Join us at REI for Dirt Trail Etiquette & Usage

Join CITA at REI in West Des Moines on Wednesday, August 3rd to talk about trail use and etiquette.

From REI's site:

Should you go hiking after it rains? Are you allowed to bring your dog? Join Central Iowa Trail Association (CITA) at REI as they discuss the appropriate usage of soft trails in the Des Moines metro, and what you should know before heading out. CITA will also provide information and maps about their maintained off-road trails for hiking, trail running, or mountain biking.

Ewing Park Flow Trail Update

UPDATED: We've raised $1k in less than 24 hours. Help us keep the momentum going to achieve our $5k goal!  Thank you if you've already given!     Donate via Paypal.

Great news! After years of planning, fundraising and grant writing we are finally within striking distance of making the Ewing flow trail a reality. As soon as this Fall we could have our very own bike-powered rollercoaster made of dirt!

Thanks to a recent $5,000 grant from Prairie Meadows we have reached $12,500 of our $22,500 total goal. To gain the last $10,000 that is needed, CITA has decided to kickstart the final push by allocating $5,000 of a recent REI grant to this project, meaning we only have $5,000 left to raise.

What will this money buy? A professionally designed and built system of 3 separate trails featuring one beginner (green) and 2 progressively difficult intermediate (blue, dark blue) routes. The system will be well-connected to Ewing's other trails and will feature a route to return to the top of the hill to do it all over again. This facility will be very unique to Iowa and will offer fun for all levels of riders from kids to serious gravity-loving daredevils.

See the map for a conceptual rendering of what the system will look like. Final design will be done in collaboration with the professional firm that is chosen for the work.

We have set up a Paypal page to so you can make a tax-deductible contribution (we are a 501c3) to this project. See the link for further details. Help us reach our $5,000 goal and then come on out in October to boldly explore the great mysteries of the Ewingverse....

Donate via Paypal.

Mock-up of the 3 proposed flow lines.  Top of image is "north", BMX track on the left, soap-box track along the bottom/south side. This is just south of McKinley Ave in Des Moines.

Mock-up of the 3 proposed flow lines.  Top of image is "north", BMX track on the left, soap-box track along the bottom/south side. This is just south of McKinley Ave in Des Moines.

A shot of a flow trail.

A shot of a flow trail.

Ewing Park Trails - Work day and Race!

Just a reminder we're hosting a workday at Ewing Park this Saturday, July 9th at 9am.  We want to put the final touches on the trails for the race coming up Sunday July 17th.

We're targeting mowing/trimming and a bridge project on Trail 1.

Come out and help us out - if you haven't been to Ewing yet, you should definitely check it out!

Check out the workday details on the Facebook event page.

Check out the race details on Facebook.

CITA Receives Grant from REI to Support New and Improved Dirt Trails in Des Moines

Des Moines, IA – The Central Iowa Trail Association (CITA) recently received a $10,000 grant from Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) to support new and improved dirt trails in the Des Moines area. Celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year, CITA has collaborated with the City of Des Moines, Polk County Conservation, and the Department of Natural Resources to build and maintain forty miles of singletrack trail for hiking, mountain biking, trail running, and bird watching. The organization plans to continue its growth in the community for many more years.

The grant will be used to help CITA maintain and refine existing completed trails as well as provide capital to pursue new trail sites in the Des Moines metro. In the last several years the City of Des Moines has partnered with CITA to close un-sustainable trail and replace it with professionally built, sustainable trail at Greenwood Park, in addition to breaking new ground on several miles of trail at Ewing Park and Grandview Park. CITA would like to continue this momentum and several potential new sites for singletrack development have been identified. Part of the grant funds will be used for professional teams to plan and design trail systems that utilize the Iowa terrain and can be enjoyed by various users.

New to the West Des Moines community in the fall of 2015, REI shares CITA’s passion and commitment to the soft trails in the area. REI has already collaborated with CITA for CITA’s annual Des Moines Dirty Duathlon, and REI has presented a local dirt trail class for interested trail users. CITA and REI will continue to partner together to inspire new trail users.

