In recent years, the Conservation Board directors, citing the reports from electrical counters along the trail, have estimated that more than 350,000 people per year are using the RRVT. We saw vehicles only in the towns. The Raccoon River Valley Trail Association organizes several activities along the trail each year, including rides, a Fall Festival, and an annual banquet. One person had a Bluetooth speaker playing their music, which is NOT a bother at all. While the path is mostly asphault, it crossed many dirt roads, and you have to be very careful getting across them. This is where the loop portion of the route begins. It is all either concrete or blacktop which is so easy on the tires and the bottom. Look for the north loop to be completely finished within the next couple of years, weather and funding permitting. If you choose the eastern leg, you’ll pedal through peaceful, picturesque terrain: farm fields and wildflower meadows interspersed with copses of trees. Some of the trails have been made by humans and some of them by their furry friends. No way this is passable as of April fools day. Events With a short detour to Hanging Rock park in Redfield we totalled 53.5 miles on Day 2. Raccoon River Valley Trail Getting Plenty Of Use. With a 9-mile “connector” trail now planned between the RRVT and the popular High Trestle Trail, the number of users on both trails is expected to mushroom in the years ahead. Construction on the "north loop" of the Raccoon River Valley Trail is continuing over the summer of 2012 with a projected completion in the spring of 2013. The 1.5-mile connector begins in Perry. Help defend and expand trails nationwide. Raccoon River Valley Trail Waukee IA. GO. We hear they are going to connect the high trestle trail with this 89 mile trail which will make it even better! Contact, CHECK OUT OUR DIRECTORY TO HELP PLAN YOUR VISIT, “In the Shadow of the Rails” Greene County Installations Complete, Major Trail Maintenance is Taking Place Along Raccoon River Valley Trail. Get directions, reviews and information for Raccoon River Valley Trail in Waukee, IA. But the French Toast made with their homemade cinnamon bread was worth the wait.The trail between Herndon and Yale was like the couple miles north of Herndon: rough. The Greene County Sheriff's department is hopeful that no one gets shot. Portions of the trail have a beautiful canopy that provides for a pleasant shady ride. It was nice doing it the once tho. Turn left onto Ashworth Drive, and follow it for a half mile to the trail parking lot, which is located to your right and left just after you cross US 6. That section is a bit more out in the open, but is very nice also. The Raccoon River Valley Trail runs along a former railroad right-of-way that was first built in the 1870s to carry rail traffic between Des Moines and the Great Lakes region. Bear Mountain State Park is situated in rugged mountains rising from the west bank of the Hudson River. Trail Amenities A visit to any segment of the north loop is well worth the effort! The trail has a lot of open stretches so remember that when deciding when to ride and watch out for the walnuts in the fall, yikes! Paddlers can start their float as far upstream in Guthrie County as: Lenon Mill Park in Panora on the Middle Raccoon River - just over 17 miles to confluence. It was quite nice almost the entire ride. Several road crossings that are gravel... Definitely need to use caution as some were a bit of a rough transition, but easily manageable. If you're in from out of town, buy a day pass for $2 and help support the trail. A highlight of this section is the 600-foot-long trestle bridge over the North Raccoon River. Smooth pavement with friendly and polite cyclists. As all other rail trails, there are gradual slopes. Dallas Center and Perry both have several services (restaurants, beds and breakfasts, retail, convenience stores, etc) for trail users to take advantage of and plans are in the works in some of the other smaller communities to add trail amenities. The segment between Perry and Dawson is nearly complete, and should be officially open yet this fall. We didn't ask for that, the waitress offered. The segment from Waukee northwest to Dallas Center was opened in October of 2012. Love the Midwest. This is anticipated to be completed sometime during the latter half of 2012. DCCB Outreach Coordinator Sarah Gilchrist says they have. The trail is signed very well. Nearly all of the towns along the trail offer amenities for trail users including dining opportunities, restrooms, bed & breakfasts and a host of other services. DCCB Outreach Coordinator Sarah Gilchrist says they have seen plenty of signs of activity out on the trail. This section of the trail is fairly open. We couldn't of had better service, including filling our water bottles. A project on the Raccoon River Valley Trail in Greene County is finally complete. This is a great trail. For a state with so many great trails and the history of the RAGBRI you can do better IA. The pride of the Iowa people for their trail and their state is so obvious and appreciated. Especially those they had tried to fix. [...], 14581 K Avenue Perry, Iowa 50220 The trail is 10-feet wide and follows a … Your donation will help us to continue connecting more people to trails around the country. Raccoon River Valley Trail is a 107.