Amana Colonies by Bike: Exploring Iowa’s Heritage on Two Wheels

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Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure through the heart of Iowa’s heritage? Look no further than the Amana Colonies, where you can immerse yourself in history while experiencing the thrill of biking. Whether you’re a motorcycle enthusiast or prefer the serenity of a bike ride, the Amana Colonies have something for everyone.

With two new gravel bike routes and a scenic asphalt trail, the Amana Colonies offer an exceptional opportunity to explore Iowa’s rich cultural heritage on two wheels. These routes will take you through Middle, High, and West Amana, showcasing historic landmarks and allowing you to discover the stories behind them. Pedal your way past the iconic High Amana General Store, where time seems to stand still, or visit Iowa’s largest walnut rocking chair for a unique photo opportunity.

For those seeking a leisurely ride, the Kolonieweg asphalt trail is a must-try. Enjoy stunning views of Amana waterways, Lily Lake, colony farmland, and abundant wildlife as you cruise along this picturesque route. The natural beauty of the Amana Colonies will leave you in awe.

Don’t worry if you’re not an experienced biker; the Amana Colonies provide options for both beginners and seasoned riders. Whether you choose to embark on a guided tour or explore at your own pace with self-guided tours, there’s something for every type of adventurer.

So, gear up, hop on your bike, and get ready to create lasting memories as you pedal through the Amana Colonies. Uncover the hidden gems of Iowa’s heritage and experience the thrill of exploring on two wheels.

Gravel Bike Routes in the Amana Colonies

Ready to explore the Amana Colonies on two wheels? The Amana Colonies offer two exciting new gravel bike routes that showcase the area’s rich history and stunning landscapes. Get ready to embark on a cycling adventure like no other!

Route A: A Scenic and Easy 7-Mile Ride

Begin your journey at the entrance of the Amana Colonies Golf Course in Middle Amana. Route A is a fairly easy 7-mile ride that takes you through native hardwood timberland to the charming village of High Amana. Along the way, you’ll pass by picturesque scenery and have the opportunity to visit historic sites like the High Amana General Store and the Amana Art’s Guild. Don’t forget to take in the beautiful views and snap some photos along the way!

Route B: A Challenging 17-Mile Adventure

If you’re up for a more challenging ride, Route B is perfect for you. Also starting in Middle Amana, this 17-mile route takes cyclists to the scenic village of West Amana. Along the way, you’ll encounter Iowa’s Largest Walnut Rocking Chair, Opa’s Tractor Museum, Michele Maring Miller Studio and Gallery, and even the landscape that inspired Grant Wood’s famous painting, Young Corn. This route is a true gem for history and art enthusiasts.

Both Route A and Route B offer unique experiences and opportunities to immerse yourself in the history and culture of the Amana Colonies. So, grab your bike, put on your helmet, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Experience the thrill of discovering historic sites, soaking in the scenic views, and pedaling your way through the Amana Colonies. Whether you choose Route A or Route B, you’re in for an exciting and memorable biking experience in one of Iowa’s most picturesque regions.

Kolonieweg: Scenic Asphalt Trail in the Amana Colonies

Kolonieweg trail

The Kolonieweg is a 3.2-mile asphalt trail that connects Amana and Middle Amana, providing cyclists with a picturesque and enjoyable ride through the Amana Colonies. This scenic trail is perfect for both leisurely rides and a chance to appreciate the natural beauty of the area.

The Kolonieweg trail offers stunning views of Amana waterways, the serene Lily Lake, and the surrounding colony farmland. As you pedal along the trail, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of wildlife that calls the Amana Colonies home. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or a casual rider, the Kolonieweg trail offers a peaceful and immersive experience in nature.

Located in the heart of the Amana Colonies, the Kolonieweg trail not only provides a fantastic biking route, but it also offers convenient access to the charming towns of Amana and Middle Amana. These historic communities are known for their rich heritage and unique cultural attractions. Take a break from your ride to explore the local shops, art galleries, and restaurants that showcase the essence of the Amana Colonies.

Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to the Amana Colonies, cycling along the Kolonieweg trail is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and historical charm of this unique destination. So grab your bike, hit the trail, and discover the wonders of the Amana Colonies.

Exploring Amana Colonies with Guided Van Tours

For those who prefer a guided tour experience, the Amana Colonies offer the Village Voyage Van Tour. This two and a half hour guided tour takes you to four key historic sites in the Amana Colonies, where you can learn about the unique heritage and communal life of the Amanians.

The tour covers topics such as gardens, agriculture, religion, and communal living before 1932. Led by knowledgeable guides, you’ll gain insights into the fascinating history of this community and discover the stories behind the historic sites that shaped Amana Colonies.

The Village Voyage Van Tour is operated by the Amana Heritage Society, an organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich cultural legacy of the Amana Colonies. By joining this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the Amana Heritage Society’s collection of artifacts and learn more about the communal life that defined the Amana Colonies.

