Did you know that Iowa has almost 2,000 miles of multi-use trails separated from roadways where you can cycle, run, rollerblade or walk?
Iowa: A Great Place to Cycle
The many miles of greenbelt trails provide wonderful routes to cycle, and it helps that Iowa is mostly flat. The combination makes Iowa cycling heaven!
Larger cities like Iowa City and Des Moines have excellent networks of these paths, as well as wide roads that can be cycled for long distances.
Love beer? The Iowa Bike Routes website has a few Craft Beer Bike Tours. Join up with a group or do it on your own! Or perhaps you can even design your own route. Here are a few of our favorite Des Moines breweries.
Check out routes like the Raccoon River Valley Trail. It starts in Waukee and has a 72 mile loop for a total of 89 miles to Jefferson, passing across wooden bridges, through historic villages and verdant wooded areas.
Another beautiful path is the Three Rivers Trail, a 33 mile route that follows an old Stagecoach route along the Des Moines River. It crosses more than 30 old rail bridges and is a quiet and peaceful crushed limestone trail.
If you love nature, consider exploring the Wabash Trace route in western Iowa. This path is 63 miles in total and passes through a unique geological formation known as the Loess Hills. Glaciers ground rocks into dust during the Ice Age, which was then deposited in mudflats along river flood plains. After the river waters receded, westerly winds blew the dust into huge dunes, which were formed by wind and water into jagged hills we see there today.
Iowa’s cycling trails are not just for long distance cyclists, they can be fun for the whole family. For more information on trails around the state, check out Iowa DOT, Iowa Bike Routes and the Iowa By Trail app.
Don’t have your own bicycle? Some cities in Iowa have bike-share programs. Check in your local area to find them.
Now you know why Iowa is known as the World Capitol of Trails. Get on your bicycle and explore some of them!
Visiting Des Moines?
Stop in to a few of our favorites including local breweries, Living History Farms and the Des Moines Art Center.