Ames, IA Cross Country Skiing Trails and Maps

221 Reviews

Looking for the best Cross Country Skiing trails around Ames?

Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in Ames, 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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Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
20 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Chichaqua Valley Trail

27 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Clive Greenbelt Trail

7.9 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Comet Trail

7 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone, Grass

Fort Dodge Nature Trail

2.6 mi
State: IA
Cinder

Galloping Goose Trail (IA)

0.5 mi
State: IA
Ballast, Dirt, Grass

Gay Lea Wilson Trail

20.9 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Great American Rail-Trail

3743.9 mi
State: DC, IA, ID, IL, IN, MD, MT, NE, OH, PA, WA, WV, WY
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Great Western Trail (IA)

16.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Heart of Iowa Nature Trail

25.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass

High Trestle Trail

28.1 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Hubbard Prairie Trail

1.3 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Pine Lake Trail

2.4 mi
State: IA
Concrete

Pioneer Trail

11.5 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

Rock Creek Recreation Bike Trail

5.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Summerset Trail

12 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Three Rivers Trail

39.9 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Wolf Creek Trail (IA)

2.6 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone
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
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 Comet Trail is built upon an abandoned right-of-way of the old Chicago Northwestern Railroad. It runs for 7 miles between the town of Conrad (City Park) and just east of Beaman, traversing a...
IA 7 mi Crushed Stone, Grass
The Fort Dodge Nature Trail begins at the city's Snell-Crawford Park and runs northeast for nearly 3 miles. The trail travels adjacent to overhead power lines and crosses a couple of bridges over...
IA 2.6 mi Cinder
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
The Great American Rail-Trail highlights some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, well-known geography and storied history across a 3,700-miles-plus route between Washington and Washington....
DC, IA, ID, IL, IN, MD, MT, NE, OH, PA, WA, WV, WY 3743.9 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
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 Asphalt, Concrete, 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 28.1 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 Pine Lake Trail runs through a heavily wooded state park of the same name, which is especially known for its 250-year-old white pine trees. The trail begins at Deer Park, a half mile east of...
IA 2.4 mi Concrete
Central Iowa's Pioneer Trail—which gets its name from the early settlers of Grundy County—is built on a former rail line that once connected the towns of Holland and Reinbeck and the communities in...
IA 11.5 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 89-mile span, you’ll traverse woodlands, 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 Rock Creek Recreation Bike Trail is a paved multi-use trail that provides a connection between the small, charming college town of Grinnell and Rock Creek State Park, a popular destination for...
IA 5.8 mi Asphalt
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
The Three Rivers Trail runs for nearly 40 miles from the small community of Rolfe—named after the early English settler who married Pocahontas—to just west of Eagle Grove. The mostly rural trail is...
IA 39.9 mi Crushed Stone
The Wolf Creek Trail begins in Gladbrook, a small city about 70 miles northeast of Des Moines. The trail was established in 2001 by volunteers from the Gladbrook community who secured the right-of-way...
IA 2.6 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Now, More Than Ever, Trails Matter!

During COVID-19, trails are being counted on as places where people can find solace and respite and we need your support to keep trails open and provide these critical FREE resources! Please continue to practice physical distancing and check the status of your trail before heading out!

Trails by activity

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 American Rail-Trail

DC,IA,ID,IL,IN,MD,MT,NE,OH,PA,WA,WV,WY - 3743.9 miles

The Great American Rail-Trail highlights some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, well-known geography and storied history across a 3,700-miles-plus route between Washington and Washington....

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 89-mile span, you’ll traverse woodlands, prairie and agricultural...

High Trestle Trail

IA - 28.1 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...

Accordion

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...

Wolf Creek Trail (IA)

IA - 2.6 miles

The Wolf Creek Trail begins in Gladbrook, a small city about 70 miles northeast of Des Moines. The trail was established in 2001 by volunteers from the Gladbrook community who secured the right-of-way...

