Lake Manawa Trail


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Lake Manawa Trail Facts

States: Iowa
Counties: Pottawattamie
Length: 7.5 miles
Trail end points: Iowa West Foundation Trailhead Park at E. South Omaha Bridge Rd. and US 275 at Indian Creek Trail; E. Manawa Park Dr. and US 275 to Redtail Rd.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 7489970
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Lake Manawa Trail Description

The Lake Manawa Trail in Council Bluffs links the city's industrial core along US 275 with Lake Manawa State Park, a popular destination for hiking, camping, boating, fishing and swimming. In the east, the trail begins at the Iowa West Foundation Trailhead Park, where the Wabash Trace Nature Trail begins its 63-mile journey south to the Missouri border and the Valley View Trail extends farther north into Council Bluffs.

In Lake Manawa State Park, a number of mountain bike trails are maintained for use. Take a quick side trip into the picnic and camping area of the park and enjoy an unparalleled view of downtown Omaha, located just across the Missouri River from Council Bluffs. Stay on the paved trail and you'll travel west around Lake Manawa onto a short bridge over Indian Creek. From here, the Lake Manawa Trail runs north adjacent to the creek until it reaches busy US 275.

At the highway, connect directly to the Veterans Memorial Trail and Indian Creek Trail, which takes trail users under Interstate 80/29 and deep into the residential center of Council Bluffs.

The newest section of the Lake Manawa Trail—constructed in 2010—begins at US 275 and hugs E. Manawa Drive on the eastern side of the lake. While a relatively short segment at just under 1.5 miles long, the new section of trail offers a much shorter route for those wishing to reach the Wabash Trace Nature Trail from downtown Council Bluffs.

Parking and Trail Access

E. Manawa Drive completely encircles Lake Manawa (as does the Lake Manawa Trail), so access is easy. Park at the large Lake Manawa State Park parking lot on Lakewood Villa Street, located just off E. Manawa Drive at the lake's southern edge. Alternatively, park your car at Iowa West Foundation Trailhead Park and begin your journey at the trail's eastern endpoint.

Lake Manawa Trail Reviews

I liked this trail. I cannot say how long it is, by itself, cause I rode a zig zag path. The reason it only gets 4 stars, is because I found the trail to be a bit confusing. I parked at the lake, but had to ride the street for a while to find a p[lace to get on the trail, but then I was part way thru the trail, so had to backtrack to get the whole thing. I did not mind that tho, but I did drop a star for it.

If you plan to ride around the lake, be prepared to go out onto the streets and houses for part of your is not all 'lakeside'. My phone did not have great reception in that part of it tho, so I could not use street maps to aid myself. I had all day to ride around, so it was all good. The trails are nice and easy. There is a trail around the park...not the lake. Part of the trail does go lakeside tho, and other side-trails go thru the wooded part of the lake.

Nice place, cool trail, but not 'as marked' or easy to find each end tho.

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