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Center Trails Loop

Intermediate
 4.1 (21) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Head out on fast, flowing singletrack through this urban forest smack in the middle of Des Moines.


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Map Key

5.8

Miles

9.3

KM

90%

Singletrack

986' 301 m

High

865' 264 m

Low

477' 145 m

Up

477' 145 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

24%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Features -none-

Family Friendly The trail is located within a park in central Des Moines near city neighborhoods. The trails are perfect for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking.

Avoid when wet. Check and update status at status.centraliowatrails.com.
Denman's Woods is located in a flood-plain and behaves as such after heavy rains or high river/creek flows.

Overview

Center Trails boasts around 13 miles of trail segments that are featured on this ride. The trails range from easy to moderately challenging. This ride uses fast, flowing singletrack through the woods while Hillside provides some nice climbs and descents as it weaves around several ridges.

More information about the park and the trails can be found at CITA's Center Trails page

Need to Know

Be considerate of the trails in the low-lying areas. During the springtime thaw and heavy rains, the trails are often closed. Check and update status at status.centraliowatrails.com. Also, signs at the trailheads will indicate whether a trail is open or closed and regularly updated by the Trail Steward.

Description

Center Trails winds through Greenwood/Ashworth Park (trails: Rollercoaster, Hillside) and continues south of the railroad track and across Walnut Creek in the Raccoon River flood plain (trails: Denman's Woods, Rhythm, and Squirrel's Nest, J11).

A suggested run starts at the trailhead just south of the Ashworth Pool parking lot. Start on the trail and go left, up the hill behind the pool. At the 45th St. road crossing, jump over to the continuation near the amphitheater. Follow this around behind the art center, ridges, and head back down to the creek crossing. Head straight after the creek which puts you out onto the Bill Riley paved trail. Head right, down Bill Riley for 20-30 yards and you'll find Hillside's entrance on your left.

Once you're done with Hillside (you'll end up where you originally entered), ride the Bill Riley Trail down and around to the Walnut Creek Trail (you can take the short-cut through the woods and over the rail-road track - it's off to the right south of the parking lot, and bisects near where you crossed the creek).

When the Walnut Creek Trail reaches North Valley Drive (Walnut Creek will be on your left), turn left (south) over Walnut Creek. Make a left onto the levee path. From the levee (or the singletrack that runs along the creek), look for the Denman's Woods entrance just below the levee when the path jogs right and heads south. Plunge down the levee into the woods and enjoy!

History & Background

Center Trails is located in old growth forest. We're privileged to have such trails in urban Des Moines.

Contacts

Shared By:

Air Va with improvements by Chris K

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 21 votes

#878

Overall
  4.1 from 21 votes
5 Star
29%
4 Star
62%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
5%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#7

in Iowa

#878

Overall
103 Views Last Month
4,810 Since Jul 27, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Flow on Hillside Trail
Jul 26, 2020 near West De…, IA
Hillside Trail
Sep 26, 2019 near West De…, IA
Tech bridge feature on Rollercoaster
Jul 26, 2020 near West De…, IA
Bridge on Rollercoaster
Jun 9, 2015 near West De…, IA
Looking east toward the short run that takes you back up to the Bill Riley Trail and over to Hillside.
Jun 9, 2015 near West De…, IA
Center Trails Hillside and Rollercoaster!
Sep 26, 2020 near West De…, IA

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 44 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Oct 29, 2018
Corim Carey
Covered in leaves, and meh.. 5mi
Sep 24, 2018
Kirk Becker
fun got cut short due to a flat tire, but what a fun ride!
Oct 1, 2017
Jason Irish
8.4mi
Aug 25, 2017
Randy Rosado
5.8mi
Jul 6, 2017
Alex Bodin
Went around the trail twice. Both directions proved to be a fast, flowing and exciting trail. — 2h 00m
Mar 9, 2017
Ian Erickson
Nov 18, 2016
Mike Fonseca
10.4mi