One of our favorite spring and summer (and who we kidding, fall and winter too) activities is going for a hike through some of the many trails that litter the outskirts of Des Moines. It’s the perfect way to cure cabin fever and get the kids out of the house and into the wilderness. Des Moines is home to a large system of hiking and biking trails, but here are a few of our favorites to get you started.

  • Browns Woods Loop – Browns Woods Loop is located in West Des Moines and is the perfect trail for hiking and biking. If you’re hiking, the moderate trail takes about 1-3 hours to complete and is 1.9 miles long. This unique and beautiful trail system even has a cell phone audio tour to guide you.
  • Raccoon River Park Loop – This 3.2 mile trail is located near West Des Moines and usually takes about 1-3 hours to complete, depending on your speed. The easy trail is gravel through the woods and paved near the road and provides benches, emergency call boxes, garbage cans, picnic tables, and port-a-potties for your convenience.
  • Walnut Woods State Park Trail – This gorgeous and peaceful trail is located in West Des Moines and is about 2.9 miles long and also takes about 1-3 hours to complete. Perfect for hiking and taking stops along the way, the Walnut Woods State Park trail offers look-out points along the river for photos and rest.
  • High Trestle Trail – This is a very popular trail and is about 10.2 miles long. It is perfect for walking and road biking, is good for all skill levels, and offers stunning views of the city. It is located in Madrid.
  • Sycamore Trail – This 14.7 mile trail is moderately trafficked and is located in Des Moines. It runs along a river, so grab that bug spray! This trail is perfect for all skill levels and offers opportunities for hiking and biking.
  • Clive Greenbelt Trail – This 8.3 mile trail is located in Clive and is moderately trafficked throughout the year. The trail is open year-round and dogs are allowed on the trail, but must be kept on a leash. This scenic trail is perfect for all skill levels.
  • Yellow Banks – Need a quick hike that you could possibly do on your lunch break just to refresh? This is the perfect trail for that. At only 0.4 miles, this is the perfect trail in Des Moines for a quick, scenic hike to get away from the noise for a bit.

All of our friendly staff have their own favorite place to go explore and get away from the noise of the city, so ask them where their favorite trail is, or how to get to any of these trails and they’d be happy to help.