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A sidepath trail located along the side of the adjacent busy parkway that shares its name, the Martin Luther King Jr. Trail may not provide the sort of pleasant, natural trail experience that other area trails offer, but it does fill an important gap in the city of Des Moines' system of multi-use trails. Starting in the west, where the trail branches off from where a segment of the Meredith Trail crosses over the Raccoon River, the trail runs along the road to the east, passing through the southern outskirts of downtown Des Moines. On the east, the trail reconnects with the Meredith Trail at the junction of the Raccoon River and the Des Moines River - trail users can also take the bridge across the follow the John Pat Dorrian Trail into the heart of the city, or continue along the parkway via the Southeast Connector Trail.
Parking is available at the trail's eastern end at the Principal Park stadium, located on SW 2nd Street. Additional parking is available south of the trail's western end via the park at Gray's Lake, located on John R Grubb Lane off of Fleur Drive.
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