April 24 this year is Celebrate Trails Day! This is "an annual spring celebration of America’s trails. Started by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in 2013, the celebration encourages people all across the country to get outside and enjoy the nation’s exceptional trails and trail systems."
In southwestern Iowa we have many great trails to enjoy, with even more being planned and built. Just this week, a ribbon cutting was held for a new bridge along the Wabash Trace Nature Trail in Silver City. The Wabash is a 63-mile crushed limestone trail on a former rail line running from Council Bluffs to Blanchard.
Construction of the First Ave Trail in Council Bluffs also broke ground this week. This trail will provide an important connection between downtown Omaha, the Bob Kerrey Bridge, Riverfront Trail, and downtown Council Bluffs. Eventually the trail will connect with the new Pottawattamie County Trail under construction from Council Bluffs to Weston, Underwood, Neola, and beyond.
The new Pottawattamie County trail is part of the Great American Rail Trail (GART), a cross-country off-road trail from Washington, D.C. to Washington state.
The T-Bone Trail in Audubon and Cass counties is also part of the GART. While a gap has existed for many years between the T-Bone and the city of Atlantic, local leaders are currently working to extend the trail into Atlantic. From Atlantic, the proposed GART route connects with the planned Pottawattamie County trail near Neola.
These are just a few of the hundreds of miles of trails in our region. Looking for a new trail to explore? Check out our post about places to hike and walk in the Loess Hills Missouri River Region.
Before you go out and celebrate trails, visit our bicycling and walking information and resource page to ensure a fun and safe experience.
Learn more about the Frontier Iowa Trails network here.
As the weather warms, it's a great time to explore local trails. While you're out, keep your eyes peeled--Sasquatch has been spotted at several sites in western Iowa, including...
Pottawattamie County trail near Weston:
Wabash Trace Nature Trail in Malvern:
Hitchcock Nature Center in Pottawattamie County.
Willow Lake Nature Center near Woodbine in Harrison County
There are many more trails, parks, and wildlife areas to explore. Here are additional useful links and resources for safe walking and biking in western Iowa: