Iowa Great Lakes Corridor and East-West Connector
Length: 37 miles for Iowa Great Lakes corridor, 30 miles for east-west connector
These two connecting routes are part of an overall regional trails plan that connects northwest Iowa. Although these connectors are fairly long, the route itself has little difficulty. Along the route, you can expect to see open farmland with several cities. However, the highlight of the route would have to be Kings Pointe and the parks along the lake.
North-South Link Route
Length: 17 Miles
This route is also part of the Iowa Great Lakes corridor. It heads north out of Storm Lake and terminates at the trail head of several scenic bike loops.
Northeast Loop Route
Length: 44 Miles
This 44-mile loop takes you around the upper reaches of the Raccoon River, connecting four of Buena Vista County’s smaller cities. Although much of this route is an easy ride, the long length in conjunction with a few hills near Sioux Rapids, that have quite a bite, help this route earn its’ advanced difficulty. The route takes you a half-mile from the Thresherman’s site where on the second weekend in August a large celebration takes place. It is simply a must-see for any newcomers to the area.
Southeast Loop Route
Length: 57 Miles
The Southeast loop is the longest loop the county has to offer. It is a perfect choice for those who want an easy yet long ride. Along the way you can find any of the five cities, this route connects to. These cities are spaced out along the route every 5 to 13 miles, to allow for several good resting spots along the way.
West Loop Route
Length: 50 Miles
The western loop connects Storm Lake and Alta, while also going around the south side of the lake. The trail also goes north almost to Linn Grove before heading back south, and traveling though Buena Vista Counties wind farms. The rolling hills along this route and especially the hills on the northern part of this loop help this trail earn its’ advanced difficulty.
Storm Lake and Hanover Loop Route
Length: 12 Miles for the Storm lake Loop and 10 miles for the Hanover Loop
The Storm Lake Loop is by far the most used in the county. It takes you around the lake to see all the parks and activities along the way. The route is mostly flat with a few small hills. The highlight of this route would be the lake and all the activates available. The Hanover loop spurs off from the western loop and is the safest route for bikes to travel to the Hanover site. There are several rolling hills along the way, however the route isn’t long enough to earn a more difficult rating.
Little Sioux and Raccoon River Mountain Biking Trails
Length: 23 Miles for the Little Sioux River and 11 miles for the Raccoon River tail.
Difficulty: Extreme, Beginner
The Little Sioux River bike loop is not for the faint of heart. Up to 50% of the roads are gravel including some of the most brutal hills the county has to offer. The trail features several hills that have greater than a 10% grade with the steepest reaching 13%. However, the pain is worth it because you will be riding though some of the most scenic parts of northwest Iowa. Wildlife is everywhere. You are all but guaranteed to see deer and other mammals along with many rare birds and even bald eagles. You can also find some beautiful scenic overlooks and endangered plant species. The Raccoon River is a far easier ride but also has over 50% being on gravel. It connects with two conservation parks along the river and features grasslands, and prairie animals.