Brown’s Woods Nature Trail

West Des Moines, Iowa

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This hike is a “double loop,” or two trails linked together, and is located inside the largest urban forest preserve in Iowa: Brown’s Woods, 484 wooded acres that hug the Raccoon River just inside the Des Moines suburb of West Des Moines. Brown’s Woods is also part of the Makoke (MAHkoh- kay) birding trail, which encompasses several sites in central Iowa. The hike is notable for the cacophonous sound of woodpeckers at work, including the yellow-bellied sapsucker and yellow-brown flicker.

Brown’s Woods Nature Trail Professional Review and Guide

"This hike is a “double loop,” or two trails linked together, and is located inside the largest urban forest preserve in Iowa: Brown’s Woods, 484 wooded acres that hug the Raccoon River just inside the Des Moines suburb of West Des Moines. Brown’s Woods is also part of the Makoke (MAHkoh- kay) birding trail, which encompasses several sites in central Iowa. The hike is notable for the cacophonous sound of woodpeckers at work, including the yellow-bellied sapsucker and yellow-brown flicker."

Activity Type: Cross-Country Skiing, Hiking
Nearby City: West Des Moines
Distance: 1.9
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 1 hour
Season: Spring through Fall
Local Contacts: Brown's Woods
Local Maps: USGS Des Moines SW; trail map posted at parking area
Driving Directions: Directions to Brown’s Woods Nature Trail

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May 2018