A Family Ride on the Volksweg

The Trail

Dutch for “people's path”, the Volksweg Trail travels 13 miles from Pella to the Lake Red Rock area.  The Pella trailhead is located at W 5th Street/University. Parking and facilities are located within the state park at campgrounds and recreational areas.

From the trail riders can get wonderful views of Iowa’s largest body of water.  Sections of trail are lined with pine trees and for a minute you feel like you’re in Colorado!  Each curve in the trail provides interesting landscapes ranging from prairie, wooded areas, small marshes and even a nature-inspired play/rest area. 

Trail Map

Trail Information


The Ride

I had been wanting to ride this Featured Trail for some time and had put it on my list of “trails to try in 2014”.  With Tulip Time taking place in Pella it was the perfect weekend to plan an outing and family bike ride.

The day started in Pella seeing the sites, the tulips, and visiting Vander Ploeg Bakery for some Dutch pastries. Then it was off to Lake Red Rock and the bike trail.

Driving over the dam we noticed pelicans flying.  As we got closer to the spillway area we saw more and more.  After parking below the spillway we spent some time watching the birds fish.  There were some men fishing too, but the pelicans looked to be having better luck.

With plans to ride the northern portions of the trail, our little peloton headed off and quickly discovered it is rated as ‘difficult’ for a reason!  There were many short steep hills to pedal up but the coasting down the other side was well worth the effort.

 We opted to use the Wallashuck Campground area as our turn around spot.  The trip back had lots of opportunities to coast while enjoying the pretty scenery.  We all agreed to return to Lake Red Rock this year and add some time to fish to the itinerary.  

The siren song of craft beer was calling as we packed up our gear and stowed the bikes.  Knoxville Iowa, home of Peace Tree Brewing Co. is only 10 minutes from the lake area and has award winning craft beer.  At the brewery we talked about our day while savoring delicious beer (and root beer).  It was a great way to wrap up our adventures.

Considerations

  • This is a perfect trail for cyclists wanting to get some hill work in and a fantastic trail for nature lovers who ride bikes.

  • Don’t feel bad if you decided to walk your bike up a hill. It’s a great way to save some energy for the ride back and to take in the beautiful surroundings.  Walking the hills might be a necessary choice for those with young riders in tow.

  • Coordinate a trip to this trail with a visit to Pella.  Even if the tulips are not in bloom there is lots of heritage, beauty, and great food to enjoy.

Happy Riding!