Reservations are recommended for this tour, which runs from May to October. Don’t miss out on this immersive and educational experience that showcases the unique history and communal life of the Amana Colonies.

Self-Guided Tour Options in the Amana Colonies

For those who prefer to explore at their own pace, the Amana Colonies offer self-guided tour options. The Amana Colonies App provides a convenient way to access driving maps, site information, and contact information for the Amana Colonies Visitors Center. The app features an historic driving tour and an historic walking tour, allowing visitors to explore the Amana Colonies’ rich heritage at their leisure.

Explore with the Amana Colonies App

The Amana Colonies App is the perfect companion for your self-guided tour. It offers detailed driving maps that guide you through the historic sites and landmarks of the Amana Colonies. Whether you’re exploring by car or RV, the app ensures you won’t miss a thing. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can access site information, including historical facts and fascinating stories.

But the app doesn’t stop at driving tours. It also provides an interactive walking tour for those who prefer to explore on foot. Simply download the app, choose the walking tour option, and follow the designated route. As you stroll through the charming streets of the Amana Colonies, the app will provide interesting historical tidbits and highlight key points of interest.

Immerse Yourself in the Amana Colonies’ Rich Heritage

Embarking on the historic driving tour allows you to cover a larger area within the Amana Colonies. Cruise along picturesque roads as you make your way to iconic landmarks, such as the Amana General Store, where you can step back in time and experience the sights and sounds of the past. The driving tour also takes you to the Amana Heritage Society, where you can explore museums showcasing artifacts and photos that depict the history of the Amana Colonies.

If you prefer a more leisurely pace, the historic walking tour is the perfect choice. Wander through the charming streets of the Amana Colonies, admiring the well-preserved architecture and soaking in the unique atmosphere. Along the way, you’ll encounter historic buildings, artisan shops, and quaint cafes, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the rich heritage of this remarkable community.

“The Amana Colonies App is a fantastic tool for self-guided exploration. It provides a wealth of information and ensures you don’t miss any of the fascinating historical sites.” – Amana Colonies Visitor

With the Amana Colonies App and its historic driving and walking tours, you have the freedom to discover the Amana Colonies at your own pace. Whether you choose to explore by car or on foot, you’ll find yourself captivated by the stories and beauty of this unique community.

Amana Colonies Recreation Trail

Amana Colonies Recreation Trail

The Amana Colonies Recreation Trail, also known as the Kolonieweg trail, offers a variety of outdoor activities for visitors. Located on IA-220 and just a few minutes west of the village of Amana, this trail is perfect for walking, biking, running, and birding. The trail features a 2.7-mile loop around Lily Lake, providing a picturesque and enjoyable experience for outdoor enthusiasts. The trail is wide and paved, making it accessible to a range of visitors.

Whether you prefer a leisurely walk surrounded by nature or a invigorating bike ride through scenic landscapes, the Amana Colonies Recreation Trail has something for everyone. Lace up your walking shoes or hop on your bike and embark on a journey along this beautiful trail.

As you walk or bike along the trail, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Lily Lake, where you can spot various bird species and enjoy the tranquility of the water. The paved path provides a smooth and comfortable surface, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Amana Colonies.

“The Amana Colonies Recreation Trail is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to have a peaceful walk, an energizing bike ride, or simply enjoy birdwatching, this trail offers it all.”

Walking and Biking

The Amana Colonies Recreation Trail is suitable for both walking and biking. The wide pathway allows walkers and bikers to comfortably share the trail, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or a more adventurous bike ride, this trail caters to all skill levels.


For birding enthusiasts, the Amana Colonies Recreation Trail is a prime spot to spot various bird species. The trail’s proximity to Lily Lake provides an ideal habitat for waterfowl, allowing you to witness beautiful bird sightings while enjoying your walk or bike ride.

Trail Highlights

  • 2.7-mile loop around Lily Lake
  • Perfect for walking, biking, and birding
  • Paved and wide trail for accessibility
  • Breathtaking views of nature and waterfowl

So, grab your walking shoes, dust off your bike, and embark on an outdoor adventure along the Amana Colonies Recreation Trail. Experience the beauty of the Amana Colonies, immerse yourself in nature, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Trail Experience at Amana Colonies

Amana Colonies trail experience

Visitors who have experienced the Amana Colonies trail have had positive experiences. Families with young children enjoy the family-friendly trail, with children biking on the flat concrete surface and spotting birds along the way.

The trail offers scenic views of the water’s edge, allowing glimpses of waterfowl and other wildlife. The southern segment of the trail is a crushed limestone path, offering a smooth ride alongside the Iowa River and Lily Lake. The loop also passes through shaded areas, providing relief from the sun on hot days.

“The Amana Colonies trail offers a perfect outdoor experience for families. We enjoyed biking along the paved sections, spotting different bird species, and taking in the beautiful scenery.” – Emily, a visitor

Whether you’re a nature lover, an avid cyclist, or simply looking for a leisurely trail experience, the Amana Colonies trail provides something for everyone.

