Sunday, December 23, 2012

Trail Conditions December 23, 2012

Bill Riley Trail december 22, 2012, 12 pm

December 23, 2012

First of all, hats off and a round of applause to the City of Des Moines and its workers for clearing off these trails from the 11.8 inches of snow that invaded our fair city on Wednesday and Thursday.  Please keep up the good work.  I remember a time when this was never done.  Want my bike off the streets?  Plow the trails!

These are the trails I rode and explored in the past 24 hours or so.

Gray's Lake and connecting trails

Clear.  MLK Trail and the bypass trail to Water Works have been plowed.  Meredith Trail cleared.  This was done on Friday the day after Draco hit.

East River/Neal Smith/Principal River Walk

Clear.  The section between University Bridge and Adulterers Row* not clear do to construction but it is a short walk to the cleared section starting underneath the bridge.

After Lutheran Hospital it's a bit icy to Penn Ave.

Penn Ave to Union Park gradually becomes worse.  The houses at the top of the hill across from the park were plowed BUT subsequent plowing of Penn Ave dumps snow and ice and ice boulders on to the trail.  Take the street to Birdland.

Neal Smith Trail just shy of InterUrban Bridge

Birdland to InterUrban Bridge is good.  A bit bumpy underneath trees from the snow and ice that fell off the trees but ok. 

The trail north of the bridge was clear but no information on how far it was plowed.

InterUrban Bridge to Beaverdale 

Good.  No issues except the entrance to the trail on Urbandale Ave.  Big thick ice.

Trestle to Trestle

Forgot to note as I rode by twice.  My bad.

Bill Riley Trail

Mary on the Bill Riley Trail at Craig Lein's Bench

Cleared from Water Works to the turn to the Art Center.  2 trees down as of Saturday.  City work with chainsaw was working on one.  This section is passable for fat bikes and regular MTBs with or without studded tires IF they ride on the fat bike tracks.  I did pull a Burley trailer through this section.  No update for Sunday.

Walnut Creek/Windsor Heights Trail

Was not plowed from BR Art Center turn on Saturday.  But at 63rd and Grand it was plowed going north to WalMart and beyond.  Did not go beyond WalMart but it looked plowed further on.

Clive Greenbelt

Did not see.  Last year this was the poorest cleared trail we rode on.

Windsor Heights to Urbandale

no information.  Mary says they do a decent job plowing this.  She commutes on this trail all year.

Great Western Trail

Polk County refuses to clear it citing cross country skis.  Failure to do so encourages snow mobiles.  Take the back roads.

Des Moines River Trail

Our newest path was clean.  Nice job!

If you know anymore conditions please reply or send me a message.

*termed this by Jason Boten who noticed more than once during pre-dawn commutes that there would be two cars and one car had very steaming windows!


  1. Winsor Heights trail from Walmart was clear to School Street. After that, trees down, but it's a combo of clear and ridable in the snow going through bobcat tracks.

    Oddly enough, Urbandale's trail system from Hickman to Walker Johnson Park was NOT plowed yesterday. Really surprising. Passable on a fatbike, barely passable on a MTB.

  2. I'll also add that The City of Grimes, they who have mandated that all bikes shall ride on the side path, and not on the street, has NOT cleared their path as of yesterday. Wondering when THAT'S going to get done. If I don't see any action by tomorrow, I'm going to call them.

    1. Definitely call em on it. 1st they break State Law and then force bikers to break their law. Some sort of Critical Mass on a snow day...