Set aside a day to try snowshoeing if you’re up for something new to fill your snowy days this winter. Exploring Iowa snowshoeing trails is a way to get outside and eventually become completely smitten with your new favorite hobby.
Pilot Knob State Park
If there’s a snow day in the future, plan on taking on the 5.2-mile loop trail at Pilot Knob State Park. There are a variety of trails that can take you on a different expedition at every turn. No matter which trail you decide to test out, you will be blessed with sweeping vistas and the wonders of wildlife. The focal point of the park is a historic observation tower that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can climb the tower on “Pilot Knob” to take in the amazing views and the surrounding natural beauty. For more information, visit iowadnr.gov.
If you enjoy being surrounded by acres of nature, Jester Park is one of Iowa’s most lovely places to appreciate the white, wintery setting. Once there is enough snow, miles of groomed paths become accessible for exciting exploration. Before sliding through these well-known Iowa snowshoeing trails, guests can rent snowshoes at the nature center for just $10 per day. The ideal starting point for beginners, guests can then embark on a memorable journey through Hickory Ridge Trail. When the landscape is covered in a thick blanket of snow, there’s no better time to test out your skills and slip into the serene surroundings. For more information, visit polkcountyiowa.gov.
Terry Trueblood Recreation Area
If you’re looking to take the scenic route when it comes to your snowshoeing adventure, look no further than Terry Trueblood Recreation Area. Here, guests will be greeted by a nearly 2-mile loop trail that encircles a stunning lake alongside snow-dusted trees. While on your trek, you’ll likely meet some chirping birds, as this Iowa snowshoeing trail is a popular location for bird watching. There are also plenty of picnic shelters, perfect for a hot cocoa or water break, and even ice skate rentals if you still have enough energy to hit the ice afterwards. For more information, visit icgov.org.
This tempting trail is considered a bit more advanced than some of the others; however, this challenge comes with gratification. After roughing it across a 3.3-mile out-and-back trail, guests can explore one of the only true canyons in the state of Iowa. In addition, there will be scenic overlooks scattered across the valley along Whitewater Creek, perfect for snagging a picture of the winter wonderland. Whitewater Canyon’s “Lost Canyon,” a special area that will astound anybody with its abundance of caves and beautiful bedrock walls, is nestled away, just waiting to be re-discovered. For more information, visit jonescountyiowa.gov.
Ada Hayden Heritage Park
If you’ve got an hour to kill and want to find a fun way to get in some exercise, be sure to check out Ada Hayden Heritage Park. The main snowshoeing attraction at this park is the main loop surrounding the lake, which is roughly 3 miles long and takes just under an hour to complete. For some more solitude, guests can also discover the Crushed Rock Upland Trail, a more challenging but also more peaceful route away from any other traffic. For more information, visit cityofames.org.