The Heart of Iowa Nature trail travels through Central Iowa from Slater to Melbourne and is part of the American Discovery Trail. The majority is crushed limestone, but also includes portions of paved highway and gravel roads. The trail is wide with an equestrian trail along it’s shoulder. It connects to the High Trestle Trail in Slater and the Iowa 330 Trail in Melbourne.
In dry conditions any type of bike can easily navigate a rider from Huxley to Maxwell. It rides flat and with minimal crossings this stretch would also be a fun take kids out on a ride.
30 Days of Biking is here again! Riding every day In April means keeping it fun by mixing things up a bit. The Heart of Iowa Nature Trail does just that. With it's limestone surface and amazing scenery it deserves to be savored. Like the sign said, "it's not a right". Each time I've ridden it I have certainly felt privileged.
A favorite section is the heavily wooded stretch between Cambridge and Maxwell. The trail is in a hallow of sorts with trees towering above. This section is also where I've seen deer and turkey.
Cambridge has a small city park to take a bike break, but I prefer the Skunk River. The bridge has areas for pulling over to enjoy the view. Plus, there is a path (rather steep) from the trail to the riverbank. It's a great spot for playing with the camp stove and having a snack.
Huxley to Cambridge (and just smidgen further west) is 10 mile out-n-back route perfect for those with kids or folks visiting the trail for the first time. It's also a remedy for anyone searching for solitude. Just be prepared. When you ride this trail miles won't matter, just the moments.