Iowa’s rolling hills, prairies, picturesque waterways, gently rolling hills, and lush forests all provide an ideal setting for hiking, jogging, skating, and–most of all–cycling. The state’s world-class trail system consists of 1,400 miles of paved multi-use trails, which is the longest trail system in America.
Iowa’s bike trails are set amidst breathtaking natural sceneries and historical sites. Most trails also run through a number of communities. This provides an opportunity for bikers to experience the local culture and sample authentic Midwestern cuisine if they happen to stop over at one of the communities along the trail. In this regard, here are several trails that are worth riding in Iowa.
The Fort Dodge Nature Trail in Webster County meanders through city parks and the countryside. The diversity of the landscape, which includes breathtaking views of the rolling hills located nearby, is truly a welcome respite for bikers who usually navigate through populated areas of the big cities. The trail also encompasses several bridges built over Soldier Creek. Shelters with benches built on the bridges serve as rest stops.
A 19-mile trail system is found in Council Bluffs. This trail is paved with concrete and asphalt. Bike lanes are used to interconnect numerous trails points in the system.
The 20-mile-long Chichaqua Valley Trail is set from Bondurant to Baxter. This converted railbed trail runs through forested banks and timbered bluffs along the Skunk River, as well as through several communities situated within the region. A bridge over Skunk River is part of the trail as well. Bikers can pause at this spot to admire the grandiosity of the river and the valley it has created in its several millennia of existence.
At present, Iowa’s recreational trail system is still expanding. Numerous trails are either being proposed or currently under construction. These trails all aim to accommodate the recreational and fitness needs of the communities they serve. Some trails interconnect with other systems that provide access to trails in neighboring Midwestern states.
Bicyclists using the Iowa trails to travel through the rural areas are expected to follow the State’s rules of the road. Using a helmet while riding is required and also driving on the right-hand side of the road (following the flow of vehicular traffic).
What endears Iowa’s rural areas to many bikers is the fact that they can explore these places without worrying about their safety. Their choice is well-grounded, considering that Iowa has consistently been named as one of the top ten safest states in America.