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  • Posted Aug 26, 2013
I was recently sent and email from a couple in Carroll Iowa looking for some overnight trail destinations. They wanted lodging close to a trail.

These are the recommendations we made.

Cedar Falls - They have 100+ miles of paved trail and there are plenty of things to do and places to stay. They are one of the few official bicycle-friendly cities in Iowa with a huge bicycle tourism focus.
I've spent a couple of weekends there and have always found it interesting. http://www.bikeiowa.com/Sponsor/160/cedar-valley-trails
http://www.bikeiowa.com/City/cedar-falls

Decorah - I have not made it here yet, but the Trout Run Trail has gotten nothing but positive reviews all the way around. Plus the city is doing a lot to welcome cyclists.
Read the reviews, features and news on this trail here: http://www.bikeiowa.com/City/decorah

Raccoon River Valley Trail - I'm sure you have ridden this trail, and the new North Loop, but if not, you can definitely spend a weekend on this trail.
http://www.bikeiowa.com/Feature/1447/grand-opening-north-loop-raccoon-river-valley-trail

Chichaqua Valley Trail - this one is close to Des Moines and is a pretty good scenic trail. Not a ton of amenities along it, but Baxter is a nice turn-around spot for lunch/drinks, etc.
http://www.bikeiowa.com/Feature/1397/chichaqua-valley-trail-re-opens

Great Western Trail - Des Moines to Martensdale - 20-ish miles one way
http://www.bikeiowa.com/Trail/great-western-trail

Des Moines Trails - There must be 20+ miles of Trails within Des Moines Proper and another 30 miles of trail if you include the burbs. Lodging is abundant and it is worth exploring if you want a little bit of urban trail riding. http://www.bikeiowa.com/City/des-moines

Wabash Trace Nature Trail - 63 miles of limestone trail from Council Bluffs to the small town of Blanchard. This is a really cool trail. The bridge crossings are a little rough, but definitely one of Iowa's gems. http://www.bikeiowa.com/Trail/wabash-trace-nature-trail

Heart of Iowa Trail - This is an un-paved, under-used trail that starts in Slater and goes to Rhodes (and kinda Melbourne) . If you want a little more adventure, this is a great trail to see a lot of small towns, cool bridges and scenic views. Be prepared for some sandy and rutty sections, but I think it is well worth the trip. http://www.bikeiowa.com/Trail/heart-of-iowa-nature-trail\


If you end up riding one of these trails, we'd love to have you write up a Review for other readers.

Ride Safe!

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