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Explore the best rated trails in Ottumwa, IA. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the John King Trail and Competine Trail. With more than 12 trails covering 93 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.
I live just a couple of blocks from the Lamson Woods entrance and travel this trail ALL the time - biking and walking. The views and wildlife will feed your nature-loving soul. A section winds through the edge of the city, but very biker friendly. You can take sweet side rides through Chautauqua, Waterworks, and Jefferson County Park, as well as the Cedar View section. It includes both open and tree-lined portions and a few manageable hills. The trail is well-kept in all kinds of weather and shows off all four Iowa seasons. You can park and hop on this trail at more than a dozen spots. Do it!at
This trail is so beautiful, changes seasonally, has so many different kinds of nature scenes ranging from pine forest to meadow to wild flower marshes. It is a dream for me to ride my bike on. I have spent many hours of this diversified nature trail. Thank you Fairfield!
I'm local to the area and ride this trail frequently. The trail is primarily paved concrete. There are sections of the designated trail which are also City streets; however, signs have been added to the route in the past couple of years to identify the trail.
The trail is relatively flat, with some areas of elevation, but not overly challenging for most regular riders. The trail is also designated as a recreation trail. Trail users include walkers, runners, bikers, electric scooters, and golf carts (limited to 20 mph or less). Motorized vehicles are prohibited on the trail; however, I have witnessed instances of individuals using them on the recreation trail.
Overall, this is a great trail and it's well maintained for the most part. I did have one instance of a collision with a golf cart on the trail. The collision occurred on a somewhat blind corner and resulted in my front tire rim becoming bent. The golf cart was driven by a young teenager. Unfortunately, city ordinances do not prohibit golf carts on the trail and do not put any restrictions on the age for golf cart users. Exercise caution when it comes to golf cart users on the trail.
Stopped here on my way across country on I 80. Worth the diversion, good surface and shade. Harvest time in Iowa so plenty to see. Good camping close by in Hills Iowa.
Awesome trail Uphill ride into Pella Don’t forget to stop at the Peanut Pub across from a great bike shop for a craft beer. Perfect experience
Can ride through county park which gives you 6.8 miles in total. Can’t wait for a trail extension but overall great addition for Knoxville
Wish they would resurface cuz two thirds of the trail is extremely rough and takes away from the enjoyment. Has the potential to be outstanding.
Have ridden this many times. Went yesterday & they have paved a portion of it on way to West Chester.
Trail is straight little to no grade. We always see deer, chipmunks, birds & snakes.
Unpaved ,portion is pretty much dirt packed with little to no pea rock. Rutted in spots bc of rains.
Overall a decent trail. Hope to see more improvements!
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.
This is nearly a primitive trail. It needs funding and maintained . A mile section between Derby and Humelston is completely overgrown. I had the handlebars jerk out of my hands on 3 different sections. The cinder portion is ok and rideable but some gravel patches are very soft causing almost abrupt slowdowns. Numerous rest shelters are completely overgrown by brush and weeds. The bridges have warnings at both end to get off and walk across because of the uneven planks. I have ridden most all Iowa trails and this is the worst for condition. It is a shame as some of the terrain is quite pretty. But even in July stagnant water and mosquitos were bad. I crashed on the trail due to the very rough uneven surfaces. It would make a good hiking trail. If you ride it you will want wide tires and suspension. I had a hard tail front suspension carbon mountain bike and it was a rough ride.
Great winding trail around Lake Red Rock with beautiful views of the water.
My wife and I enjoyed our ride along Lake Red Rock. Plenty of tree cover to keep the heat of mid-day away and beautiful views. We biked 20 miles with plenty of hills to make it a challenge. When we were done we climbed the stairs of the observation tower to see stunning views of the lake. If you plan on visiting the observation tower - bring quarters, two per person. We were lucky that we found 4 quarters in our vehicle.
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