FAq about iowa trails
This page was updated in July 2011
Iowa has an estimated 1,200 miles of multi-use trails such as rail-trails and city trails used for bicycling, walking, in-line skating, etc. In addition, there are many more miles of hiking trails within state and county parks as well as equestrian trails and water trails along our rivers.
How can I get the latest information about a given Iowa trail—such as its current condition, expansion plans, or the best places to eat, stop or stay along the trail?
Some facts (like trail conditions or the number of restaurants in each trail town), change too fast for this site to keep up. To ensure you have the very latest information about a specific trail, search for that trail on this site and then check the contact information in the right column. The Trail Manager(s) can give you the latest information about the trail itself, including temporary damage or construction. The Local Tourism Info contact can provide you with updated details about local amenities, services and other attractions.
Who builds, owns and manages Iowa trails?
Trails are generally built, owned and maintained by the local governing agency. This is usually the City or County Conservation Board. Even with the long distance rail-trails that pass through several counties, each county will own and maintain its section. There are several cases where trails are owned and maintained by private non-profit organizations or multiple partners, such as the Wabash Trace Nature Trail, Grant Wood Trail and the Old Creamery Trail.
How are Iowa trails funded?
Funding for trails in Iowa has come from Federal and State agencies (through legislation). The Iowa Department of Transportation administers the majority of the grants available for trail development. Visit the Iowa Department of Transportation website for funding info.
Meanwhile, most Iowa trails require significant private funding and volunteer support. Check our Support Trails page for more information.
What are the guidelines for safely sharing trails with others?
Some general trail rules and etiquette tips that should be followed on all trails. For additional rules (hours, permitted uses, etc.) on a specific trail, please contact the trail manager.
What are the health benefits of trails?
Trails provide a diversity of opportunities for increased physical activity. From the gifted athlete seeking a convenient place to train to individuals wanting an aesthetically pleasing place for an after-dinner walk to a family walking to spend time together, trails can be a part of healthy living which is essential for reducing common diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.