Exploring the Neighborhood on the Amana Colonies Trail

The Amana Colonies trail provides an opportunity to explore the adjacent neighborhood. This segment of the trail is paved and offers shaded areas, making it a pleasant ride for cyclists. The trail maintains a nice buffer distance between it and the houses, ensuring a peaceful and enjoyable experience. The loop crosses IA-220 twice, near the Amana Elementary School and at the end near the parking lot. Visitors should be mindful of younger children near these crossings.

Amana Colonies Trail Highlights

waterfowl sightings

The Amana Colonies trail offers several highlights for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a nature lover or simply enjoy a leisurely bike ride, there is always something new to see on this trail. From the beauty of blooming vegetation to the captivating sightings of different species of waterfowl, the trail promises a delightful experience.

For a similar outdoor adventure, consider exploring the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area. This scenic destination offers a wide paved path where kids can ride their bikes and families can enjoy a leisurely stroll. Take in the picturesque surroundings while immersing yourself in the splendor of nature.

On the Amana Colonies trail, be prepared to witness the charm of blooming vegetation during the appropriate seasons. Wildflowers and lush greenery create a vibrant and inviting atmosphere that is visually captivating and soothing to the senses.

Breathtaking Waterfowl Sightings

As you traverse the Amana Colonies trail, keep an eye out for the diverse range of waterfowl that inhabit the area. From graceful swans gliding across the water to energetic ducks diving for their next meal, you’ll have the opportunity to observe these magnificent birds in their natural habitat.

“The Amana Colonies trail is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers alike. I was amazed by the variety of waterfowl I encountered during my bike ride. It truly is a unique and rewarding experience.” – Happy Visitor

Indulge your love for nature and explore the Amana Colonies trail, where breathtaking moments and unforgettable memories await.

Enjoying Local Cuisine and Attractions in the Amana Colonies

Amana Colonies craft shop

While exploring the Amana Colonies, you can’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the local cuisine and explore the variety of craft shops. The Amana Colonies are home to a rich culinary tradition and a vibrant arts and crafts scene, offering visitors a unique experience.

Delicious Dining at the Ox Yoke Inn

One of the must-visit restaurants in the Amana Colonies is the renowned Ox Yoke Inn. Established in 1940, this iconic establishment offers a wide range of American and German dishes served “family style.” At the Ox Yoke Inn, you’ll enjoy delicious and hearty portions of mouthwatering chicken, hand-cut steaks, roast beef, sauerbraten, wiener schnitzel cutlets, Amana brats, and more. The cozy and welcoming atmosphere is perfect for gathering with friends and family while savoring delectable comfort food.

Exploring Craft Shops in the Amana Colonies

The Amana Colonies are also known for their vibrant craft scene, with a variety of unique shops to explore. From pottery and quilting to woodworking and glasswork, you’ll find an array of handmade treasures created by local artisans. Whether you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind gift or a special souvenir to remind you of your visit, the craft shops in the Amana Colonies offer something for everyone.

Discovering History at the Amana Heritage Society

To delve deeper into the history and culture of the Amana Colonies, a visit to the Amana Heritage Society is a must. This nonprofit organization maintains a group of arts and culture museums that showcase a wide range of artifacts and photographs depicting the fascinating history of the Amana Colonies. Explore the exhibits and learn about the unique communal life, religious practices, and the daily lives of the Amanians. The Amana Heritage Society provides an immersive and educational experience for visitors.

Planning a Group Visit to the Amana Colonies

If you are traveling with a large group or by motor coach, make the most of your visit to the Amana Colonies by arranging for a step-on guide. These knowledgeable guides can enhance your group’s experience and provide valuable insights into the history and culture of the Amana Colonies.

To arrange for a step-on guide, the Amana Heritage Museum is your go-to resource. They can provide you with information and recommendations for experienced guides who can accompany your group throughout their visit. Additionally, the Amana Visitors Center is available to assist you with any inquiries or questions you may have.

Group visits to the Amana Colonies offer the opportunity to explore the key historic sites that showcase the unique heritage of this community. Some of the must-see attractions include the Amana Heritage Society, where you can delve into the rich history and artifacts of the Amana Colonies, the communal kitchen in Middle Amana, which offers a fascinating glimpse into communal living, the High Amana General Store, where you can shop for unique Amana-made products, and the old Homestead Church, a beautiful reminder of the community’s religious roots.

Contact Information and Reservation Details

If you’re interested in exploring the charming Amana Colonies or making reservations for exciting tours, we recommend reaching out to the Amana Colonies Visitors Center. The friendly staff at the Visitors Center can provide you with all the information you need, including tour schedules, availability, and pricing.

The Amana Colonies Visitors Center is conveniently located in Amana, ensuring easy access for visitors. To book your guided tours, you can simply give them a call. Additionally, if you require a wheelchair or stroller rental during your visit, the Visitors Center has you covered.

To assist you further in planning your visit, don’t forget to check out the Amana Colonies App. This handy app offers a wealth of information about the Amana Colonies, serving as a valuable resource to make your trip even more memorable.


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