More Than 1,200 Miles of Biking Trails in Iowa

Iowa has transformed more abandoned railroad beds into bike trails than any other state! With a variety of terrains–hilly, rocky, forests, prairies, and waterways–Iowa has something for every level of biker. Beginners will be happy to experience some of the longest paved trails anywhere in the country. You’ve just got to come and see for yourself!

Not far from Council Bluffs, families will enjoy journeying along the Wabash Trail, a 25- mile run that is pretty easy to travel and great for beginners. Along with fantastic scenic views, this route includes lots of opportunities to stop and check out the little towns and stopping points all along this trail. This is a fun, relaxing ride with lots of great interesting attractions as an added benefit.

The Sycamore Trail near Des Moines is also known as the “Brickyard.” (Because it used to be one!) Most of the trail runs along the Des Moines River for about 7 miles. However you can several miles to your ride by branching off on one of the challenging loops along the trail. The Brickyard area is very rocky and steep and technical. Part of the trail actually gets submerged under water during spring, so always ride when it’s dry. Watch out for deer on the trail as well.

Joker Racing designed the Oleson Park Trail not far from Fort Dodge, and they also provide improvements to this biking trail. Riders of all experience levels will enjoy hilly terrain and creek crossings-some wet, some dry. There is also an extremely speedy downhill area, so use caution there if you aren’t an experienced rider.

The Sugar Bottom Recreation Area includes a complete network of trails for inexperienced and advanced bikers alike. Many are one-way, so watch the signs or get a map. Altogether, the trails encompass 10-12 miles of riding and they’re nicely maintained. This is a popular area, though, so stay alert as it can be crowded at certain times of the year. Trails designed for advanced riders feature great technical features like tree roots and double backs.

For intermediate to professional level bikers, the 14-mile trail on the Decorah Mountain Bike Trail System will get your heart racing! Home to the first MTB racing event to be held in Iowa, you’ll find lots of technical features to challenge even the most advanced riders. Roots and rocks, steep inclines and rapid descents, dirt track and lots of other types of terrains and surfaces-there is something here to challenge everyone-and this track definitely will challenge most riders!

The Lewis and Clark Trail near Council Bluffs is a variety of trails that are not for the faint of heart! There’s plenty of technical stuff to keep you hopping–steep climbs, roller coaster descents, twists and turns, obstacles, and much more. There are plenty of trails to choose from, about 7 miles worth. If one seems too difficult, there are usually several bailout points along the way. The trails usually aren’t too busy, but watch out for hikers, especially on weekends.

Iowa boasts more than 1,200 miles of trails for biking. Wow! This is one state avid bikers have got to visit. So put this state on your map of destinations to visit and plan to have fun biking!