Sycamore Trail

3.70 out of 5
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↑ 200 ft
↓ 200 ft
elevation (ft)

Trail Description
About this trail
The Polk County Conservation Board and the Central Iowa Trail Association (CITA) worked together to open this trail. The trail will be closed to motorized vehicles and is officially now open). The trail follows the west bank of the Des Moines River. It starts on the the east edge of the Euclid Avenue Target parking lot in NW Des Moines and runs 6 or 7 miles North to the Sycamore boat access on NW 66th Street. The East lot also serves as a parking area and trail access point for the paved Saylorville Bike Trail on the East bank of the Des Moines River. This is a twisty turning trail and is very flat. It is excellent for the beginning to intermediate cyclist. Keep an eye and ear out for oncoming cyclist and/or ATV's. It connects with The Brickyard at one point, so you can combine the two rides.
added by Guest December 31, 2002
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
Get Directions
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Trail Q&A
Rider Questions


Q: I have trouble finding the trail again (going south) after going over Beaver on the trestle trail. Where does the single track start again? -Guest

A: If you follow the Trestle Trail past Bob Lenc Landscaping (or the former location), you can get onto the single-track trail again between the river and that large pond, just as the Trestle Trail bends south away from the river. I don't believe it is marked, so I hope this helps!

Guest answered on May 31, 2014. Did you find this helpful? Yes | No


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Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
what's this?
Recent Trail Check-ins     (17 total check-ins)
  scooby34   on Apr 11, 2015
  richbean07   on Oct 15, 2014
  Jason.Uhlenhake   on Aug 10, 2014
  Enosh   on Jul 24, 2014
  Groomster62   on Jun 11, 2014
Photo & Video Gallery (15)
Trail Photos & Videos (15)
Reviews (10)

April 1, 2015
Review: A good trail with something for everyone. Easy,fun,fast with good flow.

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October 8, 2013
Review: Trailhead: coming from the west take Beaver rd past the Johnston soccer fields, there is an unmarked gravel road on the right shortly after that goes down a short hill to a parking lot, paved road to parking lot is about 100 ft. Trailhead is well marked from the parking lot on the eastern side.If you go over the bridge you have gone too far.

Flat-ish and fast this trail is a good time and a good workout without being too technical to slow things down. With solid riding and good cornering you can average 11mph through the whole trail pretty easy. The trail is pretty well maintained but it's not advisible to ride it the day after rain because of being so close to the river the ground stays wet longer and nobody wants the trail rutted out. Trail splits off into a small section with rollers that do not require you to get airborne. This is a small loop that brings you back to the regular trail(and is really fun). There are some trees to ride over or rocks, one manmade jump but everything is optional. This trail is rideable straight through without stopping. More than once if you have adequate cardio.

BE WARNED: this trail is used often by trail runners, hikers, and bikers in both directions. Have fun by be watchful for incoming people, especially bikes, where you both can be on top of eachother in the blink of an eye.

This trail is my regular trail because it is so fun to ride. Definitely recommended to everyone.

Similar Trail: center trails (without a lot of the altitude change)

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September 22, 2013
Review: Good long trail ride, plenty of fun stuff, yet litteraly saw a 5 yr old out riding. CITA is on the ball. going in AM there were 2 huge trees down and at least 5 smaller ones, by mid after noon all cleaned up except the biggies and there were neatened up and bypassed. I loved the roller coaster option. just N of freeway.

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July 7, 2013
Review: Hit this over the 4th and the north section was good, but the south section is still under puddled water about a quarter of a mile into the ride if your heading north and entering where the old target used to be. Still a great trail with lots of little side trails. If you are heading north on the northern section of the trail stick to the left to hit some good rolling hills and fun section...

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June 23, 2012
Review: When heading southbound, after crossing under the interstate, you need to ride a couple of miles on the paved trail until you reach the pond. The pond is on your right and the dirt picks up again on your left. Watch out for small stumps in the trail once you get close to Euclid :-)

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May 23, 2012
Review: Hey, i was wondering if anyone could tell me where the trail picks back up after the 80/35 underpass. I ride from johnston and get to the bridge and canít find the trail again. Thanks!

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March 19, 2012
Review: I started at the north end of the trail. The parking lot is just west of the Des Moines River on NW 66th Street. The trail is slowly becoming wide singletrack compared to the ATV/doubletrack it started out as. It's very twisty/turny and pretty flat-ish. A great trail for beginner/intermediate and a very fast trail if you have decent cornering ability. There are a few log crossings (all can be bypassed) and some mounds/dips you can get some decent pump on but those are just in certain sections of the trail.

Similar Trail: I haven't ridden other trails in the Des Moines area, but the riders I was with suggested The Center Trails and Denman's.

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September 22, 2009
Review: The building you are looking for is now a DOT building.

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October 2, 2008
Review: spring 2008 flood debris cleared away, a few areas of fresh, deep sand.

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May 8, 2007
Review: the target is no longer there so just look for an old abandond building that looks like it could have been a tagret just north of douglas and you'll have no problem finding it. It's a easy flat ride along the river nothing too exciting but a peaceful ride

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Sycamore Trail MTB Trail 3.70 out of 5 based on 10 ratings. 10 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed