Discover these hidden gems with help from Healthy Hometown Powered by Wellmark

One of the easiest ways to move more is to lace up your shoes and head outside for a walk. But, where do you go? If your neighborhood is hilly or doesn’t have many sidewalks, you might want to count that out for safety reasons. However, if you know where to look, you’ll find trails designed for walking, hiking, biking and more — all in your area.

Here are a few ways to discover trails near you:

  • Check your local parks and recreation department. On the Council Bluffs parks and recreation department website you can find activities, amenities and ideas to get active. Some parks even have trails or good places to walk.
  • Head to Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website. If you’re willing to go a little further away from home, check out the DNR. This gives you a list of state parks that have hiking trails, for example, as well as other outdoor recreational opportunities. The DNR may direct you to another organization that maintains trail information and maps, like the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. The Iowa DNR even put together a resource called 20 Walks in 2020 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Iowa State Parks.
  • Use a nationwide database. American Trails is a nationwide database that collects information on trail organizations and agencies by state, plus other resources like featured trails and trails that have won awards.
  • Download an app. There are many popular trail apps that you can download to quickly find walking, hiking and biking trails in your area.
    • The AllTrails app and website has a database of 50,000+ trails, which you can filter by length, rating and general difficulty.
    • TrailLink is like AllTrails but was created by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, so it features many trails that have been converted from old railroad tracks. These paths are often flat or gently sloping, making them easily accessible for anyone wanting to enjoy the outdoors. o
    • The Hiking Project app, from outdoor-equipment store R.E.I, showcases thousands of trail routes across the country if you’re looking for a bit of a challenging hike.
  • Talk to an expert. If you’re looking to up the difficulty of your go-to walking or hiking trail (and maybe need some new gear to match), try asking an employee at a local sporting goods store. Typically, these people are active and enthusiastic about sports and recreation, so they may have good recommendations for the best places to find good trails.

There’s lots of great ways and places to move more around the Council Bluffs community. You might even consider joining our #5kFriday group on Facebook or one of our fitness activities at Farmers Market Council Bluffs over the summer.

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