Altoona Cross Country Skiing Trails and Maps

161 Reviews

Looking for the best Cross Country Skiing trails around Altoona?

Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in Altoona, whether you're looking for an easy short cross country skiing trail or a long cross country skiing trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a cross country skiing trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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  • Length
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
15 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Chichaqua Valley Trail

27 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Cinder Path

13.5 mi
State: IA
Cinder, Crushed Stone

Clive Greenbelt Trail

7.9 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Galloping Goose Trail (IA)

0.5 mi
State: IA
Ballast, Dirt, Grass

Gay Lea Wilson Trail

20.9 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Great Western Trail (IA)

16.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Heart of Iowa Nature Trail

25.8 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass

High Trestle Trail

25.6 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Hubbard Prairie Trail

1.3 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Praeri Rail Trail

10.5 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass

Raccoon River Valley Trail

89 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Reumpers Nature Trail

0.3 mi
State: IA
Cinder

South Tama Recreation Trail

5.6 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone, Dirt

Summerset Trail

12 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Volksweg Trail

12.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The paved Chichaqua Valley Trail crosses 27 miles of central Iowa farmland between the northeastern Des Moines suburbs and the rural community of Baxter. The trail’s name, pronounced chee-chak-wah, is...
IA 27 mi Asphalt
The Cinder Path in southern Iowa is notable as the state’s first rail-to-trail conversion. Following a shady route past farms and wetlands along the Chariton River between Chariton and Humeston for...
IA 13.5 mi Cinder, Crushed Stone
While Greater Des Moines is flush with multiuse trails, one of the paved pathways running through the suburb of Clive really stands out. Offering a string of trailside parks and fun twists and turns...
IA 7.9 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Galloping Goose Trail is so called for the nickname of the old railroad that once ran through the area and upon which the trail sits. As of 2012, about 0.5 mile of trail have been built northeast...
IA 0.5 mi Ballast, Dirt, Grass
Nestled in the suburbs of Des Moines and traveling through the towns of Ankeny, Berwick, Pleasant Hill, and Altoona, the Gay Lea Wilson Trail is named for a local advocate who first conceived of a...
IA 20.9 mi Asphalt, Concrete
Built on a former section of the Chicago Great Western Railroad (built in 1893), the Great Western Trail spans 16.5 miles from just outside of urban Des Moines southward to Martensdale. Begin your...
IA 16.5 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Heart of Iowa Nature Trail traverses classic Iowa farmland along the former route of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, also known as the Milwaukee Road. The trail transitions...
IA 25.8 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass
The High Trestle Trail is one of the most pristine and highly trafficked trails in Iowa—even at night. The trail’s popularity is largely due to its famous 130-foot-tall High Trestle Bridge, which...
IA 25.6 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Hubbard Prairie Trail is a one-mile rail-trail extending from the northwest edge of the small town of Hubbard in central Iowa to the Meier Wildlife Refuge. The refuge offers a pleasant place to...
IA 1.3 mi Crushed Stone
The Praeri Rail Trail runs on an old section of railroad right-of-way between Zearing and Roland in central Iowa. Sections of the trail near Roland and McCallsburg have a crushed limestone surface,...
IA 10.5 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass
On the western outskirts of Des Moines, the Raccoon River Valley Trail offers a quintessential central Iowa experience. Over its nearly 90-mile span, you’ll traverse wooded, prairie, and agricultural...
IA 89 mi Asphalt, Concrete
Although short, the Reumpers Nature Trail runs under a beautiful canopy of trees along the former Chicago Northwestern Railroad in Radcliffe, a small town in central Iowa.
IA 0.3 mi Cinder
The South Tama Recreation Trail connects the adjacent towns of Tama and Toledo in Tama County, Iowa. The original section of the trail, a 1 mile stretch built on an abandoned railroad corridor, opened...
IA 5.6 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt
The Summerset Trail links the two central Iowa communities of Indianola and Carlisle, both of which have embraced the trail, including providing helpful signs at each end with clear directions for...
IA 12 mi Asphalt
Who says Iowa doesn’t have hills?! The winding route of the Volksweg Trail sticks mainly to the rolling hills and scenic viewpoints from Lake Red Rock all the way to the town of Pella. Dutch...
IA 12.5 mi Asphalt