Rock Creek Recreation Bike Trail

IA - 5.8 miles

The Rock Creek Recreation Bike Trail is a paved multi-use trail that provides a connection between the small, charming college town of Grinnell and Rock Creek State Park, a popular destination for...

Pine Lake Trail

IA - 2.4 miles

The Pine Lake Trail runs through a heavily wooded state park of the same name, which is especially known for its 250-year-old white pine trees. The trail begins at Deer Park, a half mile east of...

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...

Three Rivers Trail

IA - 39.9 miles

The Three Rivers Trail runs for nearly 40 miles from the small community of Rolfe—named after the early English settler who married Pocahontas—to just west of Eagle Grove. The mostly rural trail is...

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...

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...

Pioneer Trail

IA - 11.5 miles

Central Iowa's Pioneer Trail—which gets its name from the early settlers of Grundy County—is built on a former rail line that once connected the towns of Holland and Reinbeck and the communities in...

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...

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...

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...

Accordion

Three Rivers Trail

IA - 39.9 miles

The Three Rivers Trail runs for nearly 40 miles from the small community of Rolfe—named after the early English settler who married Pocahontas—to just west of Eagle Grove. The mostly rural trail is...

Wolf Creek Trail (IA)

IA - 2.6 miles

The Wolf Creek Trail begins in Gladbrook, a small city about 70 miles northeast of Des Moines. The trail was established in 2001 by volunteers from the Gladbrook community who secured the right-of-way...

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.

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...

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...

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...

Rock Creek Recreation Bike Trail

IA - 5.8 miles

The Rock Creek Recreation Bike Trail is a paved multi-use trail that provides a connection between the small, charming college town of Grinnell and Rock Creek State Park, a popular destination 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...

Fort Dodge Nature Trail

IA - 2.6 miles

The Fort Dodge Nature Trail begins at the city's Snell-Crawford Park and runs northeast for nearly 3 miles. The trail travels adjacent to overhead power lines and crosses a couple of bridges over...

Great American Rail-Trail

DC,IA,ID,IL,IN,MD,MT,NE,OH,PA,WA,WV,WY - 3743.9 miles

The Great American Rail-Trail highlights some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, well-known geography and storied history across a 3,700-miles-plus route between Washington and Washington....

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,...

Comet Trail

IA - 7 miles

The Comet Trail is built upon an abandoned right-of-way of the old Chicago Northwestern Railroad. It runs for 7 miles between the town of Conrad (City Park) and just east of Beaman, traversing a...

Pine Lake Trail

IA - 2.4 miles

The Pine Lake Trail runs through a heavily wooded state park of the same name, which is especially known for its 250-year-old white pine trees. The trail begins at Deer Park, a half mile east of...

High Trestle Trail

IA - 28.1 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...

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...

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 89-mile span, you’ll traverse woodlands, prairie and agricultural...

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...

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...

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 American Rail-Trail

DC,IA,ID,IL,IN,MD,MT,NE,OH,PA,WA,WV,WY - 3743.9 miles

The Great American Rail-Trail highlights some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, well-known geography and storied history across a 3,700-miles-plus route between Washington and Washington....

Accordion

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 89-mile span, you’ll traverse woodlands, prairie and agricultural...

Comet Trail

IA - 7 miles

The Comet Trail is built upon an abandoned right-of-way of the old Chicago Northwestern Railroad. It runs for 7 miles between the town of Conrad (City Park) and just east of Beaman, traversing a...

Pioneer Trail

IA - 11.5 miles

Central Iowa's Pioneer Trail—which gets its name from the early settlers of Grundy County—is built on a former rail line that once connected the towns of Holland and Reinbeck and the communities in...

Wolf Creek Trail (IA)

IA - 2.6 miles

The Wolf Creek Trail begins in Gladbrook, a small city about 70 miles northeast of Des Moines. The trail was established in 2001 by volunteers from the Gladbrook community who secured the right-of-way...

