The Center Trails

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15
miles

Intermediate

Singletrack
↑ 2,300 ft
↓ 1,800 ft
831
elevation (ft)
10.6
avg mph
40
ridden
11
wishlist
1:39
avg time

Network
AVERAGE RATING
4.21 out of 5
About This Trail
added by Guest on December 31, 2002
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There is a nice trail system behind the Art Center. Trails are singletrack, hilly and somewhat technical. There is no official designation on their use, but it is on City land and thus should be legal. The trails have been used for years by cyclist and hikers.
Rider Questions
 

0

Q: any jumps or skinnies, drops? -Guest

A: Skinny yes. about 30' 2X6 span. Drops maybe if you want to go between trees over roots. I havn't seen it all.

Bubblehead10MM answered on May 29, 2014. Did you find this helpful? Yes | No

Answer

 
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Trail Activity
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Recent Trail Check-ins
20 check-ins
 
2 days ago
1 week ago
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on Sep 18, 2014
on Aug 31, 2014
 
Hyrum1959 on July 22, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Fun ride. Windy, timber trails, with some climbing, but nothing terribly difficult. Located in the center of town, easily accesible. Group rides on Wednesday evenings at 5:30.

Similar Trail: Gunn Park Trails

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mtbark on October 27, 2013
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Review: The trails on the north side of the tracks are a bit more technical then those on south side. Most of the climbing is on the north side as well. The trails on the south are pretty much flat and flowing. The signage at the trail is not real good, it took me some looking around to find all that I did and still not sure I found it all. There are trails going every which way on the north side. The trails are not real technical and most of the climbs should not be a problem for someone who has been ridding for awhile. South side would be great for novice riders.

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The_mitch_109 on October 26, 2013
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Directions to the trailhead are correct and very easy. You cant miss it from the parking lot. Having someone who can show you the trails would help a lot because they start and stop on the paved bike trails so its difficult to pick it back up again after getting on the pavement.

The hilly side of the trail is just that, hilly. I was disappointed in the trail because I havent ridden it in a couple years and the hills have been used quite a bit, causing roots to be exposed. Roots kill your momentum when going up hills and killed my fun a little bit too. The downhill parts are fun and some of the corners are tight and come up on your fast. In the flatter sections there are some fun obstacles, a tetter totter, some skinny bridges, and a tractor tire buried half in the ground. The flatter part of the trail has a better flow, but I think it gets and stays soggy after rainfall. This trail (and all other trails in town) is leaf covered making cornering at speed questionable.

Fun trail with a lot of variety. CAUTION: this is a very busy trail, with people going both directions on bikes and on foot, it is not recommended to wear headphones while riding this trail ever and it is very important to watch for others. There are a lot of people walking the trail to look at the leaves, take pictures, and generally be a hazard for you. Stay safe.

Similar Trail: Sycamore trail, Banner State Park trail

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llounsbury on May 20, 2013
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Good variety... some flat fast stuff in the river valley, while some nice hills by Ashworth Pool and Art Center

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xxraggamuffinxx on April 25, 2013
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: One of the best in-city trail systems I've come across. I've had small groups of deer run with me for a couple hundred yards along the trail. A wonderful place to take beginners to hone their skills. CITA does a wonderful job if maintaining the trails, thanks guys! You can easily piece together a good 10-15mi ride. Avoid in wet weather, and slow down in blind corners as these trails are busy.

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dgw2jr on November 24, 2012
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: Best trails in the Des Moines area. North of the railroad tracks it's very hilly. South side by the water works area is very flat and fast. All the trails are smooth like concrete!

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trule300 on August 6, 2012
1 out of 2 readers found this useful
 
Review: Very Challenging. Need strong legs to complete this one for sure without stopping and walking the bike up a steep long incline. Very Scenic with alot of cliffs and drop offs. This course can be dangerous and I wouldnt recommend it to a leisure rider. If you want a challenge and a grueling workout this is the trail for you. Tons of hills up and down. LOTS OF TREE STUMPS AND ROOTS STICKING OUT. : ). GREAT TRAIL FOR THE RIGHT PERSON

* Review edited 8/6/2012

Similar Trail: Not like sycamore trail at all. Much longer, winding, vertically challenged routes.

