Great Western Trail

Great Western
Great Western

This 16.5 mile recreational trail begins near Water Works Park in Des Moines to the town of Martensdale in Warren County. The trail has an asphalt surface. The Great Western Trail opened in 1992, one hundred years after its establishment as a rail line from Des Moines to St. Joseph, Missouri. It is named for the Chicago Great Western Company whose trains operated on this line from 1892 to 1968.


Trailheads are located on George Flagg Parkway in Des Moines and at Inwood Street in Martensdale (Warren County). 

Des Moines Trailhead is across the street from 

Izaak Walton League

4343 George Flagg Parkway

Des Moines, IA 50321


Click on this link for a map and more information: Great Western Trailhead in Des Moines 



  • Biking
  • Hiking

Operating Hours & Seasons

  • Summer Hours (April 1 -October 31) | 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
    • The north side of Easter Lake Park is open sunrise to sunset year-round.
    • Fort Des Moines Park is open 8 a.m. to sunset year-round.
  • Winter Hours (November 1 - March 31) | Sunrise to sunset