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Jefferson, Iowa that features a river and is rated as moderate. Its a shame they do not plow the snow during the winter. Even though the weather outside is cold this time of year, the Dallas County Conservation Board (DCCB) says the Raccoon River Valley Trail (RRVT) is getting plenty of use. Home + Hunting. Not jarring, but enough to be annoying. It looks like blacktop, not concrete there, and its the blacktop that is suffering some. It never gets old. The guy working was quite pleasant and helped us with a minor issue. It is nice trail, but neither me, nor my bike, care for constant bumpy when I am out there having fun. I started at 7 am at the Waukee trailhead. Bicyclists, walkers, fishermen, snowmobilers & more use the RRVT. There is a depot in Redfield that sells pop and gatoraid, and is 'manned' by locals who are very friendly. In all our travels I don't thing I have seen as well maintained trail or facilities. Simply worth the drive from Michigan. This rails-to-trails project involved a 35-mile trail extension of the popular Raccoon River Valley Trail in Dallas and Guthrie Counties. Offering Raccoon River Park visitors a way to "get their feet wet" in the park, the state-of-the-art Boathouse offers restrooms and boat rentals including canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, stand-up paddle boards and more. They do a great job, too. This should be repaired ASAP. There are quite a difference in the sections of the trail. Would love to see more bed and breakfasts and food options spring up along the trails. Finally, there is an excellent walking trail (about 2 miles) circling the lake. Paved and fast with real towns and the ammenities that civiliztion affords (taverns, stores, and supplies) inbetween. Riding 2 and even 3 wide and not slipping into single file when meeting other groups. I offered, but he didn't want payment. The Raccoon River Valley Trail is an 89-mile trail running from Waukee to Jefferson, IA. Even though the weather outside is cold this time of year, the Dallas County Conservation Board (DCCB) says the Raccoon River Valley Trail (RRVT) is getting plenty of use. Plenty of places to hydrate along the way (Linden, Redfield, Adel) before it runs into the Des Moines trail system. Ambassador 96 mi. Construction on a new trailhead with restrooms, a shelter and other amenities is currently underway in Waukee where the existing trail and north loop of the trail currently intersect. The trail’s eastern endpoint is located about 4.8 miles east. I've been over every inch of this trail multiple times and just find it to be delightful. All proceeds go to the conservation boards in the counties through which the trail passes, and the money is used for trail maintenance and improvements. Once I had got about 8 miles in and back, and was once again at the Waukee trailhead and my van, I ditched the warm up clothes and headed on into the main trail. Currently, three segments are open. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. You could not make it any smoother. Uphill along the river, climbing up to a high prairie. Fully paved and with a level grade typical of a rail-trail, it’s an easy walk or ride, though you may wish to conquer the trail over the course of multiple days due to its size. Overall, it really is a nice trail....all paved, and except for the northern stretch, very smooth. The RRVT trestle two miles south of Jefferson continues to be closed after a portion of it collapsed during the March 2019 high water event, A number of improvement projects are taking place this year along the Raccoon River Valley Trail. Although the building is open only for special occasions, ample parking is available here, and a drinking fountain can be found outside to fill up your water bottles for the journey. The two-mile trail is wide and flat and meanders through various forest types before closely following the Metedeconk River for about ¼ mile. So I upgrade the riders in IOWA to very polite and trail friendly over one interview here. I like the Raccoon River Valley Trail so much that