicycle trails. The Paint Creek Trail, which occupies a segment of an abandoned railroad corridor, is the only...
IA 2.5 mi Dirt
The Pine Lake Trail runs through a heavily wooded state park of the same name, which is especially known for its 250-year-old white pine trees. The trail begins at Deer Park, a half mile east of...
IA 2.4 mi Concrete
The nearly 12-mile Pioneer Trail—which gets its name from the early settlers in Grundy County—is built on a former rail line that once connected the towns of Holland and Reinbeck and the communities...
IA 11.5 mi Crushed Stone
The Pony Hollow Trail in the northeastern Iowa city of Elkader offers a scenic route through woodlands and wetlands along the former Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad bed. The western half of...
IA 3.6 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass
The Praeri Rail Trail runs on an old section of railroad right-of-way between Zearing and Roland in central Iowa. Sections of the trail near Roland and McCallsburg have a crushed limestone surface,...
IA 10.5 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass
The Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail follows part of the former Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad corridor, which traces its origins as far back as 1866. Its history lives on in...
IA 20 mi Asphalt
The Puddle Jumper Trail is a 2 mile long rail-trail that connects the western Iowa communities of Orange City and Alton. The trail is surfaced with crushed quartzite and also features a bridle path...
IA 2 mi Crushed Stone
On the western outskirts of Des Moines, the Raccoon River Valley Trail offers a quintessential central Iowa experience. Over its nearly 90-mile span, you’ll traverse wooded, prairie, and agricultural...
IA 89 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Readlyn Grump Trail offers a 6-mile paved path across Bremer County with views of open fields, several streams, and a bridge over Quarter Section Run. It begins at the terminus for the Waverly...
IA 6.3 mi Asphalt
Although short, the Reumpers Nature Trail runs under a beautiful canopy of trees along the former Chicago Northwestern Railroad in Radcliffe, a small town in central Iowa.
IA 0.3 mi Cinder
The Ringgold Trailway connects the eastern edge of the small city of Mount Ayr with Poe Hollow County Park, a little less than 2 miles away. The trail was built on a former railroad right-of-way, and...
IA 2 mi Asphalt
Charles City's Riverside Trail runs for a little over a mile along the banks of the Cedar River, providing gorgeous views and recreational opportunities, as well as access to several city...
IA 1.2 mi Asphalt
The Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail travels 4 miles along an asphalt path atop a former railbed once owned by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. Starting near an I-80 on-ramp, the...
IA 4 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Russell White Nature Trail runs for nearly 4 miles through a landscape of forest, pasture and prairie and links the tiny community of Lanesboro with open space to the southwest of the town. The...
IA 3.8 mi Ballast, Grass
The Sac and Fox Trail offers 7.2 miles of beautiful, shady recreation along the Cedar River and Indian Creek on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids. The oldest designated National Recreation Trail in Iowa,...
IA 7.2 mi Concrete, Crushed Stone
The Sauk Rail Trail offers some of the best riding in rural, west-central Iowa. The paved 33-mile trail is capped at either end by a state park and offers a diverse mix of views and experiences in...
IA 33.2 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Sergeant Road Trail is part of the larger trails system in the Cedar Valley region of Iowa, which includes the cities of Cedar Falls and Waterloo. The trail parallels US 63—also known as Sergeant...
IA 9.9 mi Asphalt
The Shell Rock River Trail, also known as the Butler County Nature Trail, connects the eastern edge of Clarksville with the community of Shell Rock. The trail runs through open fields and at times...
IA 5.9 mi Asphalt
The Solon–Lake Macbride Recreation Trail runs for 5 miles between the scenic state park and the town of Solon to the east. The popular trail is perfect for cycling or walking and skiing or...
IA 5.3 mi Crushed Stone
The South Riverside Trail is one in a series of trail systems throughout Cedar Falls, Iowa. The trail runs between Main Street at the Cedar Falls Recreation Center and the Greenhill Trail just west of...
IA 3.5 mi Asphalt
