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Explore the best rated trails in Fort Madison, IA. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Fort Madison PORT Trail and Fairfield Loop Trail. With more than 9 trails covering 61 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
The first part was fully overgrown. Maybe the sections in the north get better...
Started at the hospital and went east. after navigating through the steep gravel and getting on a paved road, the signage stopped. we floundered about riding through nice neighborhoods looking for signs and getting frustrated. we finally found a signed intersection and using map reading skills managed to pick up the trail in a different neighborhood. Turns out that the TH at Lamson Woods State Preserve was being rebuilt and the big equipment blocked or removed the TH signs so we missed that turnoff completely. the trail is alot of fun (loop trails always are), over hill over dale through wetlands, neighborhoods, across rail lines w/ trains on them and then through the industrial section of Fairfield past the Walmart. At about this time and through Witham Woods, there was no-one else on the trail. Thick gravel and hills along Hiway 34 back to the start point.
I love the landscape diversity I get to experience on this trail. There are some great views with a mix of hills and flat stretches. Gives you a great view of what southeast Iowa has to offer. Everyone should come out and check out this 16 mile loop. Also there are plenty of places in Fairfield to stop. I would suggest biking to the Fishback and Stephenson Cider House. It’s right off the the trail near Pleasant Lake. They are only open for supper and brunch only on Sundays.
I was riding west on the American Discovery Trail. When I reached the Hoover Nature Trail I was extremely disappointed. My wife was meeting me there to ride this section but it was totally overgrown! No way to ride it. I would have rated this a zero if possible.
Wow, showed up to the Coneville trail and it was completely over run with weeds and grass! Really disappointed:
Nice trail that has a few challengingly climbs and worth the trip.
This is a nice almost 7 mile ride round trip. My kids 7, 9, and 12 enjoy this route because the turn around point for us is at Dan and Deb’s creamery. ¿¿. Nice canopied area of trees for part of it as well.
I like loop trails. this one takes you along small lakes, forest areas, and across beautiful bridges.
I am giving it 2 stars because i applaud DesMoines County for bringing a trail to SE Iowa.
But the trail is rough. We rode to Hickory Bend Recreation, which after miles of riding a washed out trail that routed you onto secondary gravel roads (BRING TIRE REPAIR KIT), we found an outhouse & 2 piles of gravel on a weeded lot. No shelter house. Water fountain or benches. Huh.
The trail has no shade. It is cut out of farmers' crop ground so you see absolutely nothing but corn & beans. There are no benches along this route. Nothing to look at. We saw a glimmer of water two ditches & a treeline over. We didn't even see a bird!
This part of the trail is crushed gravel. We did not ride the 4 mile paved route. We have had alot of rain & mother nature was not kind to it. That cannot be helped but I almost flew over my handlebars when I came down yet another hair pin curve and right into a washed out trail with deep fissures. And, these were everywhere.
Weeds growing up in the crushed rock. Lack of clear directional signage & the part of trail where you dismount & go thru a cattle farmer's 3 metal fence gates is quite odd.
This trail seems poorly thought out, like a swath of trail was simply cut out of farm ground & then rerouted down gravel roads when every few miles the trail didn't seem to work.
Oddly it is labor day weekend and we saw absolutely NO ONE on the trail but we did dodge several trucks on the gravel roads. Maybe that is a sign that there are better trails....
So, if you go. Bring sunscreen. A tire repair kit in case a rock slits your tire on the gravel roads. Wear a hat, 100% in the sun. Bring alot of water. Be careful of the multiple wash outs & know this trail is hilly. Hairpin hilly.
I cannot recommend unless you really just need something to do & have a desire to ride thru miles and miles of corn and beans & don't care. Truthfully we were so busy looking down for washouts and fissures that we would not have appreciated pretty scenery.
Also, parking areas are weedy & after dismounting, walking bike back to put on the rack, I look down and I have burrs all over both shoes to pick off.
We rode the inverted T section shown in the map here as of July 2018. It has been extended to Cash and 8th streets, south of the Case factory. We saw a great blue heron in the Flint River. Surface is paved concrete. Travelers looking to ride in the Burlington area should also check out the northern section of this trail; a pdf map is available at the Des Moines County website. We have not been there. There are some sections further south that look like they will be connected up eventually; local riders appear to know how to use road links to do that.
This is a nice, well maintained, and mostly level concrete path starting from Pond Road until Tama Road, or if you choose to go to the riverfront.
Wish it was more a fine crushed limestone. Very gravely.
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