Monday, January 25, 2016

5 fun hikes within 55 minutes from Des Moines

 I went on a wonderful hike this weekend. I am not sure who all is familiar with Iowa but it is not exactly what you would call "Prime Hiking Territory"
So I thought I could put together a post for other Iowans or people who may come for a visit, where there are some good areas to hike and also ones I plan to visit.

I first installed the AllTrails App on my phone. LOVE this app and recommend it to anyone who wants to find a place to hike. You can put in your search area and wallah, little gems you never knew were there.

Of course there is always the trusty Ok Google or Bing to look for a place to hike.

1. Browns Woods

Now I put this one on here because it is about 12 minutes west in Des Moines and has recently been updated.I have lived in the area my whole life and until I started wanting to hike, I had no idea it was there. It has a few options as far as length. We choose the almost 4 mile all around the outside but in the middle run other short cuts. A few hills that add to the workout. Does run along the river so some flooding is possible. I give it 4*

2. Ledges State Park

This is a very interesting park and can get very full on a hot summer day. It is roughly 40 minutes north of Des Moines, so we don't get there often but will hit it up again in the spring. The reason the park gets over run is because a river runs through it and onto the road so the kids get out and play in the water. I'm not sure how the trails are, the day we went the park was closed due to flooding so we hiked down in. LOTS of stairs!! My legs wanted to give out so for that reason I give this one 5*

3. Lake Ahquabi

This trail I am told is a good trail to take. It is just the right amount of hills and flat. My cousins live near it and take their kid in a stroller so the gravel is well kept. They say that there is a nice hill to use as practice. I plan on getting down there soon. It is located just outside of Indianola, Ia which is about 25 minutes south of Des Moines. I will rate this at a later time but it has a good rating on

4. Heart of Iowa

I have not heard of half of these trails I keep finding on This trail hasn't been reviewed but I know the area so this will be added to the list. It covers a few counties and would be to long to do in one day but I want to try from Cambridge to Maxwell. Those towns are about 50 minutes north of Des Moines. We use to go watch my nephew play football in Maxwell.

5. Cinder Path

This tail squeaks in right at the 55 Minutes from Des Moines. If you mapqwest it, it says over an hour but we drive down that way all the time and it does not take an hour. So again this is a trail that I have never heard of but am interested. I think since it is 13 miles we probably won't go out and back but park a car at each end and just go one way first. I hope this is a fun trail. They say it's poorly kept so we might have to wait till around end of May or June for it to be dry, just incase.

Well those are my 5 trails that I will be doing sometime within the next few months and they seem to be off the beaten path, which is what I like. I'm not a fan of crowded trails.
I can't wait to one day live somewhere were I have access to trails daily.

What are your favorite places to hike? Do you have a preferred distance?

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