Des Moines, IA

South Des Moines: Great Western Trail

CC 2.5: Tim Kiser

The Great Western Trail is a paved multi-use path that runs southward from Des Moines for 17 miles through Willow Creek Golf Course, Orilla, and Cumming, ending at Martensdale. It’s a good option if you’re staying in the Des Moines airport area. The trail can be picked up at the south end of Water Works Park, off the George Flaff Pkwy. Head south along the path, skirting the western end of the airport. Continue south for as many miles as you like. The terrain is a combination of woods and some open farmland. It’s a bit monotonous, but a good option to get in a bunch of off-road miles.

The southern terminus of the trail is in Martensdale. Some distances:

2.0 miles: Airport
4.6 miles:  SR 5
6 miles: Orillia
6 miles: Cumming
15 miles: Churchville
17 miles: Southern Terminus in Martensdale near High School.

Add-Ons: Near the start point, connect to our Water Works Park/Gray’s Lake route & our other central Des Moines routes.

Essentials
  • Up to 17 miles (27.6 km) one-way
  • Modest rolling hills - 500 feet (150m) over full 17 miles headed south
  • South end of Water Works Park. Or hop on the trail at any point in southern Des Moines
  • Numerous access points

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Essentials
  • Up to 17 miles (27.6 km) one-way
  • Modest rolling hills - 500 feet (150m) over full 17 miles headed south
  • South end of Water Works Park. Or hop on the trail at any point in southern Des Moines
  • Numerous access points