Great Western and Bill Riley Trails

Length 18.1 miles
Surface Great Western, asphalt on converted railbed; Bill Riley, asphalt
Hours open year-round, sunrise to sunset
Fees none
Counties Polk, Warren
Cities Des Moines, Cumming, Churchville, Martensdale
About this trail

The Great Western Trail has a mix of urban and rural scenery. Its northern end is more urban while the rest offers meadows, long tree-lined stretches, reconstructed prairie and all kinds of wildlife. There are also some farm ponds, a river and a few streams running near the trail.

The Great Western is just a short distance from the Bill Riley Trail and visitors can follow a short stretch of road within Water Works Park to get from one to the other. Named for longtime civic leader and businessman Bill Riley, this trail winds its way from Water Works Park to Ashworth Park.

Future connections are being planned to link these trails to West Des Moines trails, the Clive Greenbelt Trail, Gray's Lake and John Pat Dorrian Trail in Des Moines.

Great Western and Bill Riley Trails
Trail Managers
City of Des Moines - 515-263-8709
Warren County Conservation Board - 515-961-6169 ext.12 - e-mail
Local Tourism Info
Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau - 515-286-4960 or 800-451-2625 - e-mail
Resources From Other Sites
Polk County Conservation Board
Here you can find a map for the Great Western Trail. It gives general trail information, services and a brief history. The map is clearly labeled and well laid out.
Des Moines Parks and Recreation
This site profiles only the shorter Bill Riley trail but includes several versions of the trail map along with a trail description.
Warren County Conservation Board
General information, services, and trail use guidelines can be found on this site. There is a link to a brochure and map.