The South Tama Recreation Trail connects the adjacent towns of Tama and Toledo in Tama County, Iowa. The original section of the trail, a 1 mile stretch built on an abandoned railroad corridor, opened...
IA 5.6 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt
The Spencer Recreational Trail traverses scenic wetlands and prairies on the outskirts of the small city of Spencer, offering users a peaceful, paved path along the Little Sioux River. The trail...
IA 10.5 mi Concrete
The Summerset Trail links the two central Iowa communities of Indianola and Carlisle, both of which have embraced the trail, including providing helpful signs at each end with clear directions for...
IA 12 mi Asphalt
The T-Bone Trail stretches nearly 20 miles between Audubon and Pymosa township in western Iowa. It's also part of the American Discovery Trail, a non-motorized route across the country. The paved...
IA 19.6 mi Asphalt
The Three Rivers Trail runs for nearly 40 miles from the small community of Rolfe—named after the early English settler who married Pocahontas—to just west of Eagle Grove. The mostly rural trail is...
IA 39.9 mi Crushed Stone
The best place to begin the Trolley Trail is in Mason City in Ray Rorick Skate Park, located adjacent to the 81-acre Lester Milligan Park, which has two fishing and swimming ponds, hiking and biking...
IA 7.5 mi Asphalt
The Trout Run Trail provides an experience unique to any other in Iowa, with a hilly landscape that reminds trail users of the meteorite that struck the area long ago. The trail actually loops all the...
IA 11 mi Asphalt, Concrete
Who says Iowa doesn’t have hills?! The winding route of the Volksweg Trail sticks mainly to the rolling hills and scenic viewpoints from Lake Red Rock all the way to the town of Pella. Dutch...
IA 12.5 mi Asphalt
A Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Hall of Fame rail-trail, the Wabash Trace Nature Trail earns its title—providing an amazing trip through the rural forests and countryside of southwest Iowa. The trail...
IA 62.6 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
The Wapsi–Great Western Line Trail is a 27-mile pathway on the former Chicago Great Western Railroad. The trail passes through a plethora of backdrops, including wide, rolling landscapes, Iowa...
IA 27 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
The Waverly Rail Trail offers a pleasant, small town–meets-rural experience as it travels for 7.6 miles from downtown Waverly to its eastern endpoint north of Denver. It is also part of the Rolling...
IA 7.6 mi Asphalt
The Winnebago Trail provides the residents of Mason City with a safe, off-road link to nature, winding 3.7 miles from East Park and through residential areas to the Lime Creek Nature Center as it...
IA 3.7 mi Crushed Stone
The Wolf Creek Trail begins in Gladbrook, a small city about 70 miles northeast of Des Moines. The trail was established in 2001 by volunteers from the Gladbrook community who secured the right-of-way...
IA 2.6 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone

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Recent Trail Reviews

Sauk Rail Trail

Excellent Trail

August, 2018 by elliott4

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.

High Trestle Trail

Thumbs Up

August, 2018 by negangardo

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.

Flint River Trail (IA)

Enjoyable 2 miles (4 with return)

July, 2018 by contact-point@pobox.com

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.

Accordion

Wabash Trace Nature Trail

Wabash Trace is a great ride.

July, 2018 by joebus76

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.

Trout Run Trail

Short but hilly ride.

July, 2018 by timbee205

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.

Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail

Peaceful and clean

July, 2018 by al67gto

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.

Volksweg Trail

Good Cardio Ride

June, 2018 by pattydoug

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 ¿¿.

Iowa 330/US 30 Trail

Melbourne to Marshalltown

June, 2018 by lostagaintwice

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

Sauk Rail Trail

A little bit of everything

June, 2018 by pedalfree

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.

Sauk Rail Trail

Well Maintained

June, 2018 by limabean21

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.

Riverfront Trail (IA)

Downtown Davenport Section

June, 2018 by pedalfree

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.

Hoover Nature Trail (Oasis to West Branch)

A Slice of Americana

June, 2018 by pedalfree

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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