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The Mills Civic Parkway Trail follows the route of its namesake roadway through suburban West Des Moines, helping to connect residents to popular destinations like local parks, schools, numerous shops and restaurants, and the public library and city hall. The trail's eastern end connects to the eight-mile Jordan Creek Trail, which provides a somewhat more scenic trail experience along the creek corridor; what this sidepath trail may lack in natural beauty, however, it makes up for in its utility.
Beginning in the east, the trail heads south and west from the Jordan Creek Trail to join the side of the roadway. A short jaunt to the south is the city's popular Southwoods Park, home to picnic areas, a disc golf course, and acres of beautiful land that draws visitors every year when the native wildflowers bloom. The trail passes by the city's main government complex, where city and hall and the public library are located, as well as a trio of public schools. Afterwards, the landscape becomes typically suburban, with subdivided neighborhoods, chain restaurants and hotels, and a variety of shops occupying this main drag near the interstate; trail users should exercise caution, as the route does involve crossing many intersections. Reaching the western edge of the suburb, the trail comes to an end at 81st Street, where further sidepaths provide access to communities and parks to the north - trail users can continue along these paths to rejoin the Jordan Creek Trail, giving the potential for a loop around West Des Moines. A great option for cyclists and pedestrians accessing any number of important destinations, the Mills Civic Parkway Trail forms a crucial link in the area's trail network.
Parking is available at the eastern end of the trail in Southwoods Park, on 35th Street just south of Mills Civic Parkway. Parking is also available in the public library or city hall lots further west on Mills Civic Parkway; be sure to follow any posted parking signs and regulations.
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