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Type: Nature Trail

Length: 25 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.


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 NealSmithTrail on Oct 31.

Pulled Pork Thursday Captain Roy's

20 Thursday Jul 2017
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    88

Acousta Beast/ RAGBRAI Pre Party and Fish Fry at Captain Roy's

21 Friday Jul 2017
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    92

Kristoffer Fowler Trio at Captain Roy's

22 Saturday Jul 2017
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    60

Bicycle Night - Pork Chop Dinner @ Triangle Tap

26 Wednesday Jul 2017
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    312

Kyle's Bikes Wednesday Night Ride

26 Wednesday Jul 2017
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Road
  •    62

Bicycle Night - Pork Chop Dinner @ Triangle Tap

2 Wednesday Aug 2017
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    289

Kyle's Bikes Wednesday Night Ride

2 Wednesday Aug 2017
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Road
  •    69

Around the World Bike Ride

5 Saturday Aug 2017
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    311

Bicycle Night - Pork Chop Dinner @ Triangle Tap

9 Wednesday Aug 2017
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    294

Bicycle Night - Pork Chop Dinner @ Triangle Tap

16 Wednesday Aug 2017
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    294

Big Creek Bikes & Brews

19 Saturday Aug 2017
  • Polk City, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    152

Bicycle Night - Pork Chop Dinner @ Triangle Tap

23 Wednesday Aug 2017
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Destination
  •    417

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Captain Roy's joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Tue April 11 2017
  •   1704
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The Iowa Taproom joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed June 29 2016
  •   1711
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Ferinheit Wood Oven Pizza joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri April 8 2016
  •   2694
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Des Moines' Bicycle Friendly Community Feedback Report

  • bikeiowa
  • Sun July 12 2015
  •   260955
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Neal Smith Trail Planned Detour and Improvements

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed June 17 2015
  •   3205
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Is Des Moines ready for a Bicycle-Friendly designation upgrade?

  • bikeiowa
  • Tue March 31 2015
  •   3315
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Our Iowa Bike Expo Video

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon February 2 2015
  •   10800
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NubNub joins as BIKEIOWA sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Sun November 30 2014
  •   4259
Review Features Image

BIKEIOWA Road Trip 2014 - Day 5

  • bikeiowa
  • Thu July 31 2014
  •   5004

Latest Neal Smith Trail News

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