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SDKmann on July 17, 2012
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Unbelievable trails for Iowa even without considering that they are conveniently located right in the middle of Des Moines. The trails have enough technical bits to satisfy intermediates but are still easy enough for the greenest beginner. The trails have multiple fun downhill routes and enough easy climbs to make getting to the top fairly painless. The only major drawback is that the trails are not extensive enough as is. It looks like the trails used to be more extensive but that a good number of them have not been kept up or closed. Seeing that hard work and those fun routes go to waste is disappointing.

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dusty_dave on April 10, 2012
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: For the area this is a great place to ride. Nice well maintained singletrack with a little of everything. Some small hilly areas, couple jumps, rails. Got a couple trails left to check out here but its definately a fun place to get in a ride.

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Jared13 on March 28, 2012
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Review: Fast and swoopy trail with some flat sections. Almost all of it is awesome singletrack (some connection parts are the paved path.) It has a few technical features. Skinnies, teeter totters, and log crossings. It even has a tire you can roll up and over. A few of the trees are fairly close together also.

Similar Trail: Sycamore

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garnettguy21 on March 15, 2012
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Review: Open! Nice and tacky---considering its only March!

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garnettguy21 on September 6, 2011
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Review: Nice flow with some short climbs and technical bits. Seem to be ridden a bit. Nothing crazy difficult. Short (~3 miles) of single track but routes can be mixed to meet your needs. Perfect for a single speed! Good stuff.

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kingofthecrate on June 2, 2010
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Review: Super easy trail to access right off of 54th ave located next to the park swimming pool. Trails are somewhat technical but scenically its amazing and a fun way to burn a few hours with twist backs and easy climbs.

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amhall1612 on December 5, 2009
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Fun and easily accessible singletrack in the heart of Des Moines. The most fun/challenging area of the trail system is the northern 2 or so mile section by the Ashworth pond and pool area. Unfortunately, it seems like these trails get smaller every year due to flooding and or city take-over. Also, I've never seen so many deer in my life than are in this area. * Review edited 12/5/2009

* Review edited 12/5/2009

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RoadWarrior on August 15, 2009
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: 3-4 miles of moderately (3) Technical XC trails. closest to the trail head. Trails have good flow and are a lot of fun. Many miles of paved scenic trails from the same TH, so can still get some miles in. Dir. to TH ; from Grand Ave take 45st South to end (parking lot). There are also some beignner ST trails in the NW cornner of Ashworth Park, and more trails the otherside of the creek that I didn't get to.

* Review edited 8/15/2009

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procda52 on July 7, 2009
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Surprised at how sweet this trail is and it's right in the heart of DSM. The trails keep going and going.

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eadoll on June 22, 2009
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Review: One of few trails I have experienced, I was amazed at how fun it was! It was a little muddy which made it more fun, but I had to take the turns a little slower. I would go here daily if a lived near by. I saw three bucks on the trail and the little wood plank bridges are the first ive been on and they are sick - there is like 10

Similar Trail: This is the only one i've been too!

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steelealexander on May 9, 2007
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: good times. I was suprised to find a somewhat technical trail in the heart of des moines. You also have to love running into deer on the trail!

* Review edited 5/9/2007

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mtb05grl on February 28, 2006
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: These trails are flat and fast, especially if you know where you're going. I recommend stopping at Rasmussen's Bike Shop on Grand Blvd. (I believe) in Des Moines to find someone to give you the tour of these trails. Once you figure out the route, it's a great time.

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The Center Trails MTB Trail 4.21 out of 5 based on 19 ratings. 19 user reviews.
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Trail Features
 
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Trail Conditions
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