Type: Urban Trail

Length: 2 miles

Surface: Paved



Grade - Gentle Grades



  The trail connects Gray's Lake trails, the Great Western Trail, and Walnut Creek Trail Segment 3 through Water Works Park.  Although short by itself, it is an important trail in allowing cyclists to quickly travel east-west.

  The trail utilizes an old wooden bridge near the trailhead to cross the Raccoon River and is rough.  Along the trail are horse paths in Water Works Park and horse farms just outside, so be aware that equestrians may be present and crossing the trail. 

  There is a railroad underpass that runs along the river.  It is a blind, tight downhill curve so be prepared to brake (as of this update, closed due to erosion control construction).

  As the trail follows the river, it is prone to flooding during high water years, especially at the railroad underpass.  The city is generally responsive in removing silt after flooding.

Location - Where is this Trail?

South Des Moines, Water Works Park to Greenwood-Ashworth Park


Greenwood-Ashworth Park, by Ashworth swimming pool

Water Works Park, inside, off of George Flagg Parkway by SW 30th Street

Sites & Attractions

History of the Trail

In 1972, two hundred fifty bicyclists raised money for this 1.7-mile section of asphalt trail near Greenwood Ashworth Park in Des Moines.  It is one of the oldest bike trails in Des Moines. 

The trail is named for Bill Riley, a local radio personality and parks board member.

Future Plans

Planned Mileage: 0 miles -


The following members have contributed to the above Trail content.

This trail was last edited by War on Jul 9, 2021.

Upcoming Events

no events found

Past Events

The Water Ride

27 Saturday Aug 2022
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    1,346

FORE! Our Parks - Bike Ride (and golf) - Friends of Des Moines Parks

17 Friday Jun 2022
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    2,580

The Water Ride

28 Saturday Aug 2021
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    2,664

Firetrucker Dan's Memorial Ride - Day 1

5 Saturday Jun 2021
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    4,053

Friends of Des Moines Parks Bike Ride

18 Friday Sep 2020
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    1,918

The Water Ride

29 Saturday Aug 2020
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    2,786

Firetrucker Dan's Memorial Bridges Ride - Day 1 **POSTPONED **

16 Saturday May 2020
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    3,605

****CANCELED**** 2020 Mayor's Annual Ride and Run for Trails

18 Saturday Apr 2020
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    4,939

Drunk Brian's Birthday Bash Bicycle Ride (D.B.B.B.B.R.)

26 Saturday Oct 2019
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    3,499

The Water Ride

24 Saturday Aug 2019
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    4,652

MayDay All Bike Swap Meet

4 Saturday May 2019
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Expo/Sales/Swap
  •    8,524

Des Moines Mayor's Annual Ride and Run for Trails

20 Saturday Apr 2019
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    10,583

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READY. SET. BIKE IOWA! - a Fun Friday Word Search

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri March 24 2023
  •   621
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RAGBRAI L Pass-through towns announced

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon March 13 2023
  •   825
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The Torres Team with RE/MAX Concepts joins as a new BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed November 9 2022
  •   853
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BIKEIOWA's Course Support Team rides for the Des Moines Marathon

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri October 14 2022
  •   1,000
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Body In Motion Therapeutic Massage joins as a new BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Sun January 31 2021
  •   4,028
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2020 - BIKEIOWA Year In Review

  • bikeiowa
  • Sun December 20 2020
  •   5,061
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Small Business Saturday 2020 - SHOP LOCAL

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri November 27 2020
  •   5,146
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Lake Country Cyclists join as BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed July 4 2018
  •   12,952
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Ferinheit Wood Oven Pizza joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri April 8 2016
  •   22,954

Edit Trail

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


Latest Bill Riley Trail News

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Iowa By Trail

trail is open and cleaned up!!

#4 - dgk2009 posted Jun 30, 2013

all the water is down,public works just needs to clean it up,hope soon,surely they people are itching to ride it.

#3 - dgk2009 posted Jun 21, 2013

Was still extremely muddy as of last night. The area near the railroad bridge is still not in riding condition.

#2 - grandpadave posted Jun 20, 2013

Can anyone prpvide a status update on the closure of this trail? Wanting to ride it this weekend. thanks!

#1 - knettlet posted Jun 20, 2013

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