This is a ‘runseeing’ tour of central Des Moines, showcasing the Riverwalk, several parks, the Capitol, and the Sherman Hill Historic District. The full route is 10+ miles, but there are numerous shorter options.
Start in downtown Des Moines at the Riverwalk, a 1.2 mile path along the Des Moines river with its signature pedestrian bridge. Run south along the west side of the Riverwalk for 0.5 miles, do a loop of Principal Park, then cross to the east side. Run back north along the John Dorian Trail along the river for 0.7 miles, then RIGHT on Locust St. for a 1/2 mile jaunt east to the elegant State Capitol building with its golden dome. Return using Grand.
Now you’re at 3.2 miles. The next section is north along the river on the Dorian/Discovery Trail, passing the Botanical Garden, for up to 1.3 miles to Union Park/Birdland Park. Now, you can return along the river path, or take an optional section to Sherman Hill.
Sherman Hill Option (adds ~3 miles): Retrace your steps along the River to the Principal Bridge, cross to the west side, and run along Crocker St. for 1 mile. Explore the lovely residential streets of the Sherman Hill Historic District, then return to the start using Grand Ave. or Locust St., passing through the Pappajohn Sculpture Park.
- Full route is 10.6 miles (17.1 km), with shorter options
- 435 feet (132m)
- Downtown at Riverwalk