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Trails by activity

Gay Lea Wilson Trail

IA - 20.9 miles

Nestled in the suburbs of Des Moines and traveling through the towns of Ankeny, Berwick, Pleasant Hill, and Altoona, the Gay Lea Wilson Trail is named for a local advocate who first conceived of a...

Raccoon River Valley Trail

IA - 89 miles

On the western outskirts of Des Moines, the Raccoon River Valley Trail offers a quintessential central Iowa experience. Over its nearly 90-mile span, you’ll traverse wooded, prairie, and agricultural...

Chichaqua Valley Trail

IA - 27 miles

The paved Chichaqua Valley Trail crosses 27 miles of central Iowa farmland between the northeastern Des Moines suburbs and the rural community of Baxter. The trail’s name, pronounced chee-chak-wah, is...

Great Western Trail (IA)

IA - 16.5 miles

Built on a former section of the Chicago Great Western Railroad (built in 1893), the Great Western Trail spans 16.5 miles from just outside of urban Des Moines southward to Martensdale. Begin your...

Accordion

Cinder Path

IA - 13.5 miles

The Cinder Path in southern Iowa is notable as the state’s first rail-to-trail conversion. Following a shady route past farms and wetlands along the Chariton River between Chariton and Humeston for...

Volksweg Trail

IA - 12.5 miles

Who says Iowa doesn’t have hills?! The winding route of the Volksweg Trail sticks mainly to the rolling hills and scenic viewpoints from Lake Red Rock all the way to the town of Pella. Dutch...

Summerset Trail

IA - 12 miles

The Summerset Trail links the two central Iowa communities of Indianola and Carlisle, both of which have embraced the trail, including providing helpful signs at each end with clear directions for...

Clive Greenbelt Trail

IA - 7.9 miles

While Greater Des Moines is flush with multiuse trails, one of the paved pathways running through the suburb of Clive really stands out. Offering a string of trailside parks and fun twists and turns...

South Tama Recreation Trail

IA - 5.6 miles

The South Tama Recreation Trail connects the adjacent towns of Tama and Toledo in Tama County, Iowa. The original section of the trail, a 1 mile stretch built on an abandoned railroad corridor, opened...

High Trestle Trail

IA - 25.6 miles

The High Trestle Trail is one of the most pristine and highly trafficked trails in Iowa—even at night. The trail’s popularity is largely due to its famous 130-foot-tall High Trestle Bridge, which...

Hubbard Prairie Trail

IA - 1.3 miles

The Hubbard Prairie Trail is a one-mile rail-trail extending from the northwest edge of the small town of Hubbard in central Iowa to the Meier Wildlife Refuge. The refuge offers a pleasant place to...

Raccoon River Valley Trail

IA - 89 miles

On the western outskirts of Des Moines, the Raccoon River Valley Trail offers a quintessential central Iowa experience. Over its nearly 90-mile span, you’ll traverse wooded, prairie, and agricultural...

Chichaqua Valley Trail

IA - 27 miles

The paved Chichaqua Valley Trail crosses 27 miles of central Iowa farmland between the northeastern Des Moines suburbs and the rural community of Baxter. The trail’s name, pronounced chee-chak-wah, is...

Cinder Path

IA - 13.5 miles

The Cinder Path in southern Iowa is notable as the state’s first rail-to-trail conversion. Following a shady route past farms and wetlands along the Chariton River between Chariton and Humeston for...

Accordion

Summerset Trail

IA - 12 miles

The Summerset Trail links the two central Iowa communities of Indianola and Carlisle, both of which have embraced the trail, including providing helpful signs at each end with clear directions for...

