ELDORA, Iowa- While Central Iowa is known for it’s miles of connected bicycle trails, there are more coming. This week a group of cycle enthusiasts and consultants from RDG in Des Moines are riding along the few paved portions of the Iowa River Trail.
That goes from Marshalltown all the way to Steamboat Rock. It runs through the Hardin County Greenbelt, including Pine Lake State Park.
“We’ve been hired to find out where are the special moments, great opportunities, not only to promote the trail but also to promote the communities in the counties that the trail runs through,” said Mike Bell of RDG in Des Moines.
“There’s a ton to see here the great thing about this trail is it really goes through a variety of landscape to go through totally open farmland to wonderful wetlands to woodlands and you have great views to the rivers seven different communities two different counties you really get to see a great cross-section of Iowa.”
The 34 mile trail is now an abandoned rail bed. The goal is to pave the entire way. Right now the engineering consultants are taking stock of what’s on the trail, and meeting with stakeholders in each community along the trail
The City of Marshalltown Hired the consultants to come up with a vision for what could be done. RDG also helped to bring about the popular High Trestle Trail.
Also in Boone County there is a move to connect a trail to the High Trestle Trail north toward the Ledges State Park and up to the town of Boone.
“A transformational piece in the entire state’s trail system,” said Kurt Phillips of the Boone Chamber of Commerce. “Certainly it’s a an additional connection, allows people to travel through our incredibly diverse and beautiful habitat that we have.”
Initial grant money has set forth studies to extend a bike path along Q_R Avenue north toward Swede Point Park West of Madrid. The total trail would be 16 miles long, and as of yet does not have a name.
“We’re gonna go right to the middle of ledges State Park in the area that most folks don’t hike but we got a pathway figured out that would be absolutely stunning,” said Phillips. “Turns out the High Trestle Trail is immensely popular, thousands and thousands of people come to the county every year.”
Phillips said some of the right of way for the trail has been secured, but both projects are still in the early stages.
For information on the Boone to High Trestle you can contact the Boone Chamber of Commerce.
For information on the Iowa River Trail though Hardin and Marshall Counties, contact the Iowa River Trail