Mason City, IA Birding Trails and Maps

34 Reviews

Looking for the best Birding trails around Mason City?

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

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Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
16 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Blazing Star State Trail

6 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Franklin Grove Heritage Trail

1.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Cinder

Hanson Trail

3 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Harry Cook Nature Trail

2 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Hynes Spur Trail

1.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

NIACC Trail

2.2 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Riverside Trail (IA)

1.2 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Rolling Prairie Trail

15 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Shooting Star State Trail

18.8 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Three Rivers Trail

39.9 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

27 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Waverly Rail Trail

7.6 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Winnebago Trail

3.7 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Blazing Star State Trail is located in Albert Lea, near Minnesota’s southern border. The town is known as “The Land Between the Lakes,” and the trail begins on the northern shore of one of the...
MN 6 mi Asphalt
The Charley Western Recreational Trailway provides a useful off-road route around the outer limits of Charles City. Built on the site of the former Charles City Western Railway, the trail runs along...
IA 4 mi Asphalt
The Franklin Grove Heritage Trail rests on top of an abandoned Rock Island railroad corridor that runs through the heart of the small Iowan city of Belmond. The trail connects the residential section...
IA 1.8 mi Asphalt, Cinder
The Hanson Trail is a paved, off-road alternative to State Route 9 in Forest City, Iowa. The trail parallels the road for its entire length through fertile farmland. Forest City and the Winnebago...
IA 3 mi Asphalt
The Harry Cook Nature Trail runs for 2 miles from the edge of the small city of Osage, Iowa to the city's public Spring Park. The trail, which opened in the early 1990s, occupies the bed of an...
IA 2 mi Crushed Stone
The Hynes Spur Trail links the heart of Forest City, Iowa, with its municipal airport to the south. The short paved trail passes through Pammel Park and adjacent to the Bear Creek Golf Course, with...
IA 1.8 mi Asphalt
The NIACC Trail in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, connects the campus of North Iowa Area Community College with the edge of downtown Mason City. The trail provides a convenient and safe alternative to...
IA 2.2 mi Asphalt
Charles City's Riverside Trail runs for a little over a mile along the banks of the Cedar River, providing gorgeous views and recreational opportunities, as well as access to several city...
IA 1.2 mi Asphalt
When complete, the Rolling Prairie Tri-County Trail System will connect several communities and two state parks as it travels through quintessential northeastern Iowa prairie. Following an 80-mile...
IA 15 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Shell Rock River Trail, also known as the Butler County Nature Trail, connects the eastern edge of Clarksville with the community of Shell Rock. The trail runs through open fields and at times...
IA 5.9 mi Asphalt
Shooting Star State Trail, currently 19 miles long, is an 8-foot-wide asphalt path from LeRoy (east) to Rose Creek (west). It follows an unused railroad bed on Milwaukee Road, which once stretched...
MN 18.8 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 best place to begin the Trolley Trail is in Mason City in Ray Rorick Skate Park, located adjacent to the 81-acre Lester Milligan Park, which has two fishing and swimming ponds, hiking and biking...
IA 7.5 mi Asphalt
The Wapsi–Great Western Line Trail is a 27-mile pathway on the former Chicago Great Western Railroad. The trail passes through a plethora of backdrops, including wide, rolling landscapes, Iowa...
IA 27 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
The Waverly Rail Trail offers a pleasant, small town–meets-rural experience as it travels for 7.6 miles from downtown Waverly to its eastern endpoint north of Denver. It is also part of the Rolling...
IA 7.6 mi Asphalt
The Winnebago Trail provides the residents of Mason City with a safe, off-road link to nature, winding 3.7 miles from East Park and through residential areas to the Lime Creek Nature Center as it...
IA 3.7 mi Crushed Stone

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Trails by activity

Recent Trail Reviews

Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

Elma to McIntire

June, 2019 by jakebres

Started out in Elma. The start of the trail was very welcoming with a visitor center that was well kept. The trail portion to Riceville was groomed nice. There was enough to see to keep things interesting with nice tree cover through small portions. A couple of bridges to crossover. For the most part it is mostly flat but towards Riceville you will have some hills. Nothing to dread but they will kick your butt alittle. During this portion you will travel through some open spaces. This is something that i dont prefer but non-the less there is open-ness. Then you are thankfull to hit Riceville. The trail takes on a new feel even though you can tell the trail has that old feel. Moss growing on portions of it. I opted out of exploring the lake area as pending storms were looming. The treats during this portion is the covered bridges and the marsh area bridge. There is plenty to see. Honestly wished i had more time to explore a bit more. When i arrived at McIntire there is a very large gap in the trail. There is a sign to instruct you to where it picks up again. At that point i turned around and headed back. At that point i was 2hrs in and didnt want to be hunting for where it picks up again. Oh also if your wondering at this point it was 19.2 miles. The trip back wasnt dull. Honestly bucking head winds on the route thus far really takes alot out of you. Having a tailwind at your back for the return trip was a delight.
Four star rating... PROS..awesome trail for any level of biker. Very well marked so you wont get lost. For the most part mostly flat. Where there is scenery it is nice.
CONS...Only two. The open section that you go on seem to never end. Not much to look at except open ness.. The large gap at McIntire was something unexpected. It may be a personal preference but it was something that just seemed so out of place.
Overall...I would not do this particular route again. From Riceville to McIntire I most certainly would.