Reumpers Nature Trail

IA - 0.3 miles

Although short, the Reumpers Nature Trail runs under a beautiful canopy of trees along the former Chicago Northwestern Railroad in Radcliffe, a small town in central Iowa.

Galloping Goose Trail (IA)

IA - 0.5 miles

The Galloping Goose Trail is so called for the nickname of the old railroad that once ran through the area and upon which the trail sits. As of 2012, about 0.5 mile of trail have been built northeast...

Great Western Trail (IA)

IA - 16.5 miles

Built on a former section of the Chicago Great Western Railroad (built in 1893), the Great Western Trail spans 16.5 miles from just outside of urban Des Moines southward to Martensdale. Begin your...

High Trestle Trail

IA - 25.6 miles

The High Trestle Trail is one of the most pristine and highly trafficked trails in Iowa—even at night. The trail’s popularity is largely due to its famous 130-foot-tall High Trestle Bridge, which...

Praeri Rail Trail

IA - 10.5 miles

The Praeri Rail Trail runs on an old section of railroad right-of-way between Zearing and Roland in central Iowa. Sections of the trail near Roland and McCallsburg have a crushed limestone surface,...

South Tama Recreation Trail

IA - 5.6 miles

The South Tama Recreation Trail connects the adjacent towns of Tama and Toledo in Tama County, Iowa. The original section of the trail, a 1 mile stretch built on an abandoned railroad corridor, opened...

Heart of Iowa Nature Trail

IA - 25.8 miles

The Heart of Iowa Nature Trail traverses classic Iowa farmland along the former route of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, also known as the Milwaukee Road. The trail transitions...

Volksweg Trail

IA - 12.5 miles

Who says Iowa doesn’t have hills?! The winding route of the Volksweg Trail sticks mainly to the rolling hills and scenic viewpoints from Lake Red Rock all the way to the town of Pella. Dutch...

Clive Greenbelt Trail

IA - 7.9 miles

While Greater Des Moines is flush with multiuse trails, one of the paved pathways running through the suburb of Clive really stands out. Offering a string of trailside parks and fun twists and turns...

Gay Lea Wilson Trail

IA - 20.9 miles

Nestled in the suburbs of Des Moines and traveling through the towns of Ankeny, Berwick, Pleasant Hill, and Altoona, the Gay Lea Wilson Trail is named for a local advocate who first conceived of a...

Gay Lea Wilson Trail

IA - 20.9 miles

Nestled in the suburbs of Des Moines and traveling through the towns of Ankeny, Berwick, Pleasant Hill, and Altoona, the Gay Lea Wilson Trail is named for a local advocate who first conceived of a...

Clive Greenbelt Trail

IA - 7.9 miles

While Greater Des Moines is flush with multiuse trails, one of the paved pathways running through the suburb of Clive really stands out. Offering a string of trailside parks and fun twists and turns...

Raccoon River Valley Trail

IA - 89 miles

On the western outskirts of Des Moines, the Raccoon River Valley Trail offers a quintessential central Iowa experience. Over its nearly 90-mile span, you’ll traverse wooded, prairie, and agricultural...

Reumpers Nature Trail

IA - 0.3 miles

Although short, the Reumpers Nature Trail runs under a beautiful canopy of trees along the former Chicago Northwestern Railroad in Radcliffe, a small town in central Iowa.

Accordion

Praeri Rail Trail

IA - 10.5 miles

The Praeri Rail Trail runs on an old section of railroad right-of-way between Zearing and Roland in central Iowa. Sections of the trail near Roland and McCallsburg have a crushed limestone surface,...

Volksweg Trail

IA - 12.5 miles

Who says Iowa doesn’t have hills?! The winding route of the Volksweg Trail sticks mainly to the rolling hills and scenic viewpoints from Lake Red Rock all the way to the town of Pella. Dutch...

South Tama Recreation Trail

IA - 5.6 miles

The South Tama Recreation Trail connects the adjacent towns of Tama and Toledo in Tama County, Iowa. The original section of the trail, a 1 mile stretch built on an abandoned railroad corridor, opened...

