Iowa Hikes for Mom

Mother’s Day is not only a good day to start planting but it’s a good time to start hiking. Mild temperatures and fewer bugs are good reasons to get outside and enjoy the emerging greenery and these three Iowa hikes for mom.

With so many options for hiking in Iowa’s parks it’s tough to limit any list to only three. These trails stand out for several reasons. Each trail offers a good variety of scenery and wildlife. These Iowa hikes for mom are also level and wide which make for a perfect walk and talk hike with your Mom.

Lost Lake Trail

Lost lake Trail is located in one of central Iowa’s most popular places – Ledges State Park. It’s a 1.1 mile interpretive trail that is also part of a driving route linking prime birdwatching spots across eight central Iowa counties called The Makoke Trail.

Iowa Hikes for Mom | Lost Lake Trail

Start your hike at the trailhead located in the parking area. The trail is fully accessible and is wide with crushed stone. The path meanders under a dense canopy of trees to Katina Pond. When you see the footbridge, follow the trail left to Lost Lake.

At Lost Lake you can hike a loop around the lake or take in the views on one of the benches. If you feel adventurous – there are some side trails that offer epic vistas of the Des Moines River Valley.


Beach to Dam Trail

The 1.45 mile Beach to Dam Trail at Lake Macbride State Park has got to be considered one of the best leisure hiking trails in the state. This trail offers views of two lakes, quiet spots to enjoy the outdoors and picturesque morning or evening views.

Iowa Hikes for Mom | Beach to Dam Trail

Park your car in the lot at the beach area. Walk down to the concession stand and you can see the trailhead across the cove to the west. The trail is shady with views of Lake Macbride as it winds along the shoreline.

The big payoff is at the end of the trail as it traverses the dam separating Coralville Reservoir and Lake Macbride. If you can time your hike right, the views here at sunrise or sunset are spectacular.


Turtle Lake Trail

A favorite northwest Iowa hike is the .5 mile Turtle Lake Trail in Stone State Park. The trail is not long but it’s full of scenic beauty. This is an excellent area to go birding with mom.

Iowa Hikes for Mom | Turtle Lake Trail

To find the trailhead, park your car at the Pammel Valley Shelter and head west along the creek. Watch for birds and water fowl on your walk towards Turtle Lake. I recommend bringing a picnic lunch to eat under a shade tree in the grass near the boat launch area.


Do you have any good memories of hiking with your mom? Are you a mom and have some Iowa hikes of your own? Feel free to describe your favorite trail hikes in the comments below.