Skunk River Greenbelt

The Skunk River Greenbelt stretches from Story City to Ames, with the Water Trail extending south to Cambridge, IA . 

Amenities: Bicycling, Canoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Designated Public Hunting Area (no target practice; only non-toxic ammunition is allowed), Equestrian use, Free Parking, Hiking, Kayaking, Off-road Bicycling, Pets Allowed, Pond and River Fishing, and Skunk River Water Trail Canoe Access.

Public Hunting Brochure 


Public Fishing Brochure


Water Trail – South Skunk River Map


SCC Rules and Regulations


Greenbelt Access Points:
  • E-18 Greenbelt Access (56342 130th St., Story City, 50248) .2 miles west of I-35
  • Anderson Canoe Access (56743 150th St., Story City, 50248) .1 mile west of Pleasant Valley Rd
  • Crooked Bend (15997 Pleasant Valley Rd., Story City, 50248) 1 mile south of 150th Street
  • Bear Creek (16415 Pleasant Valley Rd., Story City, 50248) 1.6 miles south of 150th Street
  • Soper's Mill (56501 170th St., Ames, 50010)
  • McFarland Park (56461 180th St., Ames, 50010)
  • Peterson Park-East (55756 180th St., Ames, 50010) 1.75 miles east of Highway 69
  • Peterson Park-West (55310 180th St., Ames, 50010) 1.5 miles east of Highway 69


The Skunk River Greenbelt is open to pedestrians and off-road bicyclists only from Sopers Mill (170th) to Bear Creek. It is open to pedestrians, off-road bicyclists, and equestrians from the Anderson Canoe Access (150th) to the E18 Greenbelt Access.  

All trails in McFarland Park are open to pedestrians and most are open to off-road bicyclists. Watch for signs. We have posted No Bikes signs on some trails due to heavy pedestrian use and to protect extensive stairway systems.  

Trails in Peterson Park are open to pedestrians, off-road bicyclists, and equestrians.  

Trail Etiquette - Trail users should respect the environment and their trails by following these user ethics:
  • Educate yourself by reviewing trail maps and regulations and following signs.
  • Respect the rights of others.
  • When cyclists encounter hikers, slow down to their speed, or stop and pull over.  If approaching from the rear, greet them or sound a handlebar bell; then pass slowly. 
  • If approaching equestrians from the front, ALWAYS stop, pull over and let them pass. If approaching from the rear, ask them which is the best way to proceed. Ride slowly or walk around the horse and rider.
  • Use designated trails approved for your particular activity.
  • Stay on the trail treadway.
  • Enjoy the flora, fauna, geological, and archaeological wonders, and leave them for others to appreciate.
  • Avoid excessively wet or muddy trails. Waiting 24 hours after a rain event is recommended.
  • Ride in small groups, keeping them smaller than five if possible.
  • Wear a helmet.  Park staff appreciate your concern for your own safety, as well as for others.

Operating Hours & Seasons

Park hours are 5:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. daily.


This area is open year round.

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