Featured Trail - Chichaqua Valley Trail

Just outside the Des Moines metro, this asphalt trail takes cyclists on a 20 mile ride through a wooded greenbelt corridor from Bondurant to Baxter.

Trail Trivia

Photo Courtesy: rits.org

Photo Courtesy: rits.org

  • A wooden caboose from 1913  filled with artifacts from the community greets you at the trailhead in Baxter.  
  • The trail crosses the forested banks and bottomlands of the Skunk River, originally called Chichaqua by the Fox Indians.
  • Riders cross stone bridges dating from 1885 built by Wisconsin, Iowa & Nebraska Railroad line.
  • The trailside town of Valeria exists thanks to a romance between a farmer’s daughter (Edna Valeria) and a railroad engineer.

Trail Resources

TrailLink.com

Jasper County Conservation

Trail Events

  • Friday Night Bikes - This party ride takes place every Friday night through September.  For details visit Bike Iowa.   
  • Biking Bondu - In it’s 7th year, this group ride is scheduled for June 21st to benefit the development of the Bondurant Regional Trailhead.  The ride starts with a pancake breakfast at the Bondurant fire station.  To register visit the group's Facebook page. 

 

Featured Trail - Comet Trail

The Comet Trail is located 16 minutes north of Marshalltown.  It’s primarily a crushed limestone trail incorporating the rural communities of Conrad, and Beaman and Gladbrook.

Trail Trivia

Picture Courtesy of City of Beaman

Picture Courtesy of City of Beaman

  • Test your nerves by riding across the 72 foot suspension trail over Wolf Creek.

  • Start your ride at the Conrad Aquatic Center for a handy place to cool off and relax after a hot summer ride.

  • Ride this trail and you're riding a portion of the American Discovery Trail.

  • Just under 10 miles in length, it's perfect for family bike rides.

  • Artists using chainsaws as their medium have sculptures displayed in Beaman’s Discovery Garden.

  • Ride the trail during Conrad’s Black Dirt Days and you could bear witness to a 20 foot long ice cream sundae.

  • Make a visit to Matchstick Marvels in Gladbrook to see a model of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and other amazing structures built using matchsticks.  

Trail Resources

Trail Link

Trail Events

Black Dirt Days

Gladbrook Corn Carnival

 

Featured Trail - Wabash Trace Nature Trail

Running from Council Bluffs to the Missouri border this trail is an Iowa treasure.

Trail Trivia

Photo from: TripAdvisor

Photo from: TripAdvisor

  • Iowa’s longest trail.
  • Thousands of cyclists ride the trail with tacos on their mind.
  • A member of Rails-To-Trails Conservancy’s Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.
  • Over 70 bridges to cross.
  • Beautiful views of the Loess Hills.
  • Featured on the television show Iowa's Simple Pleasures.
  • Six trailside communities to visit while on your ride.

Trail Events

  • Every Thursday night cyclists ride from the trailhead in Council Bluffs to Mineola for the taco special at Tobey Jack’s.
  • The WARTS (Wabash Annual Ride To Shenandoah) trail ride is scheduled for September 27th.  Cyclists and their steeds are bussed to the trailhead in Council Bluffs from Shenandoah for this one day ride.  Riders can stop at the trailside communities for food and drink on their way back to Shenandoah for festivities at Depot Deli.  

Trail Resources

 

Featured Trail - Volksweg Trail

This 13 mile trail connects the town of Pella with Lake Red Rock and is only 50 minutes from the metro.

Trail Trivia

Photo: Pella Historical Village

Photo: Pella Historical Village

  • Volksweg is the Dutch word for people’s path.
  • The trail provides beautiful views of Iowa’s largest body of water.

  • During beach season, you can cool off in the lake for only $1.

  • At the bottom of the lake is the former river town of Red Rock.

  • See Bald Eagles feeding and resting below the lakes dam.

  • Coordinate a ride with Pella’s Tulip Time, May 3rd through 10th.

  • After your ride visit downtown Pella to see Wyatt Earp’s boyhood home and eat delicious Dutch letters from local bakeries.

Trail Resources

For details about the trail and more information on events, visit these websites:

Volksweg Trail

Tulip Time

Lake Red Rock 

Pella Historical Village

 

Featured Trail - Sauk Rail Trail

Located an hour and forty minutes from the Des Moines metro, this trail has state parks at either end.

Trail Trivia

Photo Courtesy of Bike Iowa

Photo Courtesy of Bike Iowa

  • Beautiful prairie views gives riders a glimpse into the past before Iowa became farmland.

  • Cyclists can ride in the shadows of mammoth wind turbines.

  • Five trailside communities provide riders with friendly locations for resting or refueling.

  • Bluebirds choose to spend their summer days alongside the trail.

  • Black Hawk Lake is the southernmost glacial lake in Iowa.

  • Trail t-shirts can be purchased and worn with pride knowing proceeds go towards trail maintenance.

  • Coordinate a ride on the trail with Carrollfest. Held the second weekend in August, festivities include a car show, live music, various tournaments, and much more. 

Trail Events

To generate funding for the trail, two group rides are hosted each year. Make sure to bookmark the trail website and check back for more information.  

  • Ride the Rail will take place on June 21st with plans for live music and lots of trailside fun.

  • Nighthawk at Blackhawk is a night ride on July 12th.  Starting in Lake View, riders travel around Black Hawk Lake and on to Breda before returing back to Lake View.

  • The Rivalry Ride gives a nod to the yearly battle on the gridiron between the University of Iowa, and Iowa State University.  Cheer on your team while riding your bicycle on September 13th.

Trail Resources

For details about the trail and more information on trail events visit these websites: