Traveling through multiple communities, diverse biomes, and multiple parks, the Volksweg Trail is a pleasant experience for man or man's best friend. Although in Dutch the name means "People's Path", dogs are always welcome along the trail as long as they remain on a leash. The asphalt path is over 10 feet in width, providing plenty of room for humans, dogs, and even horses!
Between the western point in Otley and the eastern point in Pella, you and Fido will find not only a variety of different biomes and areas, but multiple activities to participate in and wildlife to see. Starting off in Otley, the trail runs right along the shore of Lake Red Rock, with access to dog-friendly beaches, boat launches, restrooms at the trailhead, and water fountains.
Wetlands and open prairies surround the beginning of the trail, molding into thick forests and slat parks with overlooks of the lake. Every couple of miles, you and Fido will find a park, which offers picnic tables, restrooms, and water fountains. There are two overlooks along the way too, with flat areas to enjoy right next to the lake.
After the halfway point, you'll reach southern Pelle, where the trail leads off to a recreational area and campground along the Red Rock Dam that connects to the Des Moines River. A number of activities take place here, like boating, fishing, picnicking, exercising, playing, and wildlife viewing for hawks and eagles.
The areas are dog-friendly, but if you keep going, you'll travel north into the city. At the end of the trail is the Volksweg Trailhead Park. There's parking, restrooms, water fountains, and benches to sit on to relax after your long hike. With a number of entrances, parking spaces, and campsites along the trail, it's possible to start and stop multiple times or finish the hike in one day. Whichever you choose, you and Fido will love the challenge of this long path.