Best Trails in Iowa

Trying to find the best trails in Iowa? Bivy has great hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, skiing, riding and more, with hand-curated trail maps, as well as detailed driving directions.

1

Iowa, Polk County

05 :40 hrs
13.8 mi
110.29744 ft
Moderate

Walking through biking trail and more on the shore of Big Creek Lake.

2

Iowa, Warren County

00 :45 hrs
2.2 mi
5.5433044 ft
Easy

This is a fun trail; although paved, it takes you into nature. The woods surrounding it and the lakes offer a wonderful view as you hike. You will encounter bikers along the way. There is a shooting range next to it and the park is surrounded by farmland.

3

Illinois, Galena

05 :37 hrs
57.2 mi
160.13708 ft
Expert

Starting from the small historic town of Galena, this biking route leads through beautiful countryside that offers excellent scenery and lots of steep rolling hills. The ride follows mostly quiet roads through diverse terrain including woodlands, along streams, past farms, and through rural areas with only a few busier sections that require a little more caution. The names of the roads change frequently and get a little confusing so pay close attention in order to stay on track.

4

Wisconsin, Prairie du Chien

06 :12 hrs
62.5 mi
185.12654 ft
Extreme

This ride offers you a scenic tour around the Lower Wisconsin River and back up the Mississippi. You will travels through historic towns, along the ridge overlooking the rivers, through vast prairies, and pass historic sites. The terrain is rolling with a couple moderate climbs. For a 34-mile ride, turn right on State Highway 60 in Wauzeka. Be cautious on many of the highways as traffic can be fast.

5

Iowa, West Des Moines

01 :18 hrs
3.1 mi
43.913315 ft
Easy

This is a 2-mile loop that follows a dirt path loop around the perimeter of Brown's Woods. There are several large hills so expect some ups and downs. Restrooms and water are available at the trailhead. If you bring your cell phone they have an audio cellphone tour around the park.

6

Iowa, Ankeny

00 :42 hrs
1 mi
9.5572815 ft
Easy

Hikers and cyclists share the path. A short and paved trail filled with wildlife and Birdwatching opportunities. There is rich vegetation throughout your hike. Please do not feed the wildlife. No fee required.

7

Illinois, Henry County

06 :46 hrs
34 mi
23.065475 ft
Extreme

The Hennepin Canal Trail is a trail that spans multiple counties in Illinois as it follows a canal that makes its way from the Mississippi River east to the Illinois River with a connecting feeder canal trail that also connects from the north. This section starts in the western portion of the trail at Lock 29 and travels through the remote rural areas on its way to the turnaround point at the feeder basin where the feeder canal comes to a convergence with the main canal. There are limited pit stops and access areas located right along the canal trail for water, bathrooms, or food so be sure to come prepared beforehand. The trail provides scenery of the canal all along the path with sections through wooded terrain and lots of open rural scenery. From the feeder basin the trail can be continued for many miles to the east or the north giving riders the option of customizing a longer trip. The trail is mixed asphalt and crushed limestone and is very level making it a good option for riders of all skill levels.

8

Iowa, Appanoose County

00 :27 hrs
1.3 mi
9.382996 ft
Unknown

Honey Creek State Park has a variety of camping options including tent sites, trailer sites, and camping cabins. There is a north and south campground. The north campground has full hookup sites, electric only sites, and the camping cabins. The south campground has electric only sites. All campers have access to restrooms, showers, playground, dump stations, and a boat launch.

9

Illinois, Jo Daviess County

05 :53 hrs
59.4 mi
111.07962 ft
Expert

This ride is a good mix of scenery and challenge as it travels along sections of both big and small rolling hills, through remote rural areas and small charming towns, and alongside the impressive Mississippi River. There are multiple sections of the ride that utilize gravel roads that are well-maintained and require just a little more caution, especially on downhill sections. The route also requires riding along some busy sections of road along SR 84 and SR 78 so watch out for cars.

10

Illinois, Nauvoo

02 :34 hrs
25.8 mi
51.996567 ft
Hard

This historic town is an interesting place to visit due to the number of preserved and restored buildings from the mid 1800's that were built by Mormon's who settled the area. Visiting Nauvoo is like taking a step back in time as much of the town serves as a historical site for tourists. The ride also travels through areas of open rural farmlands and along the shores of the impressive Mississippi River. The ride is mostly flat with one moderate climb and a few rolling hills. A lot of the ride follows small rural roads but SR 96 does see a little more traffic that requires some caution.

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