Harry Cook Nature Trail

great for walking/running

June, 2019 by elysechodur

Nice trail for a run or walk!

Three Rivers Trail

Enjoyable trail

September, 2018 by pedalfree

I rode the section from Humbolt to Rolfe and back on Friday August 31, 2018. As others have posted, this is a crushed limestone trail but it is very smooth and in great shape, especially considering all the rain this area has received this summer. There were some small branches and leaves on the trail and there was one spot just west of Bradgate that was a little soft but other than that it was firm. I rode my Kona Rove with 700c x 35 mm tires and had no problems at all. I felt that the entire route was very scenic as it follows the Des Moines River. There are a lot of wooded stretches and glimpses of water. I even saw a Beaver near Bradgate.

If you take this trip, there's not much in Rutland or Bradgate to stop for, but there are nice picnic areas alongside the trail near both towns. There may have been restaurants in Rolfe but I wasn't really paying attention. Humbolt looked like a fabulous little town with a very vibrant Main Street and several restaurants. This is about an hour from my home, and so I plan to come back and ride the other direction to Eagle Grove. All in all, a great day.

Accordion

Shooting Star State Trail

Rode this trail on a week night gad a great ride. Road from Rose Creek east. This trail tends to be wet towards Lake Louise on the eastern end. a few bumps but otherwise well maintained, few riders but can be tough on a windy day.

May, 2018 by fluegel.becky

Rode this trail on a week night gad a great ride. Road from Rose Creek east. This trail tends to be wet towards Lake Louise on the eastern end. a few bumps but otherwise well maintained, few riders but can be tough on a windy day.

Rolling Prairie Trail

Rolling Prairie Trail

October, 2017 by harry.banks.75

A hard surface trail. We rode it in fall and saw lots of wildlife and beautiful leaves. The trail is washed out at the Shell Rock trail head and again just outside Clarksville, but both spots are navigable by walking the bikes. We especially enjoyed the Allison Restaurant where we had coffee and pie before starting the return trip. The waitress there was especially nice! All in all a very pleasant afternoon trip!

Hanson Trail

Hanson Trail

August, 2017 by cyndyj

Nice trail leading to Pilot Knob State Park entrance. A few conditions issues. but quite usable for many.

Blazing Star State Trail

very nice trail

July, 2017 by louitlemert

new pavement beautiful scenery very nice ride I will return to explore side trails and surrounding areas

Waverly Rail Trail

Great ride!!

July, 2017 by bheilskov

First time to try this trail- definitely will not be our last!! Nice surprise that we were able to make a 32 mile ride by staying on the trail all the way to Readlyn and then the leg to Denver. If you are looking for a place to stop- I would highly recommend The Sweet Spot ice cream shop In Denver-what yummy and unique treats!!!

Three Rivers Trail

A Peaceful Run

October, 2016 by wpanbecker

I run this trail at least 4-5 times a week and I never get tired of it. My route usually consists of the miles between the trailhead in Rolfe and a few miles outside of Bradgate. It is a quite and easy run. There are cricks and rivers all along this route which provide many wildlife spotting.

I would highly recommend this trail to anyone!

Three Rivers Trail

Great ride!

July, 2016 by bikeforever1

I rode the last 5-6 miles at the west end of Three River Trail, up and back, from Bradgate to Rolfe (in my quest to bike in all 99 counties!). I found it peaceful/serene and beautiful. The crushed limestone rode very well and there several places for photo opps. Another plus is the R/R (restroom) availability in Melson Park half way between the two towns as well as the J&B Wilcox Shelter at the end of the trail in Rolfe. Bradgate has a very friendly park-art at a shelter where you can take a moment - and a photo! I definitely want to be returning to finish the trail someday!

Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

Area secret - nice trail

July, 2016 by jlvcats

Trail was more interesting than I was expecting. Seems like it's location probably keeps it a bit of a secret. I would definitely ride it again. Some more details below:
It had changing scenery including rural (fields doing well in July, Amish family farming, horses with foals), wooded areas (some tunnel-like with trees), deer crossed the path, many birds and other wildlife, long boardwalk/deck trail through wetland, all with mostly level grade with some curves and short hills for some variety. Several miles were actually concrete instead of asphalt (I've never encountered that on a public trail before).
Had the trail mostly to ourselves on a holiday. It is in great condition except for just a few minor spots that were marked.
Only "neutral" comments are that we started in Riceville at the trailhead, but the parking lot only contained 1 non-HC spot. However the street was bare so we simply parked on it. Don't know if it ever gets so busy where that would be a problem.
Signage is better than many trails, but couple times needed to look around a bit more to find which direction the trail continued (when crossing some gravel roads), had to shortly go onto some rural (low travel) roads for a bit, and then there is the one short section that requires riding on a country gravel road to "portage" to the trail. This gap was somewhere around 11 miles north of Riceville, so you could skip that and get a nice 22 mile round trip in witout it.

Shooting Star State Trail

Pleasant ride, couple of bumps

July, 2016 by krbailleucpa

This is a pleasant enough trail. Most of it runs along beside a highway, but in many places there are trees and bushes shielding you from the road. The trail is asphalt, but there are several places where there are big bumps, as if the asphalt was put down in sections, with small breaks between each section. Many of the bumps have been marked with red paint, but the paint has faded and the bumps are still difficult to steer around.
The eastern end, approaching Le Roy, moves away from the highway and winds around a state park. It's quite pretty and very secluded and shady.

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