12 Best Iowa Snowmobile Trails Adventure & Explore 2022

Iowa Snowmobile Trails: It is the Hawkeye State of Iowa is well-known for its winter cold and gorgeous landscapes, which are perfect to explore with your snowmobile. 

With gently rolling hills and wide plains of flat land, There are plenty of trails to explore.

iowa snowmobile trails

January is the coldest month in Iowa and the snow could begin to fall by the end of November. 

The winters are in Iowa can be rough however, there are lots of enjoyable recreational activities and adventures to take part in, such as snowmobiling. What are the most popular snowmobile trails in Iowa?

These are our choices for the top 12 Iowa trail snowmobiling:

  1. Backbone State Park
  2. Big Creek State Park
  3. Chichaqua Valley Trail
  4. Cinder Path
  5. Heart of Iowa Nature Trail
  6. Heritage Trail
  7. Prairie Farmer Trail
  8. Raccoon River Valley Trail
  9. Sauk Rail Trail
  10. Solon-Lake Macbride Recreation Trail
  11. Three Rivers Trail
  12. Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

Let’s explore the snowmobile tracks located in Iowa to plan your winter trip.

12 Best Iowa Snowmobile Trails

12 Best Iowa Snowmobile Trails

1. Backbone State Park

Backbone State Park is Iowa’s oldest state park. The park has 21 miles of trails for multi-use which wind through old cedars as well as rocky areas.

It is prohibited to snowmobile within the State Forest, but sleds can be loaded in the parking area and taken towards the entrance to the park’s parking area.

Apart from the snowmobiling experience, Backbone State Park is also accessible for cross country skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking, boating, fishing, and hiking. Wildlife viewing is another delight for those who visit.

Visitors are able to stay in the cabins that are modernized in the park. To go snowmobiling, make sure you check the trails using a reliable trail map. Before you go out, be sure that you’re aware of the weather conditions that are in effect for your day. To ensure safety there are trails that have been established for snowmobiles. It is not permitted to trailblaze.

2. Big Creek State Park

Most often regarded as the most well-known trail for snowmobiles of Iowa The 3500-acre Big Creek State Park offers 13 miles of snowmobile trails around the lake’s 814 acres. 

It is located just 20 miles far from Des Moines and 2 miles north of Polk City, this family-friendly park offers picnic facilities as well as outdoor recreation.

It’s a popular Iowa outdoor spot throughout the season. There are many activities to enjoy, including swimming cycling, boating, and fishing as well as disc golf. 

In the winter months, it’s a fantastic location for cross-country and snowmobiling skiing. A well-groomed trail for snowmobiling is filled with gentle twists.

There is no camping at the state park however there are numerous camping spots around Saylorville Lake. Go to the site for more details.

3. Chichaqua Valley Trail

In the past, there was a time when the Chichaqua Valley Trail was a railroad bed. The hard-surfaced blacktop trail provides a 20-mile snowmobile path that runs across Bondurant up to Baxter. 

The trail is lined with trees runs along the forested banks of Skunk River and provides riders with stunning views of farms and prairies. Fox Indians called the river “Chichaqua,” thus the name of the track.

It is among Iowa’s first rail-trail converts. It continues to follow the original railroad route that connected Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska.

From the sprawling suburban area of Mally’s Weh Weh-Neh Kee Park in Berwick, the riders travel through the rural Iowa farms before reaching Bondurant. The town’s trailhead park is home to drinking water and restrooms.

Bondurant from Bondurant to Baxter From Baxter to Bondurant, fields of wildflowers provide stunning perspectives along this curvy trail with plenty of opportunities to see wildlife. 

You’ll know you’ve reached the end of this trail at Baxter when you spot an old wooden caboose that was restored in 1913. You can find restrooms taverns cafes and shops in Baxter.

4. Cinder Path

Cinder Path lies in Lucas as well as Wayne counties, which are located in the southern region of Iowa. It provides 13.5 miles of outdoor activities like mountain biking, biking walking, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. 

The mostly shaded made of cinder and crushed stone is a trail that runs through farmlands as well as wetlands that run through its Chariton River Valley. The hikers will see fields of prairies, wildflowers, and a variety of wildlife.

It is located at the Cinder Trail Humeston Trailhead is located at an intersection between Fletcher St. And Eaton St.

5. Heart of Iowa Nature Trail (HOINT)

The 32 mile Heart of Iowa Nature Trail (HOINT) is a favored recreational trail that is used for mountain biking, horseback riding, or hiking, and when the weather permits cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. 

The HOINT forms part of the Great American Rail Trail, the first multi-use cross-country trail, which stretches greater than 3700 miles, spanning from Washington State and Washington D.C.

The majority of the trail is made of crushed limestone, with a few stretches of asphalt. The beautiful trail weaves through the classic Iowa farms and forested areas as well as wetland zones. The HOINT is connected to it with the High Trestle Trail in Slater.