Chichaqua Valley Trail

IA - 27 miles

The paved Chichaqua Valley Trail crosses 27 miles of central Iowa farmland between the northeastern Des Moines suburbs and the rural community of Baxter. The trail’s name, pronounced chee-chak-wah, is...

Summerset Trail

IA - 12 miles

The Summerset Trail links the two central Iowa communities of Indianola and Carlisle, both of which have embraced the trail, including providing helpful signs at each end with clear directions for...

Hubbard Prairie Trail

IA - 1.3 miles

The Hubbard Prairie Trail is a one-mile rail-trail extending from the northwest edge of the small town of Hubbard in central Iowa to the Meier Wildlife Refuge. The refuge offers a pleasant place to...

Heart of Iowa Nature Trail

IA - 25.8 miles

The Heart of Iowa Nature Trail traverses classic Iowa farmland along the former route of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, also known as the Milwaukee Road. The trail transitions...

Galloping Goose Trail (IA)

IA - 0.5 miles

The Galloping Goose Trail is so called for the nickname of the old railroad that once ran through the area and upon which the trail sits. As of 2012, about 0.5 mile of trail have been built northeast...

High Trestle Trail

IA - 25.6 miles

The High Trestle Trail is one of the most pristine and highly trafficked trails in Iowa—even at night. The trail’s popularity is largely due to its famous 130-foot-tall High Trestle Bridge, which...

Great Western Trail (IA)

IA - 16.5 miles

Built on a former section of the Chicago Great Western Railroad (built in 1893), the Great Western Trail spans 16.5 miles from just outside of urban Des Moines southward to Martensdale. Begin your...

Cinder Path

IA - 13.5 miles

The Cinder Path in southern Iowa is notable as the state’s first rail-to-trail conversion. Following a shady route past farms and wetlands along the Chariton River between Chariton and Humeston for...

Recent Trail Reviews

High Trestle Trail

Thumbs Up

August, 2018 by negangardo

Skated this trail from the trestle bridge to the oasis after Sheldahl. The pavement is like a big, wide sidewalk until Slater and beyond to the south, where it is more like asphalt. Trail was fairly busy, even away from the bridge. The bridge was well worth the trip, especially if you see it at night. The rest of the trail is standard Iowa scenery with pretty much no slopes and very long straight stretches.

Volksweg Trail

Good Cardio Ride

June, 2018 by pattydoug

Steepest grade (according to our Garmin GPSMap64) was 8% on the trail; on the detour (crossing the dam to accomplish the detour) was 15%. No signs to direct you around the detour ¿¿, but there is a foot bridge crossing the river that connects Hoewell Station Rec Area with North Overlook Rec Area. But it requires riding across the dam. While crossing the dam you will see that the trail could be reopened ¿¿.

Iowa 330/US 30 Trail

Melbourne to Marshalltown

June, 2018 by lostagaintwice

Rode this trail 32 miles on 6/23/18. The trailhead parking lot across the highway from Melbourne is not well marked or mowed, branches and weeds were high, so we elected to park in the town. The trail was nice but beware of the cracks in the concrete surface. The gravel trail crossings were not problem on my gravel bike but a roadie made want to slow down. Another rider informed us that all the crossings are supposed to updated to concrete by next year. Nice trail that gets nicer on closer to the Linn Creek trail near Marshalltown. All in all, a nice ride that was worth the trip to try this trailride

Accordion

High Trestle Trail

Excellent trail! Well maintained

May, 2018 by swolters

We loved the trail and the trestle was amazing. Be sure to bring and wear sunglasses and a bandana. There are copious amounts of flying bugs on some portions of the trail.

Volksweg Trail

Volkswagen Trail

May, 2018 by dr.klaaren

This is a nice trail, except for the section from Pella to the trailhead by the old bridge. That is very rough. The rest of the trail is superb. This trail was billed as difficult, but I did not find it that hard. The hills are long but not steep. The scenery is great, and I enjoyed this trail.

