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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.


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 NealSmithTrail on Jan 1.

Upcoming Events

no events found

Past Events

Ankeny Bicycle Tourism Study Open House

3 Monday Dec 2018
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Meeting
  •    179

Bicycle Night - Pork Chop Dinner @ Triangle Tap

24 Wednesday Oct 2018
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,554

Bicycle Night - Pork Chop Dinner @ Triangle Tap Finale

17 Wednesday Oct 2018
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,786

Bicycle Night - Pork Chop Dinner @ Triangle Tap

10 Wednesday Oct 2018
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,425

Bicycle Night - Pork Chop Dinner @ Triangle Tap

3 Wednesday Oct 2018
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,613

Women Rolling Collectively Ride

3 Wednesday Oct 2018
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    490

Bicycle Night - Pork Chop Dinner @ Triangle Tap

26 Wednesday Sep 2018
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,585

Kyle's Bikes Wednesday Night Ride

26 Wednesday Sep 2018
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    1,025

Bicycle Night - Pork Chop Dinner @ Triangle Tap

19 Wednesday Sep 2018
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,524

Kyle's Bikes Wednesday Night Ride

19 Wednesday Sep 2018
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    1,015

Bicycle Night - Pork Chop Dinner @ Triangle Tap

12 Wednesday Sep 2018
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,559

Kyle's Bikes Wednesday Night Ride

12 Wednesday Sep 2018
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    1,017

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12 Patios Worth the Pedaling

  • Jess Rundlett
  • Wed July 18 2018
  •   2,987
Feature Features Image

Lake Country Cyclists join as BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed July 4 2018
  •   1,160
Feature Features Image

Fenders Brewing joins as BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon March 5 2018
  •   2,969
Feature Features Image

Captain Roy's joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Tue April 11 2017
  •   4,491
Feature Features Image

The Iowa Taproom joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed June 29 2016
  •   5,513
Feature Features Image

Ferinheit Wood Oven Pizza joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri April 8 2016
  •   7,809
Feature Features Image

Des Moines' Bicycle Friendly Community Feedback Report

  • bikeiowa
  • Sun July 12 2015
  •   370,220
Feature Features Image

Neal Smith Trail Planned Detour and Improvements

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed June 17 2015
  •   5,836
Blog Features Image

Is Des Moines ready for a Bicycle-Friendly designation upgrade?

  • bikeiowa
  • Tue March 31 2015
  •   6,014

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

Pork Chop Season Finale!

  • Mon October 15 2018
  •   394

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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


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