Des Moines Mountain Biking Trails

Maps and videos of mountain biking trails around Des Moines, Iowa.  Meet local mountain bikers and help build and maintain these awesome trails through CITA.

Sycamore Mountain Biking Trail in Des Moines, Iowa

Sycamore Trail has two segments easily accessible on Des Moines' north side along the west shore of the Des Moines River.  The two segments are connected by the paved Trestle to Trestle Trail which runs from River Place on Euclid in Des Moines northwest into Johnston.  This trail is flat and fast with few technical areas.  The south segment has some sandpits that might cause you to run.

Sycamore North Section Videos and Maps

The best access to the north section of Sycamore is just east of the Johnston Soccer Fields as shown on the map below where the green arrow is located.

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Sycamore South Section Videos and Maps

The most convenient access to the south section of Sycamore Trail is at the River Place complex on Euclid Avenue as designated by the green arrow on the map below.

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Denman's Woods Mountain Biking Trail in Des Moines, Iowa

 Denman's Woods Mountain Biking Trail is a sweet four mile trail located in western Des Moines.  Paved and dirt trails connect Denman's to the Center Trails as well as Squirrel's Nest and Rhythm creating a full afternoon of enjoyable singletrack.  Denman's is flat and fast with minimal obstacles.  It is fairly beginner friendly, though some new to the sport may be intimidated by some narrow sections of the trail created by trees close by each side of the trail.

Denman's most convenient access point is on the street parking on Muskogee/North Valley Drive as indicated by the green arrow though many also park behind the QuikTrip at 901 SW 63rd Street.

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Roller Coaster Mountain Biking Trail in the Center Trails in Des Moines, Iowa

Roller Coaster Mountain Bike Trail is a short half mile downhill thrill ride which starts on the southwest edge of the old science center pond.  It has a few bridges, creek crossings, and steep uphills which may not be beginner friendly.

Roller Coaster can be ridden to from any of the parking lots in the area around the Ashworth Pool but the green arrow below is located on the closest parking area.

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Rhythm Mountain Biking Trail in Des Moines, Iowa

Rhythm is a short section of trail connected to Denman's Woods and Squirrel's Nest.  It is beginner friendly and mostly obstacle free.

Best parking for Rhythm is either to head to the Denman's or Center Trails parking areas and ride paved and dirt trails to arrive at Rhythm as designated by the green arrow on the map below.

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Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park Mountain Biking Trail in between Des Moines and Indianola, Iowa.

Banner Lakes at Summerset Mountain Biking is one of the newest trails in Central Iowa and also one of the most extreme.  Features like ridge rides and pine forests will make you feel like you're somewhere other than Iowa.  The nearby shooting range will make you hope you're not mistaken for a 12 pointer or terrorist.  It's an amazing, highly recommended, challenging ride.  The majority of this trail (Coal Miner's Daughter, New Ed Beach, Missing Link, and Corner Pocket sections) is NOT beginner friendly.  In fact, a recent trip to Lebanon Hills in the Twin Cities put it in perspective as the difficulty was on par with their expert sections only without the large rock gardens found in the expert sections at Lebanon Hills.  However you don't need to leave the beginners at home; the Riverside section is beginner friendly and there is the wonderful paved Summerset Trail to be enjoyed by the novices in your group. 

Park in the first lot as you enter the park and look for the trail in the prairie area just across the road into the park.

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