High Trestle Trail

So perfect!

April, 2018 by lcr1956

This is our favorite trail. We drove from Dallas and arrived to beautiful weather. (9/15/17). Arrived when when they were turning on the lights. Rode to Madrid to have a beer at Flat Tire Bar. Do not miss that place. So cool for bikers. The trail is very maintained and beautiful. We are going back this year and go the whole way. Please remember your front and back lights if you go at night. It’s a very dark trail.

Raccoon River Valley Trail

My Home Trail

October, 2017 by pedalfree

I like the Raccoon River Valley Trail so much that I moved to Iowa and bought a house just a few blocks from it so that I can ride it every day. I do, too. I've been over every inch of this trail multiple times and just find it to be delightful. My wife and I are annual pass holders and can't possibly thank those who made this possible near enough. We live in Jefferson, so I'm most familiar with the northern end of the trail. My daily rides typically take me to Yale or Panora if I'm heading south, or to Dawson or Perry if I'm heading east. The trail runs through 3 counties (Greene, Guthrie and Dallas) and local conservation officials are responsible for maintaining it. They do a great job, too. I've ridden all the way to Des Moines and back on both legs. Just an unbelievably good trail experience all around. If you're in from out of town, buy a day pass for $2 and help support the trail. Better yet, buy an annual pass $10 and come back again and again. It never gets old.

Neal Smith Trail

Neal Smith Trail...Big Creek State Park

September, 2017 by eslaccent

Packerbacker's description of the Big Creek State Park trail was right on--bumpy (uncountable "cross-cuts") and desperately in need of repair or resurfacing. This morning (9/24/17) my wife and I started out on the trail expecting to experience the same bumpy, irritating ride when much to our amazement all the significant cross-cuts had been repaired--a combination of grinding and tar, I would guess. The ride is not perfect, but much improved! ...and the views of the lake are spectacular.

Raccoon River Valley Trail

Great trail

September, 2017 by mfoss

We just rode this trail for the first time and I highly recommend it! It is all either concrete or blacktop which is so easy on the tires and the bottom. It was very well maintained and the small towns you encounter about every 6 miles were quite accommodating. The people seemed happy to see us, not annoyed by our intrusion into their town. We came from another state because we were looking for an easy day drive to a trail. The pride of the Iowa people for their trail and their state is so obvious and appreciated. Love the Midwest. The trailhead restroom facilities were overall excellent. Would love to see more bed and breakfasts and food options spring up along the trails. The trail has a lot of open stretches so remember that when deciding when to ride and watch out for the walnuts in the fall, yikes! We hear they are going to connect the high trestle trail with this 89 mile trail which will make it even better!

Volksweg Trail

Very Scenic

September, 2017 by marshall04_tl

This trail does have some hills but nothing too hard. The north part was tree lined, there were bridges and several views of the lake. You do ride next to a highway in some portions but you are still on the paved trail so no traffic. The south end is blocked due to building of the Hydro plant. I just loaded up my bike after I was done with the north and unloaded and went around the south end and up to Pella. The south end is very pretty but the ride to Pella was not very scenic after you left the lake. All in all a great trail that will be better when they get the construction done. Will definitely do this again this fall.

Chichaqua Valley Trail

Rather rustic

September, 2017 by sirscroddy

Lots of bridges over creeks and drainage ditches, but the views aren't terribly scenic, and the bridges feel pretty rickety. Occasional signs of farm life are a nice sight. The riding surface is above average, with some cracking in spots. Also, watch out for big tree nuts on the trail.

Heart of Iowa Nature Trail

Better Signage

August, 2017 by david114

The signage is pretty sparse in Huxley. Got lost when crossing Hwy 69. There is a nice section just to the east of Huxley that is brand new poured concrete. To the west of that in Huxley, it is asphalted. When I rode it (on 28mm tires) a month ago between Slater and Cambridge, I was the only person on it! A nice trail that seems to be a well kept secret!

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