Admin

76,492 views

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.


 If the river is above 13 feet (flood stage) parts of the trail will be underwater. You can check the river height here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv/?site_no=05481650


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 thskadow on Apr 26, 2019.

Upcoming Events

FORE! Our Parks Golf Outing and Bike Ride

14 Friday Jun 2024
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    116

Midwest Tandem Rally

30 Friday Aug 2024 - 2 Monday Sep 2024
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    86

Inaugural High Raccoon Trail Grand Fondo

19 Saturday Oct 2024
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    873

 

Past Events

Shiver on The River

17 Saturday Feb 2024
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    664

Vinyl Bingo Wednesday with RAGBRAI at Captain Roy's

24 Wednesday Jan 2024
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    531

Vinyl Bingo Wednesday with BIKEIOWA at Captain Roy's

8 Wednesday Nov 2023
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    639

BiketoberFest

30 Saturday Sep 2023
  • Polk City, IA
  • Other
  •    1,016

Bike-in Movie Night: Breaking Away

21 Thursday Sep 2023
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Other
  •    1,077

Embrace the Hills 2023

16 Saturday Sep 2023
  • Mondamin, IA
  • Road
  •    5,020

Kyle's Bikes Parking Lot Sale 2023

14 Thursday Sep 2023 - 17 Sunday Sep 2023
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Expo/Sales/Swap
  •    821

Bicycle Poker Run

3 Sunday Sep 2023
  • Ankeny Des Moines and Slater, IA
  • Other
  •    777

Coolest Bike in Town Show

28 Sunday May 2023
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Expo/Sales/Swap
  •    1,661

HANDLEBAR Happy Hour - Fenders Brewing

25 Thursday May 2023
  • Polk City, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,689

Johnston Mayor's Annual Bike Ride

13 Saturday May 2023
  • Johnston, IA
  • Other
  •    856

HANDLEBAR Happy Hour - Triangle Tap

10 Wednesday May 2023
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,443

FirstPrevPage 1 of 42NextLast
Review Features Image

FRIDAY FIVES - EP.14 - August 21st 2020

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri August 28 2020
  •   2,912
Feature Features Image

Tour de Recho - Disaster Relief and Virtual Ride

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri August 21 2020
  •   2,868
Review Features Image

FRIDAY FIVES - EP.1 - May 22 2020

  • bikeiowa
  • Sat May 30 2020
  •   2,646
Feature Features Image

The Pig n Pedal joins as a Premier BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon February 24 2020
  •   3,545
Feature Features Image

Sponsor Spotlight - Enjoy your Ride with Fenders Brewing

  • bikeiowa
  • Tue June 18 2019
  •   6,483
Feature Features Image

12 Patios Worth the Pedaling

  • Jess Rundlett
  • Wed July 18 2018
  •   20,627
Feature Features Image

Lake Country Cyclists join as BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed July 4 2018
  •   14,230
Feature Features Image

Fenders Brewing joins as BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon March 5 2018
  •   16,150
Feature Features Image

Captain Roy's joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Tue April 11 2017
  •   15,251

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

FirstPrevPage 1 of 31NextLast

Browse by City

view cities along this trail

Connecting Trails

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


Leave a Comment

You must be signed in to leave a comment.