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55,436 views

Type: Rail Trail

Length: 17 miles

Surface: Paved

The paved trail crosses a few gravel roads.


Condition

Above Average

Grade - Gentle Grades


Amenities


Description

Despite its name, the trail runs north-south from Water Works Park in Des Moines to Martensdale.  It is mostly open with some tree canopy areas and a few road underpasses.  It passes right through Willow Creek golf course so be aware of golf cart crossings.


Use caution at the intersection of SE Soteria Ave and SW 72nd Ave.  While not typically busy, there are no crossing lights and it is easy to accidently continue west on the sidewalk instead of heading north-south.


Location - Where is this Trail?

  • Des Moines
  • Orilla
  • Cumming
  • Churchville
  • Martensdale


Trailheads

Des Moines

  • South shelter in Water Works Park
  • Across the street from 4343 George Flagg Parkway
  • Street parking on SW 46th south of Park Avenue
West Des Moines
  • SE Pine Avenue and SW 72nd Ave (near Willow Creek golf course)
Orilla
  • SE Orilla Rd near The Chicken, 4221 SE Orilla Road
Cumming
  • G14 Highway and 25th Avenue (southwest Cumming)
Churchville
  • None
Martensdale
  • Iowa Avenue and Border Street, north of city stadium




Sites & Attractions

History of the Trail

The Great Western Trail opened in 1992, 100 years after its establishment as a rail line from Des Moines to St. Joseph, Missouri. It is named for the Chicago Great Western Company whose trains operated on this line from 1892 to 1968.

Source: Polk County Iowa


Future Plans

Planned Mileage: 0 miles -


Contributors

The following members have contributed to the above Trail content.


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

Upcoming Events

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Past Events

Embrace the Hills 2023

16 Saturday Sep 2023
  • Mondamin, IA
  • Road
  •    4,188

The Great Iowa Fall Ride

16 Saturday Sep 2023
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    332

Cumming Street Dance

26 Saturday Aug 2023
  • Cumming, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    253

Ales for ALZ

24 Saturday Jun 2023
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    871

HANDLEBAR Happy Hour - Cumming Tap, Outskirtz & The Chicken

16 Tuesday May 2023
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  • Destination
  •    1,596

The Great Iowa Fall Ride

8 Saturday Oct 2022
  • Cumming, IA
  • Other
  •    858

Travers Stakes Giveaway

27 Saturday Aug 2022
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    723

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

17 Friday Jun 2022
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    2,978

TOUR Ride

11 Wednesday May 2022
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    997

CIRREM

26 Saturday Feb 2022
  • Cumming, IA
  • Gravel
  •    2,245

The Great Iowa Fall Ride

10 Sunday Oct 2021
  • Cumming, IA
  • Other
  •    3,801

Jenna's Jam

17 Saturday Jul 2021
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    2,605

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Edit Trail

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

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Latest Great Western Trail News

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Survey crews are out preparing for work on Veterans Parkway. You may see them and their vehicles on the Great Western Trail. They are not surveying for work on the trail.

#19 - WarrenCCB posted Jun 15, 2017


June 15, 2017

Survey crews are out preparing for work on Veterans Parkway. You may see them and their vehicles on the Great Western Trail. They are not surveying for work on the trail.

#18 - WarrenCCB posted Jun 15, 2017


The Great Western Trail is completely open in Warren County.

#17 - WarrenCCB posted Jul 25, 2016


(Apologies for the bad grammar in the previous post)

Rain continues to alter the work schedule on the the Great Western Trail at Cumming.

The Great Western Trail will be closed in the affected area (between G14 and 30th AVE (the Cumming section)) as needed between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. This will include the parking lot at G14. The site will be posted daily as needed. A few dry days should allow work to finish.

#16 - WarrenCCB posted Jul 19, 2016


Rain continues to alter the work schedule on the the Great Western Trail at Cumming.

The Great Western Trail closed in the affected area (between G14 and 30th AVE (the Cumming section)) as needed between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. This will include the parking lot at G14. The site will be posted daily as needed. A few dry days should allow work to finish.

#15 - WarrenCCB posted Jul 19, 2016


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