Trail Tuesday: Chichaqua Valley Trail

By Taylor on October 28, 2014 in Blog

Every Tuesday, look for a new featured trail story on our blog – part of our new “Trail Tuesday” series. This will be a way for you to learn about all the different trails we have to offer on our Iowa By Trail app. If you like what you read you can download the app and go explore! For any questions on these trails, email


This week's featured trail is Chichaqua Valley Trail.

This 20-mile segment is a branch off of a 110-mile loop that crosses the forested banks and timbered bluffs of the Skunk River. The river got this particular name because local pioneers interpreted the Native American word, “Chichaqua” to mean “skunk.” The word actually refers to the odor of the wild onions that once grew along the river’s banks.

When visiting make sure to stop at the Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, it opens into an extensive wildlife area with lots of recreational opportunities including camping, birdwatching, canoeing and hunting (though park amenities are not located right by the trail).

Cities traveled through:

  • Baxter
  • Ira
  • Mingo
  • Valeria
  • Bondurant

This trail is free all year-round and is open from sunrise to sunset.

Fast Four (points of interest):

  • Baxter Caboose: Baxter hosts a restored 1913 wooden caboose. This historical attraction houses history and memorabilia of Baxter and the railroad that once ran through the community.
  • Cadillac Jack’s: Small town, friendly bar for all age groups. Hosts a Bike Night every Wednesday all summer long on the patio.
  • Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt: 9,100 acres of protected land waiting for visitors. Chichaqua is an important resting and staging area for migrating waterfowl and is home to several rare and declining species.
  • Baxter Community Recreation Area: This area houses a number of athletic and recreational facilities including a soccer complex, fields for football, baseball, little league and softball.