Whiterock Conservancy – Coon Rapids

Trail Type:  Singletrack, some doubletrack

Surface: Unpaved

Distance: 6 miles, up to 30 miles connected in resort

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The Whiterock Conservancy is a 5,500 acre land trust and recreation area located near Coon Rapids, Iowa. The area boasts 30 miles of singletrack and doubletrack trail combined. In addition, the resort has hiking, camping, water trails, and equestrian trails.  It is a perfect weekend getaway for the outdoor adventurer.  

The land the Whiterock Conservancy is on was the edge of the glacier progression, so much of the area is hilly, with steep bluffs and challenging climbs.  The topography is optimized for the mountain bike enthusiast. There have been 16 miles of singletrack trail constructed on the property with an additional 12 miles of shared use trails.  

The area is historically significant.  The Garst Farms hosted Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev on his first visit to the United States.  Visitors can tour and stay in the farmhouse where Krushchev stopped over on the visit.  Other overnight accommodations are available including primitive camping, cabins, and a farmhouse.

The area is simply beautiful and lush with nature and scenery. And the bicycling is just as fantastic.  The bench-cut trails are flowy but punctuated by steep climbs and switchbacks.  Most of the trail is covered by a wooded canopy, but the peaks open up to a view of the Middle Raccoon River Valley. The trail surface is a combination of thick black soil and pockets of sand. There are a few technically tricky areas, but mostly expect an undulating trail that is enjoyable to ride.

If you wish to make a weekend of the experience, the nearby Raccoon River Valley Trail can be a great ride.  Perry, Iowa is 30 minutes from Coon Rapids, Iowa and is a hub on the RRVT.  Be sure to visit the historic Hotel Pattee if you are looking for luxury accommodations or a great meal.  Woodward, Iowa is 15 minutes further and is a hub for the High Trestle Trail.  Ankeny, Iowa is on the southern end of the High Trestle Trail and connects to the Chichaqua Valley Trail. Finally, the Des Moines area is a huge draw for trail fans.

Other trails at Whiterock:

Combine the Shooting Star Trail with parts of the Little Dipper and Big Dipper Trails to make a longer ride.