Bike Trails Near Des Moines

The Des Moines area offers access to a number of trails, including the following:

High Trestle Trail

Sights abound on this 25-mile route, which stretches from Ankeny to Woodward. Along with viewing the dozens of pieces of art that cover the 13-story Trestle Bridge, bikers can enjoy stunning views of the Des Moines River Valley.

Great Western Trail

Named for the abandoned Chicago Great Western rail line on which it is built, Great Western Trail passes through a mix of rural and urban settings along its 16.5 miles. Those looking for a relaxing ride have the opportunity to stop at several picnic spots, while more ambitious cyclists can extend their workouts via the connecting Bill Riley Trail.

Raccoon River Valley Trail

A $2 dollar entry fee (waived for children under 18) is all that is required to enjoy the 89 miles of the Raccoon River Valley Trail. Throughout the year, the trail hosts a number of special events, including the cycling-meets-bacon-eating BACooN Ride, which takes place each June.

About the Author:

Mark Allen Hanrahan photograph
Mark Allen Hanrahan of Markmel Co.

Mark Allen Hanrahan serves as managing partner of Markmel Co., a venture capital and real estate firm in the Des Moines metropolitan area. In his free time, Mark Allen Hanrahan enjoys cycling.

Volunteer to Support Des Moines Homeless Shelter


Central Iowa Shelter & Services pic
Central Iowa Shelter & Services

A certified public accountant (CPA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Mark Allen Hanrahan serves as a managing partner of Markmel Co LLC, a real estate and venture capital firm in Urbandale, Iowa. Alongside his career, Mark Allen Hanrahan supports the work of nonprofit organizations such as Central Iowa Shelter & Services (CISS).

From its headquarters in Des Moines, CISS serves individuals who are homeless by providing them with food, shelter, and additional services to help them transition from life on the street to autonomy. The shelter also relies on the efforts of donations to help change the lives of thousands of people each year.

Volunteers with CISS can help staff the front desk, assist with the food pantry and clothing closet, or serve meals to the shelter’s guests. Those with special skills can inquire about contributing their expertise to enhance the shelter’s services.

For more information about CISS, to become a volunteer, or to make a donation, visit The site also includes a list of items the shelter currently needs.

Des Moines Triathlon Club Works with Iowa Games Triathlon

Iowa Games Triathlon pic
Iowa Games Triathlon

A graduate of Drake University’s MBA program, Mark Allen Hanrahan serves as managing director of Markmel Co. LLC based out of Urbandale, Iowa. An active individual, Mark Allen Hanrahan participates in triathlons and sits on the board of the Des Moines Triathlon Club.

Formed in 2002, the Des Moines Triathlon Club seeks to increase awareness about the sport, offer financial support to those in financial need to participate, and help athletes achieve their goals. The organization began when Jason Halfpap and Andrew Shipley sought a network for other triathletes in the area. Through their efforts, the organization helped establish the Hy-Vee World Cup Triathlon, which is now known as the Des Moines Escape Triathlon.

In addition to its name, the Des Moines Triathlon Club has participants in the Iowa Games Triathlon. The 2017 race occurred on July 9 at Big Creek State Park in Polk City. The open course event had participants sharing the road with traffic, so during the cycling portion, participants could not wear headphones or use iPods and must have donned helmets. The race featured a swim distance of 1/4 mile, a bike portion for 20 kilometers, and a 5K run. Logan Marvin came in first overall with a time of 57:01, while Jennifer Groos came in first for females with a time of 1:03:35.