The Walnut Creek Trail is a beautiful 3.2-mile creekside trail in Windsor Heights. It’s terrific on its own, but it’s also a vital trail connector between Des Moines and the western suburbs!
The Walnut Creek Trail
This is a scenic paved trail that extends southeast from Colby Park in Windsor Heights to the Bill Riley Trail near Ashworth Park in Des Moines. It’s a popular connector to the extensive Central Iowa Trail network.
The trail’s south end joins Bill Riley Trail, providing access to Des Moines parks and trails. From downtown, you can find trails heading in every direction!
Know Before You Go!
- If the creek is flooding, part of the trail is likely underwater!
- Colby Park is a great place to start or stop. It has an excellent playground, picnic tables, and restrooms, along with a community center, tennis court, and ball fields.
- Walnut Creek Trail is a connector to hundreds of miles of paved trails in the Des Moines area and beyond.
- Center Trails and Denman’s Woods hiking and mountain bike trails are off Walnut Creek Trail and Bill Riley Trail, near Ashworth Park.
Colby Park in Windsor Heights is an excellent place to get on the trail. It’s at 6900 School St, Windsor Heights, IA 50324, east of 73rd Street at 69th and School Streets.
The trail’s south endpoint connects to Bill Riley Trail south of Ashworth Park. To get on the trail from here, park at the end of 45th St. in Ashworth Park. Take Bill Riley Trail south, about .4 miles to access the trail.
You can also access the trail around Grand and 63rd Street at the Aliber Soccer Complex.
On the north end of the trail, the Clive Greenbelt Trail begins near Colby Park. It’s a beautiful 11-mile trail that extends west along Walnut Creek through Clive. On the western end, you can get on the 89-mile Raccoon River Valley Trail along Hickman Road.
On the south end of the trail, Bill Riley Trail extends south of Ashworth Park. It goes southeast through Water Works Park and connects to several trails in downtown Des Moines.
The two main connectors are the Clive Greenbelt Trail and Bill Riley Trail. But you can also access the Levee Trail and Waveland Trail from Walnut Creek:
- Waveland Trail is a 1.7-mile trail that meets up with the trail south of Colby Park and north of Grand Avenue. This trail heads northeast. It follows 56th street on the west edge of Waveland Golf Course and Glendale Cemetery.
- Levee Trail meets up with the trail at the North Valley Drive Bridge over Walnut Creek. From there, Levee Trail heads south and west for about 3 miles to Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines. The Denman’s Woods hiking and mountain bike trail is off Levee Trail near the North Valley Drive Bridge.
Walnut Creek Trail Facts
- Location: Windsor Heights to Des Moines
- Distance: 3.2 miles
- Surface: Asphalt
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Description: The trail runs along Walnut Creek from Colby Park in Windsor Heights, southeast to the Bill Riley Trail in Des Moines.
- Trailheads: Colby Park
- Connectors: Clive Greenbelt Trail, Bill Riley Trail, Waveland Trail, Levee Trail