Shimek State Forest, located in Iowa, is home to an extensive network of horse trails that offer a unique and exciting experience for both novice and experienced riders. With its diverse landscape, stunning scenery, and well-maintained trails, Shimek State Forest provides an unforgettable horseback riding adventure. Today, we will explore some of the best horse trails this forest has to offer.
1. Soap Creek Trail:
Covering approximately 6.5 miles, the Soap Creek Trail offers a captivating journey through woodlands, valleys, and rolling hills. This trail is known for its breathtaking views and peaceful atmosphere. Along the way, riders can spot various wildlife, including deer, wild turkeys, and numerous bird species. Moreover, the trail is well-marked and maintained, ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride.
2. Indian Bluff Trail:
If you are seeking a more challenging trail, the Indian Bluff Trail is a perfect choice. Spanning 9 miles, this trail takes riders on an adventure through rugged terrain, deep forests, and across several creek crossings. While navigating this trail, riders are rewarded with awe-inspiring views of the scenic Mississippi River Valley. The Indian Bluff Trail is also popular for its wildflowers, including trillium, bloodroot, and bluebells, offering a vibrant and picturesque experience.
3. Fox Run Trail:
Nestled in the northern section of Shimek State Forest, the Fox Run Trail covers approximately 8 miles and is known for its stunning beauty. This trail meanders through oak-hickory savannahs, open meadows, and along high ridges with breathtaking views. Riders can enjoy peaceful rides through well-manicured fields, occasionally spotting various wildlife, including foxes, rabbits, and squirrels. With its tranquility and picturesque surroundings, the Fox Run trail is a favorite among riders.
4. Hickory Ridge Trail:
For riders seeking a longer excursion, the Hickory Ridge Trail is a must-try. Covering nearly 12 miles, this trail offers a diverse riding experience through forests, open fields, and picturesque valleys. Throughout the journey, riders may encounter deer, wild turkey, and even the occasional bald eagle soaring overhead. The Hickory Ridge Trail is also home to several picnic spots, allowing riders to take a break and enjoy a meal amidst nature's beauty.
5. Abner Mill Trail:
Situated on the western side of Shimek State Forest, the Abner Mill Trail is one of the forest's hidden gems. Spanning 5 miles, this trail takes riders through dense woodlands, providing a tranquil and secluded riding experience. Along the way, riders can enjoy the soothing sound of the nearby Clark's Creek, adding to the serenity of the ride. The Abner Mill Trail is perfect for those seeking a peaceful and rejuvenating escape from everyday life.
At Shimek State Forest, horseback riders can immerse themselves in nature and experience the beauty of Iowa's landscape. With various trails catering to different preferences and skill levels, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you prefer a leisurely ride through open fields or a thrilling adventure along challenging terrain, Shimek State Forest's horse trails will not disappoint. So, saddle up and head to Shimek State Forest for an unforgettable equestrian experience!