Ryerson’s Woods Park – Iowa City, IA

Ryerson’s Woods Park is located south of Iowa City near the intersection of Mormon Trek Blvd and Oak Hill Crest Rd SE. Hiking and dog walking (free waste bags provided) are the primary recreation. There was free parking in a large lot but restrooms and water were not provided. My cell phone service was at medium strength.

We hiked all of the trails for a total of one mile and a range in elevation of 100 feet.

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The first section was flat and paved.

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The rest was a wide dirt path with steps through the hilly sections. We hiked counterclockwise around the loop.

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There were picnic tables scattered throughout the park.

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The steps were easy to manage because the slope was moderate. Our two year old rode his pedal-less bike on the smooth parts and we carried it for him over the steps. Our six year old easily managed all of the terrain on foot.

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It was well shaded and peaceful. Unfortunately we experienced a lot of gnats and they kept us moving at a fast pace.

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The trailhead map did not include all of the sub-loops and there were several ambiguous intersections where it was difficult to determine the main trail from sub-loops. If you hike counter-clockwise like we did, I recommend making all of the right turns onto all of the sub-loops. However, be wary of the narrow side trails that are likely not legitimate and may cause you to get lost. The last sub-loop leads to a scenic overlook. From the overlook, I believe we made only left turns to return to our car.

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In sum, we enjoyed a nice family hike through this peaceful wooded area but are looking forward to revisiting when the bugs have subsided. The Cedar Valley Nature Trail is similar and located only 30 minutes north of here.

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