Top 10 Reasons to Hike the Medicine Bow Rail Trail

Last week Eve Newman with the Laramie Boomerang asked Al & I this question.

“Where’s your favorite place to hike?”

Like a total wimp I blurted out, “The Rail Trail!”

The rail trail. It’s flat, long and relatively boring. I publicly admitted that it’s my favorite trail. There goes my dignity.

But it’s true. I love the rail trail and here’s why.

rail trail

1) You never know what you’re going to see on the Medicine Bow Rail Trail. 

At the start of a hike about a month ago I saw a cow try to jump over a picnic table at the Woods Creek trailhead. He did not clear the table (didn’t even come close). It was not a graceful landing. My boys and I spent the entire morning laughing at the “silly” cow as we wandered down the trails.

2) You can hike fast…really fast. 

Sometimes it feels silly to even call this trail a trail, but because the terrain is so easy you can really book it down the trail making it perfect for days when you don’t feel like climbing but want to log a high mileage day.

3) You can see fire damage and regrowth. 


Portions of the trail go through areas that were burned by the Owen Fire earlier this summer. It’s haunting and beautiful to walk through these areas. It’s also amazing to see how fast the forest bounces back after a fire.

4) You won’t see anyone….well, almost.


We hike sections of this trail at least two times/week. I only remember seeing probably 3-4 other hikers, maybe a half dozen ATV riders (most of this trail parallels an ATV trail but sometimes they ride on the trail) and a few horseback riders. The most populated part of the trail is near Lake Owen. I think this trail is Laramie’s best (or worst) kept secret.

5) There are lot of great places for picnic lunches. 

Our favorites are Woods Creek Trailhead and Lake Owen but there are hundreds of places where you can stop in the shade of a tree and enjoy a picnic along the 22 mile stretch.

6) As you walk past the gated community of Fox Park you can wonder about the 22 people who live there.


Fox Park, it’s such a curiosity. Who lives there? After such a huge legal battle I’m intrigued about this little community and honestly, I don’t really mind hiking around it because it gives me time to imagine what it would be like to live in Fox Park.

7) You might see a deer, or a moose, or a cow and evidence of all three.


Okay fine, we’ve mostly seen cow on the trail. But they are wild Wyoming cows so they count as wildlife.

8) You might see a horse.

Nothing makes my kids more excited than seeing someone riding a “horsey” when we’re out on a hike. So if you ride horses get out there so my kids can watch you, point, and ask me impossible questions like “Why is that horse black?”

9) The trail is well marked. 


10) It easily accommodates a jogging stroller. Perfect for families with little kiddos.


***Bonus-We’ve found wild raspberry bushes along this trail and it’s super beautiful there right now!

Now just in case I haven’t convinced you to check out the Rail Trail yet perhaps this video will:

Have you hiked, jogged, rode, skied or snowshoed along the Medicine Bow Rail Trail? What is your favorite section?

For more information about the Rail Trail check out this link.

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User Comments

  1. I love that first one with the cow. That was funny, but I am sure it wasn’t funny for the cow. LOL! Gotta love hiking with the kiddos. We sure haven’t explored a lot of the areas around where we live, but we will sooner or later. Where we live, there are a few bike trails at the Glendo State Park so whenever we feel like going on an afternoon hike, we go to some of the bike trails here. They just made a new one recently so we are going to go check that one out. It isn’t much of a long hike, but still better than staying at home sitting on a couch. LOL!

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