Ames, IA Cross Country Skiing Trails and Maps

210 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
19 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 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
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

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...

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...

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...

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Accordion

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...

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...

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...

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 - 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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Accordion

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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.

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Recent Trail Reviews

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.

Accordion

Raccoon River Valley Trail

Bridge is Still Out

October, 2020 by dealygamer

Went out and got to the first bridge from Jefferson that crosses the river and it was still down, the detour kind of sucked but other than that the trail was nice.

Carlisle Nature Trail

smooth but hilly

September, 2020 by vcu6chqk7n

We are beginning bikers and older. Loved the wide paved path. Put in north of Carlisle and ride was great as was the view. Then we hit the HILL. Oh my. Benches on the way up and I can see why. We could ride up and took all we had to walk up. We turned around and what a ride down. whheeeee’. Won’t be doing this one sgsin

Gay Lea Wilson Trail

Beautiful!

September, 2020 by obrien.alicia.13

Started at Copper Creek and followed the trail out about 2 miles. Quiet, nicely paved wide walkway- few bikers but once we got around the lake- we didn’t see anyone else. Crosses over the road twice on our route but clearly marked and easy to get back on the trail.

Chichaqua Valley Trail

Derecho Update (West Half)

September, 2020 by wjandersen

As of Sept 15 the trail is clear from the South Skunk River to the Trail Head on Broadway in Des Moines. That gives you about 15 miles of clear trail with Bondurant as the center point. Just to the east of the Skunk River there are trees down. Valeria still has trees down going both directions, so that is still a no go. Even though the trail is clear in places keep in mind there are still branch up high that are loose, so pay attention especially if there is any wind.

Chichaqua Valley Trail

We attempted to get on the trail in Valeria and found that the trail is still blocked by limbs and downed trees from the derecho.

September, 2020 by chadrfarner

We attempted to get on the trail in Valeria and found that the trail is still blocked by limbs and downed trees from the derecho.

Iowa 330/US 30 Trail

well-maintained

September, 2020 by dbahrenfuss

Nice trail!

Summerset Trail

Another Access

August, 2020 by kobylp65

This trail can also be accessed from Banner Lakes at Summerset State park about 4 ? miles south of Carlisle (whichresults in avoiding the hot sun on that open stretch from Carlisle in August). The Parks address is either 1306 Elkhorn St ., Carlisle 50047 or 13084 Elkhorn, Indiaola 50125. In any event you can see the state park marker about 50 feet from the Summerset trail at the intersection of the two trails. Near there is the Banner Shooting Range - another access point with parking.

Summerset Trail

My wife and I have ride this trail a few times. Very enjoyable. Slight incline from mid point to Indianola but not difficult. We like to start in Carlisle, grab ice cream at the Outside Scoop in Indianola and then cruise back.

August, 2020 by chadrfarner

My wife and I have ride this trail a few times. Very enjoyable. Slight incline from mid point to Indianola but not difficult. We like to start in Carlisle, grab ice cream at the Outside Scoop in Indianola and then cruise back.

McVay Trail

There a bridge behind high school that can't go over with a wheelchair

August, 2020 by wheelnon

There a bridge behind high school that can't go over with a wheelchair

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