The trailheads of Slater, Huxley, Collins, and Rhodes include bathrooms and water facilities.

6. Heritage Trail

 Heritage Trail

Heritage Trail offers 29.4 miles of scenic trails all year round that was once a railway traversing old mill and mining towns, as well as a 450-foot valley. 

The rough beauty that is this region of the Upper Midwest welcomes thousands of people each year for cycling or boating, fishing or picnicking, hiking, and snowmobiling.

The path between Dubuque to Dyersville is suitable for snowmobiles if there are at least four inches of snow. Other winter sports include cross-country and inline skiing.

The Heritage Trail weaves along for more than thirty miles, from Dubuque through Dyersville. 

The trail is where the film, Field of Dreams was shot. The trail winds through the valley alongside the Little Maquoketa River, a few farms, and the former communities of mining.

7. Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail

The Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail stretches from Calmar to Cresco. The trail, which is 20 miles long, is open for outdoor activities in all seasons.

The trail is a great opportunity to experience wonderful Northeast Iowa outdoors while walking and biking, rollerblading, and walking. In the winter months, there are many cross-country skiers as well as snowmobiles. 

Snowmobiles are only permitted between Ridgeway and close to Cresco. Ridgeway Park on the east side of town is the best access.

Its trails for snowmobiles are well-maintained it connects 7 communities to Cresco. Over 250 miles of trail lead tourists through the stunning river valleys that run along with Upper Iowa as well as the Turkey rivers.

There are parking and picnic facilities in the park, pit toilets, water, and shelter. There’s also a playground for children.

Visit this Winneshiek County Conservation website for more details.

8. Raccoon River Valley Trail (RRVT)

The entire 89 mile Raccoon River Valley Trail is an asphalted, multi-use recreational trail that runs through 14 communities across three counties. 

It offers amazing opportunities and views for runners hikers and riders on rollerblades or skateboards. 

When winter arrives, and Iowa snowmobile trails conditions are favorable the trail to be crowded with snowshoers, cross-country skiers, and snowmobilers.

If you want to go snowmobiling in the area, it has north and south routes. The south route stretches starting from Waukee to the Waukee parking lot all the way to Jefferson and the north route starts starting from Waukee to the Waukee parking lot all the way to Dallas Center. 

Note that snowmobiles aren’t allowed to travel within the City that is Dallas Center. The cities that permit snowmobiles are Minburn, Dawson, and Jamaica. Snowmobiles aren’t allowed through the Perry area. Perry However, there is an alternative route.

Trail users aged 18 or older must obtain an annual permit. Permits for annual use can be used from January through December. 

They can be obtained on the internet as well as at the Dallas County Conservation Board administration office.

9. Sauk Rail Trail

The 323.2 mile Sauk Rail Trail weaves through Carroll and Sac Counties. The asphalt/concrete trail is available for biking, skating inline, and hiking, as well as cross-country skiing as well as snowmobiling. 

Visitors can take in some of the most beautiful landscapes of the west-central part of Iowa including fields of rolling prairies, farmlands wooded and wetlands.

Sauk Rail Trail Sauk Rail Trail is the first trail for recreation in Iowa that connects two state parks, Blackhawk Lake State Park and Swan Lake State Park. 

The trail runs through private property. When trails are opened, riders are advised to use trails marked only.

For more information on the fees charged and permit requirements, visit the page.

10. Solon-Lake Macbride Recreation Trail

The Solon Lake Macbride Recreation Trail offers 5 miles of breathtaking views for tourists as it weaves through the forest-lined Northern Lake Macbride shore. 

The trail is accessible to hike, cycle, and in winter for snowmobiling and skiing. The park also provides fishing boats, fishing, as well as other outdoor activities. 

The trail’s access and parking area are located at Lake Macbride State Park or Solon close to Racine Avenue.

11. Three Rivers Trail

The 33-mile Three Rivers Trail links five communities along a stagecoach route. This crushed stone trail runs through three counties namely Humboldt, Pocahontas, and Wright, and provides visitors with miles of gorgeous valleys, woodlands along with open plains.

The trail’s name was derived because it runs through three rivers – Boone River and the east and west Des Moines River forks. 

Three Rivers Trail is open all year round for outdoor activities like riding, camping, biking and fishing, horseback riding running, and hiking.

If the weather is good during winter, families travel on the Three Rivers Trail for snowmobiling as well as snowshoeing as well as cross-country skiing. For more details, call Trail management.

12. Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

The Wapsi-Great Western Line’s 27-mile Trail runs across Howard as well as Mitchell counties. It is an interstate trail designated that links Iowa as well as Minnesota’s Shooting Star Trail. 

It has northern and southern branches and the trailhead is located in Riceville. This Northern branch extends up beyond the Minnesota border, while the Southern branch connects Riceville with Elma.

