INHF’s first trail projects (the Heritage Trail and Cedar Valley Nature Trail) began over 30 years ago. INHF’s leadership in the 1980s to convert former railroad corridors into multi-use trails created the momentum that has made Iowa a trails destination. Since then, INHF has helped create over 65 percent of Iowa’s rail-trails.
Unlike surrounding states, Iowa’s multi-county trails are managed by local rather than statewide agencies. These local groups often rely on INHF for technical expertise and statewide perspective. INHF’s role on any given trail can range from minor — providing technical advice — to extensive — acquiring the trail corridor, marketing and promotion, education and/or fundraising. We’re also a partner in statewide trail planning and connection efforts and a central hub for trail information — from the progress of ongoing trail projects to where to find the best trailside restaurants.
If you are interested in starting a trail project or want to learn more about INHF’s work in trails, contact Andrea Boulton, INHF statewide trails coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-288-1846, ext. 27.
At any given time, INHF is working to establish 5-10 trails statewide, along with supporting communities and securing funding for Iowa's trails. See what we're currently working on and help make a trail project near you a reality. Find a list of our current trail projects that need your support.
After 30 years of helping establish Iowa’s extensive trail system, INHF launched Iowa By Trail, our interactive mobile app and website that connects Iowans to trails and surrounding natural areas. Learn more about the app or visit www.iowabytrail.com to plan your next adventure.
How do trails happen in Iowa? What is a rail-trail? We answer your burning trail questions.