Pine Lake Trail

IA - 2.4 miles

The Pine Lake Trail runs through a heavily wooded state park of the same name, which is especially known for its 250-year-old white pine trees. The trail begins at Deer Park, a half mile east of...

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...

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...

High Trestle Trail

IA - 28.1 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...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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,...

Three Rivers Trail

IA - 39.9 miles

The Three Rivers Trail runs for nearly 40 miles from the small community of Rolfe—named after the early English settler who married Pocahontas—to just west of Eagle Grove. The mostly rural trail is...

Rock Creek Recreation Bike Trail

IA - 5.8 miles

The Rock Creek Recreation Bike Trail is a paved multi-use trail that provides a connection between the small, charming college town of Grinnell and Rock Creek State Park, a popular destination for...

Fort Dodge Nature Trail

IA - 2.6 miles

The Fort Dodge Nature Trail begins at the city's Snell-Crawford Park and runs northeast for nearly 3 miles. The trail travels adjacent to overhead power lines and crosses a couple of bridges over...

Recent Trail Reviews

Heart of Iowa Nature Trail

rough

June, 2021 by 8cq22dftrq

From Huxley to Cambridge not too bad after that very rough,crushed limestone trails not kept up I wiped out pretty bad in a pothole .

Summerset Trail

family walk

June, 2021 by 8msjr2xqhv

Love this trail. Well taking care off. East walked about 3 miles total.

High Trestle Trail

High Trestle Trail

May, 2021 by stockhamjay

A national landmark for the Des Moines area trail system. A must see for hikers/bike riders. Well worth the drive to experience first class trails in America heartland! Thank you Iowa!!!

Accordion

High Trestle Trail

Great ride! Great trail!

May, 2021 by gsdirks60

Great ride! Great trail!

High Trestle Trail

This is a great trail! This bridge is a true diamond! You gotta see it in person. Pictures don't do it justice.

May, 2021 by boulch

This is a great trail! This bridge is a true diamond! You gotta see it in person. Pictures don't do it justice.

Three Rivers Trail

great trail!

May, 2021 by mpwt4fpdup

Awesome biking trail! Very smooth packed gravel trail. Restrooms and air stations available in some areas. Plan full day and bring water/energy bars.

Neal Smith Trail

Neal Smith Trail is not safe for novices

May, 2021 by dmilburn76

The Neal Smith Trail is 26 miles of beautiful Des Moines River valley but is currently (May 2019) in a miserable state. Lack of maintenance has left most sections with cracks, holes, crumbled edges and tree root ridges making it miserable for hybrid bikes, dangerous for road bikes. Riding a mountain or fat bike is still a good option.

Great American Rail-Trail

best trail ever

March, 2021 by tpassarelli_tl

wonderful trip across America

James Street Trail

Excellent Trail!! Fun, flat, smooth riding.

January, 2021 by timvaske

I love this trail. Surfaces are solid no pot holes or anything it is smooth riding. There is not many people that use this trail which makes riding on the trail more fun.

Mark C. Ackelson Trail

Nice outdoorsy walk in the city.

November, 2020 by robert.best

Excellent walking trail for those who aren't fond of steep inclines. This trail has a few mild ups and downs but for the most part is level and flat. The surface is all paved and smooth and with the lake, the trees and blue sky, it's beautiful. Wildlife, a couple of walking bridges and a covered bridge make it even more enjoyable. Casual walking takes about 2-3 hours (5-6 miles).

Mark C. Ackelson Trail

scenic ride

October, 2020 by vcu6chqk7n

This is one of the best rides we have found in Des Moines. Pretty level and wide. Couple of nice bridges including a covered one! Nice places to stop and rest and view the scenery.

High Trestle Trail

High Trestle

October, 2020 by dlmoncivais

Great ride, trail well maintained and the fall foliage was a perfect setting. The bridge after sunset was beautiful.

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