Length: 34 miles
Surface: Paved Roads
Parking and Restrooms: Marshalltown City Square
State Center isn’t actually the geographic center of Iowa, but it is known as the Rose Capital of Iowa. Stop and smell them with this loop that begins at the Marshall County Courthouse in Marshalltown.
Head west on Main 13th Street. Turn right on 13th and go three blocks until 13th tees with Summit Street at the Iowa Veterans Home. The road threads under a railroad overpass then curves several times as you ease your way north and west. When you reach Hwy 330, turn north for .5 miles until you reach E29. 330 is a busy and narrow road; use extra caution.
Now, it gets easier. Turn west on E29, pedaling on a steady die of rolling hills until you reach S52. A south turn brings you all the way to State Center. Just after you pass over the railroad tracks, stop at Cissy’s II convenience store for a break.
To leave State Center, turn east on Main Street to 5th Avenue SE, curve to the south, then come to a T with the Old Lincoln Highway, called F36. Continue east, passing the Lincoln Valley Golf Course, county road S62, and the Marshall County Jail complex.
Watch carefully for S70, where you turn north and sail down a long hill, crossing Linn Creek and a set of railroad tracks at the bottom. Shift now to a lower gear and immediately start climbing through the small town of LaMoille.
After that, it’s flat all the way to your turn to the east at Main Street Road, which takes you back to downtown Marshalltown. Be careful crossing rough tracks between Highland Acre Road and 13th Street.
Side trip: Visit State Center’s rose gardens on the southeast side of town, 201 W. Main Street.
Where to say: The Woodland B&B (641-753-5351)