Iowa River's Edge Trail

Iowa River's Edge Trail

The 34-mile Iowa River's Edge Trail will run through Hardin and Marshall counties, providing more opportunities for Iowans to get outdoors and be active.

Trail Progress

Currently, the Iowa River's Edge Trail (IRET) is paved from Steamboat Rock to Eldora in Hardin County. Paving has also begun on the portion of the trail leading out of Marshalltown. The IRET in Hardin County was recently awarded a $2 million grant to pave the trail from Eldora to Gifford and complete a major bridge project which should begin in 2025. 

About 24 miles of the 34-mile trail still need paved. 

Finishing the Trail

Focus has turned to linking Marshall County and Hardin County. INHF and our partners need to raise $2.7 million in donations and pledges by June 30, 2024, to qualify for a federal Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program (ATIIP) grant. The grant would provide $12 million for the IRET to complete construction of the trail. Give today to make this trail a reality!

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Map showing progress on paving the IRET. Why is this trail significant?

The Iowa River's Edge Trail will connect seven cities and two counties to the Iowa River Greenbelt and the Central Iowa Trail Network.

The proposed trail is located in an area known for its scenic qualities and diverse wildlife habitat, possessing scenic bluffs, wetlands and species usually only found in the northeast corner of Iowa.

Who will benefit?

More than 223,000 people live within a half-hour drive of the Iowa River's Edge Trail. The trail will provide ample opportunities to locals and visitors alike for recreation and exploration throughout the year.

For those looking for long-distance trails, the Iowa River's Edge Trail will link to a variety of local, county, regional and state trails, including: the Iowa River State Water Trail, Gunderson Trail in Eldora, Bates Trail in Union, Iowa River Scenic Drive, Linn Creek Greenbelt, the Iowa River Greenbelt, the Iowa 330 Trail and the Pine Lake State Park Trail. The Grimes Nature Center will also be accessible from the trail.

The Iowa River's Edge Trail will boost local businesses and economies through recreation tourism.

Recreation opportunities include:

  • Wildlife viewing
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Bicycling
  • Geocaching
  • Cross country skiing
  • Snowmobiling

Learn more about the trail