Admin

51,756 views

Type: Nature Trail

Length: 26 miles

Surface: Paved

Sycamore Access North has been re-paved in 2010 and is smooth although some linear cracks are starting to appear in the center of the trail. Des Moines to Sycamore Access is rough is certain areas and scheduled for a re-pave 2014/2015.


Condition

Above Average

Grade - Rolling Mild Hills


Amenities


Description

Enjoy the natural scenic beauty of this 26 mile multipurpose trail that extends from Des Moines through the Saylorville Lake area to Big Creek State Park. Names after former U.S. Congressman Neal Smith from Iowa, the Neal Smith Trail is a designated National Recreational Trail that allows for year round outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, running, roller blading, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing.

In addition to the recreational opportunities, the trail showcases mature forest, rolling prairie, oak savannas, and panoramic views of Saylorville Lake.

PDF Map of Trail by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Thirteen miles of this trail are managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the remaining miles managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the City of Des Moines.

The trail that the City of Des Moines maintains is plowed when it snows. The rest of the trail is unplowed when there is snowfall.

This is one of BIKEIOWA's favorite trails to ride. We like the rolling hills, swoopy turns and great views.


 If the river is above 13 feet (flood stage) parts of the trail will be underwater. You can check the river height here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv/?site_no=05481650


Location - Where is this Trail?

The trail starts in Des Moines, and goes on the East end of Sayloville Lake to Big Creek State Park Central Iowa.


Trailheads

There are at least 13 trail heads offer trail access and have room for parking.


Sites & Attractions

Mature forest, rolling prairie, oak savannas, and panoramic views of Saylorville Lake

The Saylorville Lake Marina is a great place to stop for food & drink, or stop at the Caseys in Polk City or venture into Polk City for more eating and drinking establishments

Big Creek State Park offers a beach, and food & drink (in season only)

Des Moines offers all sorts of amenities from lodging to food & drink and night-life activities.

You can venture on-road East from Big Creek State Park approx. 3 miles to connect with the High Trestle Trail

History of the Trail


Future Plans

Planned Mileage: 0 miles -


Contributors

The following members have contributed to the above Trail content.


This trail was last edited by thskadow on Apr 26.

Upcoming Events

Music For Free On The Great Divide at Captain Roy's

11 Wednesday Mar 2020
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Adventure Race
  •    74

2020 Mayor's Annual Ride and Run for Trails

18 Saturday Apr 2020
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    199

Firetrucker Dan's Memorial Bridges Ride - Day 1

16 Saturday May 2020
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    175

Break The Stigma Ride

30 Saturday May 2020
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    16

Bike Neal Smith Trail to new location of Des Moines Renaissance Faire

7 Friday Aug 2020 - 9 Sunday Aug 2020
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    127

 

Past Events

Vinyl Bingo Wednesday with BIKEIOWA at Captain Roy's

27 Wednesday Nov 2019
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    860

Fenders Brewing Untap Your Ride

31 Thursday Oct 2019
  • Polk City, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,405

Fenders Brewing Untap Your Ride

24 Thursday Oct 2019
  • Polk City, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,440

Fenders Brewing Untap Your Ride

17 Thursday Oct 2019
  • Polk City, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,365

Fenders Brewing Untap Your Ride

10 Thursday Oct 2019
  • Polk City, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,356

Fenders Brewing Untap Your Ride

3 Thursday Oct 2019
  • Polk City, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,359

Union park 125th Celebration

28 Saturday Sep 2019
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    607

Fenders Brewing Jersey Ride

27 Friday Sep 2019
  • Polk City, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    1,085

Fenders Brewing Untap Your Ride

26 Thursday Sep 2019
  • Polk City, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,248

Kyle's Bikes Wednesday Night Ride—SEASON FINALE

25 Wednesday Sep 2019
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    984

Fenders Brewing Untap Your Ride

19 Thursday Sep 2019
  • Polk City, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,346

Fenders Brewing Untap Your Ride

12 Thursday Sep 2019
  • Polk City, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,114

FirstPrevPage 1 of 34NextLast
Feature Features Image

The Pig n Pedal joins as a Premier BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon February 24 2020
  •   8
Feature Features Image

Sponsor Spotlight - Enjoy your Ride with Fenders Brewing

  • bikeiowa
  • Tue June 18 2019
  •   1,700
Feature Features Image

12 Patios Worth the Pedaling

  • Jess Rundlett
  • Wed July 18 2018
  •   8,864
Feature Features Image

Lake Country Cyclists join as BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed July 4 2018
  •   5,288
Feature Features Image

Fenders Brewing joins as BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon March 5 2018
  •   7,668
Feature Features Image

Captain Roy's joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Tue April 11 2017
  •   8,328
Feature Features Image

The Iowa Taproom joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed June 29 2016
  •   10,604
Feature Features Image

Ferinheit Wood Oven Pizza joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri April 8 2016
  •   13,184
Feature Features Image

Des Moines' Bicycle Friendly Community Feedback Report

  • bikeiowa
  • Sun July 12 2015
  •   409,029

Edit Trail

Members of the BIKEIOWA Community can update Trail information. We figure that YOU may know more about the Trail than WE do.

Edit

Latest Neal Smith Trail News

FirstPrevPage 1 of 22NextLast

Browse by City

view cities along this trail

Connecting Trails

Related Sponsors

Support these BIKEIOWA Sponsors!

Iowa By Trail

As of approximately 7:15am this morning there was a fallen tree blocking the path between the I-35 underpass and Morningstar Drive access. The tree isn't big enough to keep most from climbing over with their bike, but too big to move off the path alone.

#1 - twodog posted Jul 19, 2016


Leave a Comment

You must be signed in to leave a comment.