Volksweg Trail

Volksweg is a Dutch word meaning “people’s path,” and this unique trail serves as a path connecting the picturesque city of Pella to the recreation areas of Lake Red Rock. The trail traverses timbered areas, restored prairies, pine plantations and open fields while offering spectacular views of Lake Red Rock.


Length: 14.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: Greenway, Nature Trail, Urban Trail
Agency: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Bicycling (on pavement)
Boating, Motorized
Boating, non-motorized: Canoeing
Boating, non-motorized: Kayaking
Boating, non-motorized: Sailing
Dogs - On leash
Equestrian - Riding
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Roller/Inline Skating
Snow - Cross-country Skiing
Snow - Snow Play, General
Snow - Snowshoeing
Wildlife Observation

     Water related activities take place at Lake Red Rock only

See more details.


Location: This trail runs parallel to a country road from Pella to Lake Red Rock. From there, the trail follows the Des Moines River and winds through the North Overlook Woods, then continues along the north side of the lake to the Fifield Recreation Area.

State(s): Iowa
Counties: Marion
Longitude: -93.05155
Latitude: 41.41986

Driving Directions

The trailhead for the Volksweg Trail is at the Pella Public Library along University Ave in the southwest portion of Pella. The end trailhead is at Fifield Recreation Area on the northeast portion of Lake Red Rock.


The 14 mile Volksweg Trail traverses timbered areas, restored prairies, pine plantations and open fields between Pella and Lake Red Rock in Marion County, Iowa. Volksweg, or “people’s path”, follows the Des Moines River and winds through the North Overlook Woods offering spectacular scenic views of Lake Red Rock. While most slopes on the Volksweg Trail are less than 5%, some approach 7%, allowing for a stimulating biking or jogging experience. On the trail, visitors can catch glimpses of game and non-game animals, as well as a variety of birds, including Bald Eagles throughout the year. This is a 10’ wide paved trail, closed to motorized traffic and maintained through a combined effort of the Marion County Conservation Board, the city of Pella, and the Army Corp of Engineers.

The primary trailhead is located at the Public Library Trailhead in the heart of Pella, which is a city full of history and culture. Each year a festival is held, entitled, “Pella Tulip Time” to celebrate the city’s Dutch heritage. Tulips serve as a much loved symbol for the Netherlands. Many residents of Pella originally emigrated from the Netherlands, and use the festival to appreciate their roots. On average, over 100,000 people come for the festival from all around the county. From that number, many stay for what Pella has to offer, including the Volksweg Trail.

Destinations on the Volksweg trail include the Howell Station Campground at Red Rock Dam, Lion’s Park, Wallashuck Recreation Area, Fifield Recreation Area and the Red Rock Marina.

The trail features great bridges (including crossing over the Des Moines River), picnic areas, multiple trailheads, clean restrooms, and a surface suitable for families or fitness enthusiasts. Lake Red Rock is a man-made reservoir, formed by the damming of the Des Moines River for flood-control in 1969. As Iowa’s largest lake, Lake Red Rock offers a variety of recreational opportunities including picnicking, camping, hiking, swimming, hunting and boating.

The acquisition and development of the Volksweg Trail was possible through a combination of private, federal, state and county efforts, and funding by the Des Moines River Greenbelt Program.

The Volksweg Trail is a continuing project, constantly growing and improving. The eventual plan for this trail is that it will intertwine the Lake Red Rock Area including the visitor’s center, City of Knoxville and to become part of a rails-to-trails project which will travel up through Monroe and Prairie City, Iowa to connect up to the Central Iowa Trail System, which covers an expanse of eleven counties, and nearly 700 miles in central Iowa.

Additional Details

Width: 120 inches.
Primary Surface: Asphalt
Secondary Surface: None
Maximum Grade: 7%
Elevation Low Point: 704
Elevation High Point: 852
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: Iowa by Trail Interactive Trail Map

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Public Contact:
Sherri Duey
Operations Manager
Army Corps of Engineers
1105 North Highway T15
Knoxville, IA 50138
(641) 828-7522
[email protected]



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