West Des Moines, IA Cross Country Skiing Trails and Maps

237 Reviews

Looking for the best Cross Country Skiing trails around West Des Moines?

Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in West Des Moines, 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.

  • Relevance
  • Name
  • Length
  • Most Popular
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
14 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 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

Praeri Rail Trail

10.5 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass

Raccoon River Valley Trail

89 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Rock Creek Recreation Bike Trail

5.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

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
Note: This developing route is not yet fully contiguous – it is just over 50% complete. Please refer to the Trail Map for more information on the existing sections of trail, as well as the online...
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 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
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
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

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Great American Rail-Trail

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

Note: This developing route is not yet fully contiguous – it is just over 50% complete. Please refer to the Trail Map for more information on the existing sections of trail, as well as the online...

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...

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...

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...

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

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 American Rail-Trail

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

Note: This developing route is not yet fully contiguous – it is just over 50% complete. Please refer to the Trail Map for more information on the existing sections of trail, as well as the online...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

Accordion

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Great American Rail-Trail

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

Note: This developing route is not yet fully contiguous – it is just over 50% complete. Please refer to the Trail Map for more information on the existing sections of trail, as well as the online...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

Recent Trail Reviews

Chichaqua Valley Trail

Beautiful trail, but...

October, 2021 by michael703

This is one of my favorite trails in the Des Moines area -- especially the stretch east of the 88th St parking lot. The scenery is beautiful and there are lots of shaded stretches. Watch out for broken pavement, though -- especially in the mile or so east of 88th, just east of Mingo, and just west of Baxter. There are sections of the trail where large cracks have formed and one side has dropped by an inch or two. I hope this is in someone's budget for repair.

Jerry Kelley Trail

it’s nice

October, 2021 by tate.padilla123

Nice brisk walk in Indianola. Lots of bunnies and little animals and some cool plants.

High Trestle Trail

Fun trail

October, 2021 by thekauz

Had a very nice ride from one end to the other. This is a beautiful time of the year to ride and enjoy this trail. Its a winner. Kind cool they have several waypoint along the trail with tools and tire pump. Very nice

Accordion

Raccoon River Valley Trail

Nice Trail!!

October, 2021 by courtneymabry

Really nice trail!

Raccoon River Valley Trail

A nice ride!

August, 2021 by parnote

Our family (dad, mom, and 2 kids -- 5 and 8) love to go on bicycle rides on trails in the central part of the country. We have ridden on trails in Kansas, Missouri (our home state), Nebraska and Iowa. Of all the places where we ride (usually "day trips" from our home in northwestern Missouri), the trails in Iowa are our absolute favorite. We are frequent visitors to the High Trestle Trail, and decided to "switch it up" one afternoon (Aug 8, 2021) and try out a trail that we hadn't been on before. We selected the Raccoon River Valley Trail.

With the kids in tow, we don't ride the entire trail. Instead, we usually go out 4 or 5 miles, and then return. We put in at the trailhead in Adel, IA, and headed east about 4 miles before turning around because the kids were getting tired (the furthest they have ridden is about 12 miles total on a ride). Having been on the High Trestle Trail many times, the kids **love** going over the bridges. We weren't disappointed going over the bridge 1 mile east of the Adel trailhead, which goes over the Raccoon River.

The condition of the portion of the trail we rode was just OK. That portion of the trail is paved with asphalt, and there are some dubious patch jobs along the portion of the trail that we rode. I was eager to ride my newly-re-cabled road bike, and the trail was mostly smooth enough for that. But, you better look ahead and pick your path well, because some of those hack patch jobs are pretty rough. Still, it isn't bad enough to detract any stars from what we thought is an outstanding trail.

We paid the daily fee for 2 adults (kids ride free), which helps fund maintenance for the trail. We are definitely not against paying the small fee ($2 per adult per day ... we just put a fiver in the envelope) to help fund the maintenance and upkeep on high quality trails.

After the ride, we stopped at Brickyard Burgers and Brews (1802 Greene St, Adel, Iowa 50003 ... https://adelbrickyard.com/ ... copy the URL and paste it into a new browser tab), which is RIGHT AT the Adel, IA trailhead. They have awesome wood-fired oven baked pizzas, and they were (as my daughter says) DELICIOSO! Out of two large pizzas, we went home with only three pieces remaining ... and the kids split one of those (the only remaining piece from their pizza) on the way home in the truck!

Of the four states we have ridden trails on, the trails in Iowa are our favorite. While most trails are "paved" with chipped gravel, the majority of the trails we've been on in Iowa are paved in either concrete or asphalt. It is a much more enjoyable ride. It may cost a bit more initially, but we can only imagine that it also has lower maintenance costs, since we've witnessed the chipped gravel trails often having "ruts" from people riding after a rain. There is no such issue on the concrete and asphalt paved trails that we've been on. And, by offering a smoother ride, it's not hard to imagine that more people will take advantage of what the trails have to offer, increasing traffic to the towns located along the truly paved trails. I tend to not take my road bike on the chipped gravel trails, fearful of a crash from hitting some loose gravel that will cause me or my bike (or both) serious injury. The fact that I can ride my road bike on these trails is a real plus, and one that I go out of my way to ride on.

All any other state has to do to figure out how to do trails "RIGHT" is look to how Iowa has created their trail system. Keep up the excellent work on the trails, Iowa! You've done it up right!

Gay Lea Wilson Trail

Concrete and asphalt with lots of ups and downs and turns. Goes through a few parks, there's lots of shade.

August, 2021 by soresaddle

Concrete and asphalt with lots of ups and downs and turns. Goes through a few parks, there's lots of shade.

High Trestle Trail

We rode the whole trail. A 50 mile round trip, mostly concrete and some asphalt. Flat and smooth. The bridge is worth the ride. Ate lunch in Woodward at the whistling donkey.

August, 2021 by soresaddle

We rode the whole trail. A 50 mile round trip, mostly concrete and some asphalt. Flat and smooth. The bridge is worth the ride. Ate lunch in Woodward at the whistling donkey.

Cinder Path

Cinderpath trail

July, 2021 by thenorthwoods

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.

Raccoon River Valley Trail

MN Biker

July, 2021 by hawki0334

Great trail / riding conditions. A few stretches between towns that have not been upgraded but overall a great ride. A couple stretches need shoulder improvements.....if you veer off the trail you're in trouble due to a 4" drop into class 5 rock and then into the woods (the only reason I deduct a rating star). Get this fixed, the trail deserves 5 stars!
I did the loop starting in Perry. I liked that there are several little towns for rest and nutrition stops. Other riders were courteous and friendly although some could turn down the tunes....hard to enjoy the peacefulness when AC/DC is blaring throughout the woods.

Great Western Trail (IA)

beautiful ride but needs work

July, 2021 by carlyschmitz16

If you have a road bike or bad shocks this will not be as enjoyable as other trails. The trail needs some work done. It’s pretty bumpy in spots. However it is a beautiful ride with some cute bars along the way!

Volksweg Trail

beautiful views

July, 2021 by vrohodges569

Great winding trail around Lake Red Rock with beautiful views of the water.

Chichaqua Valley Trail

First time on the trail

July, 2021 by riguy12

Started in Berwick at the suggested park and the plan was to go to Baxter, about a couple blocks before the end, the trail is closed. There is a detour in the subdivision. Otherwise no other problems with the trail, it was 54.4 miles round trip, great ride. From Baxter back to Berwick there is more uphill. If you’re looking for a easy ride just go one way; Berwick to Baxter.

Find Nearby City trails

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Log in with Google

Log in with Apple

OR

Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 40,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google

Register with Apple

OR