Rail trails are accessible for fishing, biking, and snowmobiling. It is also a great place to hike, as well as cross-country ski. 

Visitors can enjoy beautiful rolling landscapes that are typical of Iowa’s farmscapes and wetlands, tree canopy, and even a lake. It also takes you through Iowa’s biggest wind farm as well as the Old Order Amish.

Snowmobiling Regulations in Iowa

Snowmobiling Regulations in Iowa

Iowa has set out rules for snowmobiling, which include the annual renewal of registrations for snowmobiles between September and December. 

Snowmobiles registered in the Recreational Vehicle and Vessel Registration System (RVVRS) are required to register with the County Recorder’s Office in the county in which the owner lives.

For snowmobiles that are registered by RVVRS, Iowa Resident User Permits can be bought on the Iowa DNR Online License and Registration website.

Iowa’s state law Iowa requires snowmobile riders aged 12-17 to complete a snowmobile-related education course. 

They must carry an education certificate in their vehicle when they ride on snowmobile trails that are designated for them.

Conclusion – 12 Best Iowa Snowmobile Trails

Again What are the top 12 ski trails for snowmobiling in Iowa? Here are our top recommendations:

  1. Backbone State Park
  2. Big Creek State Park
  3. Chichaqua Valley Trail
  4. Cinder Path
  5. Heart of Iowa Nature Trail
  6. Heritage Trail
  7. Prairie Farmer Trail
  8. Raccoon River Valley Trail
  9. Sauk Rail Trail
  10. Solon-Lake Macbride Recreation Trail
  11. Three Rivers Trail
  12. Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

As the snow begins to fall, a lot of Iowa parks and trails turn into an ideal winter destination for snowmobiling and other outdoor activities. 

If you’re a fan of the trails during the summer, winter is an experience unlike any other.

The frigid air in Iowa and the blue skies aren’t the only things that can make you swoon. 

Your journey will lead you through vast open landscapes and lakes, wildflowers, forests, prairies valleys, historic landmarks, and famous farms.

Do you have to have insurance on a snowmobile in Iowa?

Insurance coverage isn’t obligatory in Iowa. However, every snowmobiler must carry IDNR snowmobile permits and proof of registration for their snowmobile while operating on public land. Various insurance companies will cover your snowmobile if you’re willing to.

Is it legal to ride a snowmobile on the road in Iowa?

A person cannot operate a snowmobile on roadways or highways unless allowed in the Iowa Code Chapter 321G.
Does Iowa have snowmobile trails?
Big Creek State Park. It is often regarded as the most well-known trails for snowmobiling in Iowa The 3500-acre Big Creek State Park offers 13 miles of snowmobile trails around the lake, which is 814 acres. It is located just 20 miles far from Des Moines and 2 miles north of Polk City, this family-friendly park is a great spot for picnics as well as outdoor activities.

What makes snowmobile insurance so costly? 

The cost of your insurance for snowmobiles will be higher in the event that you have an expensive vehicle. This is in order to ensure that you are covered for replacement costs in the event that it is destroyed or stolen. Additional coverages may cost more.

Why is snowmobile insurance so expensive?

What makes snowmobile insurance so costly? Your insurance for snowmobiles will be higher if you have an expensive vehicle. This ensures that you are covered for replacement costs if it is destroyed or stolen. Additional coverages may cost more.

Does a snowmobile have a title in Iowa?

Snowmobiles registered before January 1998 must be registered with the title. The registration cost is $17.75 and is valid from January 1st through December 31st each year. Any transfers not made within 30 days of the date of sale are subject to an additional $5.00 penalty, in addition to the usual costs.

What is the best fit for clothing when snowmobiling?

The clothing must fit comfortably and feel comfortable. A loose-fitting garment could catch on your sledge, twigs and even branches.   

Which of the following actions should be taken before trailering your snowmobile?

Which of the following steps must be done before you begin to trailer your snowmobile? Verify the tire’s pressure. What is the reason it is strongly suggested that your helmet be changed every couple of years? What is the reason to make sure your snowmobile is adjusted to suit your riding style before setting out?

Does Wisconsin require snowmobile insurance?

Wisconsin is not a state with laws requiring insurance on snowmobiles and ATVs. The law, in effect, will require everyone to carry liability insurance for their vehicle but not full coverage.

Do I need insurance on my snowmobile in MN?

While Minnesota law doesn’t need any insurance coverage for snowmobiles as they are not licensed for use on roads, We strongly advise our clients to get a particular policy for their snowmobile because similar exposures to those of licensed vehicles are present for snowmobiles.

Are snowmobiles street legal in Alaska?

Alaska is the sole jurisdiction in northern North America that does not have a snowmobile-specific state educational program. Similar to the Alaskan State Boating Safety Program, an adapted program for snowmobilers could provide the basics of safety, riding, and the legal obligations that come with riding snowmobiles on public land.

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