Bike ride from Omaha to Le Mars – Loess Hills trail?

I’ll be arriving on AMTRAK in Omaha, and plan on riding to RAGBRAI over two days.

Does anyone have any route suggestions?

Are there any towns or areas along the way I should check out or avoid?

Any recommended places to pitch a tent along the way?

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks!

3 Replies

John Richardson, June 26, 2021 at 4:19 pm

I have rode to RAGBRAI’s starting town for many years, and will again this year, but I’m coming from Northeast Missouri so the route I have planned won’t really help you. I’ve planned my own route every year and it’s always worked well for me. I try to avoid the bigger towns and ride the roads with the least traffic. You might find it quite rewarding to plan your own route. The rides to the start have become a big part of my RAGBRAI experience.


NYC Highwheeler, July 15, 2021 at 12:59 pm

It looks like my best option is to follow the Old Lincoln Highway/ Loess Hills trail/ Rt 183 north along the western edge of the Loess Hills. The tricky part is around the town of Orson, near the Gleason-Hubel wildlife area. I’m not sure of the best way to get to Larpenteur Memorial Road to continue along the west edge of the Loess Hills.
Any ideas?
After Larpenteur Memorial Road ends at L12, I’ll take L12 north to Locust Ave, which becomes Hancock Ave/ K67.
After checking out the German City Church, I’ll hop on Old highway 141/ Rt. 982 which takes me directly towards Sioux City and Rt. 75
I could take smaller roads through Bronson, Lawton and Neptune, and head directly north into Le Mars, avoiding Sioux City entirely.

Anyone have any good advice on roads or places to go or avoid? I’m not opposed to gravel, but I need to keep a moderate pace if I want to get to Le Mars in time for the start.



jelly0317, July 15, 2021 at 2:32 pm

I’m not sure of the best route from the Amtrak Station, but be sure to cross the Missouri River on the Kerrey bicycle/pedestrian Bridge. I agree with your L20 choice, but I would cut West on F50 after Missouri Valley, then follow K45 North to Sioux City. There probably isn’t a longer stretch of flat road anywhere in Iowa. Lots of pass-through towns, too. From SC to LM, Hwy 75 is four-lane divided, so it’s not bad riding. Sorry, but my ride outs use motels, so I can’t offer any suggestions on camping.


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