Des Moines Trails

Des Moines: River Trail Loop

Escape the daily grind: This scenic loop links fields and forests, trails and some roads for a relaxing 6.5-mile tour around the Des Moines River. Caution: This loop crosses a bridge on I-80; plan trip during low traffic hours.

Mapped by John Trilik

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 10.4



Location: 41.6800537109375, -93.6672821044922

Hike S on trail that winds gently into shady woodlands surrounding the Des Moines River Trail


Location: 41.6714973449707, -93.6682586669922

Continue S


Location: 41.6617813110352, -93.6660461425781

Stay S, crossing through a patchwork of fields and woods


Location: 41.6508407592773, -93.6652526855469

Turn R @ T, leaving trail. Cautiously walk along the shoulder of the I-80, crossing over the Des Moines River (boaters cruise these waters)


Location: 41.6517333984375, -93.6809768676758

Turn R onto NW Beaver Ave. for quick NW stretch. Cross Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Des Moines River


Location: 41.6532516479492, -93.6818542480469

Turn R @ T onto recreational trail, heading E. Pass the deep blues of two large quarry lakes on L. Ahead, trail swings N, paralleling river. Scan hardwoods for resident bald eagles perched high above


Location: 41.6642227172852, -93.6710662841797

Turn R @ T. Enter mature forest, and hike multi-use trail on the W-side of the Des Moines River


Location: 41.6759376525879, -93.6687316894531

Continue N through Sycamore Park


Location: 41.6802062988281, -93.6723098754883

Trail ends in W parking lot. Turn R and follow road back to trailhead