About Central Iowa Trail Association (CITA)

Founded in 1996, CITA in a not-for-profit subordinate to the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) working to educate Iowans on the value of sustainable multi-use natural surface wilderness paths often hidden within the City. CITA’s central purpose is to encourage outdoor activity and wellness by designing, constructing and maintaining shared use trails in partnership with city, county, state, and private landowners. CITA educates land managers and trail users through advocacy, mapping, planning, outreach, trail work days and social events. The organization is entirely based on volunteers, including its trail stewards, board members, and contribution members. For information on upcoming CITA events and volunteer opportunities, visit

About Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)

REI’s core purpose is to inspire, educate and outfit people in order to experience the benefits of active outdoor lifestyles, protecting and enhancing shared natural spaces, and mentoring the next generation of outdoor stewards. Each year, REI donates millions of dollars to support conservation efforts nationwide and sends dedicated teams of volunteers—members, customers and REI employees—to build trails, clean up beaches, restore local habitats and more. Through responsible business practices across the company, REI strives to reduce their environmental footprint. For more information about REI’s stewardship and work in the community, visit

Introducing CITA Mobile

Check local trail conditions with CITA's new mobile web app.

This includes local trails and other systems in the area.

Open and bookmark this link in your browser from any device:

Add it to your homescreen for quick access.

Anyone can update status using their Facebook or Google login.

Trail status is updated on too.

We'll be adding other features over time and based on your feedback.

Let us know what you think.

Join us for Mountain Bike Mondays in May for Bike Month

Join members of Central Iowa Trails Association (CITA) for a ride on Mountain Bike Mondays each Monday at 6:00 PM in May, weather permitting.

CITA will be showcasing the natural surface trails in the Des Moines Metro developed in cooperation with local public authorities. All you have to do is bring your off road capable bike and helmet and meet at the location below. If you don’t have an appropriate bike grab your hiking boots or running shoes and we’ll make sure you get acquainted with the trails as well.

All of the trails in the area have something to offer for kids, novice, or advanced riders so we will split into groups depending on bike type and the level of challenge you are looking for. 

Weekly Events:

May 2 - Banner Lakes @ Summerset State Park - Facebook event

May 9 - Center Trails @ Ashworth Park - Facebook event

May 16 - Grandview Park - Facebook event

May 23 - Sycamore Trail - Facebook event

May 30 - Ewing Park - Facebook event

Check here and the Facebook event page for cancellations or location changes related to inclement weather or unsuitable trail conditions. CITA Members donate hundreds of hours each year building and maintaining these trails so please stay off wet or muddy trails year round. Remember the number one rule for using dirt trails, if you make a track, please turn back.

Beaver Ave bridge closure - Sycamore Trail impacts

The Beaver Avenue bridge that traverses Interstate 80 on the north side of Des Moines is expected to close Monday, March 7th. The roadway will most likely remain closed until sometime in November according to the Iowa DOT.

The bridge closure will impact the dirt trail under Beaver Ave bridge.  The Sycamore trail runs parallel to Beaver Creek where it intersects the Trestle paved trail.

We are speaking with the DOT next week (Mon, Mar 7th) to find out more about their project and assess options for re-routing the trail around the construction.

More to come...

2016 CITA Election Results

Thank you to everyone that voted in our recent board election!

We'd like to welcome new members Nate Cline, Todd Slaymaker, and Zach Bonzer!

We'd also like to thank Matt Gumm, Steve Wiseman, Doc Finck, Mary Boles, and Randy Aldridge for their time and efforts during this past term.  Thank you!

The board is made up of local volunteers who have a passion for building and maintaining dirt trails for everyone to enjoy.

The board meets on the first Tuesday of each month.  Location changes depending on room availability - but we are looking for a semi-permanent location.  Our meetings are open to members and non-members, and we'd love to have you join us.  Reach out and we'll let you know when and where.

Please feel free to reach out to any one of us with questions, comments, and ideas.

Returning board members include:

Nick Ludwig, President
Aaron Vance, Vice President
Cheryl Dralle, Treasurer
Phil Kabrick
Andy Peterson
Evan Koester
Jared Morford
John Millanes