High 5 – Carl Voss

Photographer: Duane Tinkey

Des Moines councilman at large Carl Voss is a longtime cyclist, a co-founder of the Des Moines Bicycle Collective and a dedicated fundraiser for early trails. In fact, a section of a trail currently under development will be named after him.

We asked him to list some favorite features or spots along the trail network.

1. Bill Riley Trail
The portion of the trail from the Ashworth Pool to Water Works Park, built in 1973, was the first hard-surface recreational trail in the metro area. That mile-long original trail remains one of the best—and now has single-track trails branching off.

2. Meredith Trail
My favorite section crosses the rehabilitated Fifth Street Bridge. This bridge is so beautiful now with LED lights illuminating the steel structure between dusk and dawn. Don’t miss riding here at night! In the summer hours before dawn, I scan the Raccoon River here for a great blue heron in search of breakfast. Confluence Brewery is a few pedal strokes away.

3. Inter-Urban Trail
The Wakonsa Bridge across the Des Moines River is my don’t-miss feature on this trail. I’ve participated in several Bike Sunday Social picnics on this bridge; we bring our own folding chairs and tables. From here, trail users are completely surrounded by the river greenway. Yet about a half-mile to the west is civilization. How cool is that?

4. Waveland Trail
I always look forward to swooping south along the section from 56th Street to the Walnut Creek Trail connection. The path beneath a canopy of oak trees along Cumming Parkway shouldn’t be missed.

5. Gay Lea Wilson Trail
The trail along Fourmile Creek is incredibly peaceful from Easton to Hubbell. Huge trees line the trail. Be sure to stop and read about the creek improvements, including weirs and riverbank stabilization. Then, it’s on to Bondurant for breakfast!

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