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. Each curve in the trail provides interesting landscapes ranging from prairie, wooded areas, small marshes and even a nature-inspired play/rest area. Listed as "difficult" on Iowa by Trail app the trail has some steep grades and puts gears and legs to work.
Note: Portions of the trail are closed due to the hydroelectric project at the dam. The northern segment can be accessed inside the North Overlook Campground via the spillway bridge or Idaho Drive.
A mid-week work break prompted my husband and I to take a trip to Pella. Only an hour from the metro this town is known for Tulip Time and is home to Central College. What prompted our visit? Dutch pasteries, fastastic coffee, and most importantly, the Volkweg Trail.
Arriving in Pella we began our morning with a visit to the town square. First stop was grabbing piping hot java from Smokey Row Coffee and "only in Pella" goodies from Vander Ploeg Bakery. We headed across the street to Public Square Park and found a shady picnic table. There we enjoyed our breakfast under the watchful eye of a gigantic caterpillar and a memorialized Civil War solider.
Next it was a stop at Iowa Bike and Fitness for first-hand information on the trail. Francisco let us know it was dry despite frequent rain and showed us routes for accessing the northern portion of the trail.
We chose to skip riding the segment from Pella and used the North Overlook campground area as our trailhead. The northern segment of the Volksweg Trail is my favorite and was just as beautiful as before. Butterflies were lilting between blossoms, deer were grazing, and sailboats floating on the water. We leisurely rode through the cool shady wooded areas and ventured off the trail to ride through campground areas.
Our small excursion away from the daily routine left us recharged. Which was it? The Dutch pastries, coffee, biking or the outdoors? All of the above!