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Highway 44 question

So we are riding out to CB from what sounds like Marshalltown. Google has a couple of routes that it gave me and what looks like for maybe 80 percent of this can be done via trails. However it has us on HWY 44 for somewhere around 28 miles. I have no clue what this Highway looks like or how busy it is. Does anyone have an opinions on this? We would be on this stretch of highway from Panora to Hamlin. Just by looking at google maps it doesn’t look like any easy ways around this highway. Would appreciate any insight you all have on this. Thanks

9 Replies

jelly0317, June 24, 2019 at 3:07 pm

I would get on the Chichaqua Trail at Baxter, follow the trail system through DSM to Redfield, cut down to Dexter, and follow the RAGBRAI route to Atlantic. From there, I prefer the most direct route to CB, through Hancock and Underwood.


David Daniels, June 24, 2019 at 3:16 pm

Stay off HWY 44 if you can.

Get a copy of the Iowa DOT Bicycle Map:

just dave


LawnchairMan, June 24, 2019 at 4:37 pm

Looking at Google Maps, you could ride about seven miles on 44 from Panora to Guthrie Center. From there you can head NNW on 1st street which becomes 215 rd. Then go North on F70 (also marked N32 and 190th rd). This becomes N32 or F32 which takes you to Audubon. The T-Bone Trail takes you from Audubon to Hamlin. Have no idea of traffic, but these look like paved secondary roads. Looks like it would add eight or nine miles to your route.

Safe journey!


jwsknk, June 25, 2019 at 12:07 am

44 has some good hills on it and you will have 20 miles of nothing. Could take the road south out of Oanora to Stuart. Doing the 330 and HOINT from Marshalltown? Could head south at Slater and go out to Redfield on the trails. If they are not still flooded in Des Moines.


kicks9, June 27, 2019 at 7:39 am

I’m guessing if we are on a big highway RAGBRAI has taken this into account and restricted traffic that day. Traffic doesn’t want to be mixed in with us because of how many of us we have on the road all day long.

I have ridden past years on big highways that are basically RAGBRAI only for that day.

The trails cannot sustain the traffic of RAGBRAI. I have seen past days where riders are across both lanes from white line to white line of the road.

I’m sure this has been addressed.


jelly0317, June 27, 2019 at 11:07 am

Key words: “[W]e are riding out to CB from…Marshalltown.”


Jim Kluesner, July 9, 2019 at 7:01 pm

Did you ever get your question answered?

Hwy 44 is doable from Panora to Hamlin. The worst stretch will be Panora to Guthrie Center. This stretch is busy with light to moderate truck traffic. Worn out concrete pavement with gravel shoulders. I don’t know what your schedule is, but I would avoid this stretch during commuter times in the morning and afternoon.

After Guthrie Center, it turns into a quiet, fairly new asphalt, wide shouldered (not sure if they cut rumbles into the shoulder or not), hilly stretch. You should have the occasional truck, (there is a co-op right before you get into Hamlin) but I always thought it was one of the more beautiful stretches of road in the state. The views in all directions go for miles. You also cross the Mississippi/Missouri Divide.

I hope this helps your planning. Just watch yourself if you go Panora to Guthrie Center. Another option is to go north on the trail to Yale (or stop in Yale if you are southbound) and head east out of Yale through Springbrook Park and catch Hwy 25 south into Guthrie to catch 44.

Good Luck and Safe Travels!!!


jwsknk, July 9, 2019 at 10:50 pm

Yale to Springbrook. Down Mockingbird Hill, Dont think i have ever gone up the west side. The M&M divide isn’t as bad as it used to be. Unless you want to take the old road up to the old site. Used to have relatives on 44 near Exira. Skyview Ranch I think it was called.


Brady Bisgard, July 10, 2019 at 9:13 am

I really wouldn’t recommend biking on 44 unless you’re on a gravel bike and want to ride on the gravel shoulder. It just isn’t safe and there is 0 paved shoulder.

I would cut down from Panora to Stuart and take the RAGBRAI route to Atlantic.


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