I moved to Iowa and bought a house just a few blocks from it so that I can ride it every day. I was so glad I brought two 24 oz bottles of drink, I think a third bottle would have been better. Alas, last summer, the brewery was gone and so was about 25% of the condition of the trail. A user permit is required for all trail users 18 and over who are using the trail for walking, skiing, skateboarding, jogging, biking, snowmobiling, etc. Through the woods, a canopy over you From Adel to Redfield. Over its 89-mile span, you’ll traverse woodlands, prairie and agricultural landscapes. Thus turned out to be a fabulous choice. Just downriver from there, the 237th St. Bridge is a The new trail segments are constructed of concrete and provide for a very smooth, pleasant surface. Permits can be obtained online, at the office, by mail, or with envelopes available in the yellow tubes at the trailheads on the trail. At the northern end of the trail in Jefferson, parking is available at the restored depot. Frustrating!!!!! After passing Woodlands Pkwy., the trail heads south underneath US 6/Hickman Road to its starting point just west of NW 128th St. and just north of Pineview Drive. To either side of the trail, the brushy embankments are also bustling with birds. ...and then some. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. My daily rides typically take me to Yale or Panora if I'm heading south, or to Dawson or Perry if I'm heading east. QUite beautiful and varying. You’ll pass a self-service bicycle- repair station as you enter the town, which also has a refurbished depot with restrooms, drinking water, and a covered picnic table. An archery range, dog park, playgrounds offer something for everyone. I picked up the trail in Panora, heading toward Des Moines. Really, in passing it is only for a few seconds. All respecting COVID19 social distancing practices. At its upper navigable reaches in Sac County, the river flows through a heavily glaciated area with unique scenery. We highly recommend it. The route forms a loop through several rural communities with a long tail coming off the loop on its northern end that heads to Jefferson, as well as another tail on its southern end that heads toward Des Moines. We could see where water had been over the trail, but there was no damage to the trail in the sections we rode. It was a free day so we didn't even have too pay the paltry $2 trail fee which I put in the box anyway. We ate at the Mars Diner and Dairy Bar. The “In the Shadow of the Rails” public art installations have been completed in Greene County, reports the Greene County Conservation Board. Now it’s time for trail lovers to help. In Mid-March 2019, a bridge collapsed which carries the Raccoon River Valley Trail over the North Raccoon River just south Jefferson. why don't we have a current trail update map????????? The trail is great and you can see that they have put a ton of resources into both the RRVT and the High Trestle Trail. The food was nothing short of amazing. I ride the lower half of the trail all the time, there is no damage from the flooding. Get a FREE Rail Trails Guidebook when you become a Member with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. It really is quiet nice. From Cooper, it’s 5 miles to Herndon, where you’ll come to your first trail junction. The Raccoon River Valley Trail is a great trail for fun family rides with a couple of exceptions. Surface water throughout the area is shed into the marshlands and tributaries of the Raccoon and Oldmans Creeks, which serve as important headwaters that feed the Delaware River and Bay. If we ever come back, we will definitely stay there again.Day 2 started with a short walk to the Uptown Cafe. The BACooN RIDE registration includes: In Waukee, you arrive at your second trail juncture. ", "We rode this trail twice about ten years ago and found it quite enjoyable, especially enjoying a trek into the Heartland Beer Fest and a tour of the sponsoring brewery. The Middle/South Raccoon River Water Trail starts as two water trails that join midway below Redfield. Restaurants and lodging are plentiful here. The entire trail is paved, and on the main loop, so are many of the country road crossings! From Adel, you’ll pedal through Redfield, Linden (named for its many linden trees), and Panora in relatively quick succession. A person from the county told us these repairs are scheduled to be made soon. From downtown Des Moines, take I-35 north for about 28 miles to Exit 111B for US 30 W (toward Ames). From Redfield to Harlan. I like the fact that it is a loop so we didn't have to back track. Your trail etiquette is atrocious. It includes the communities of Jefferson, Cooper, Herndon, Yale, Panora, Linden, Redfield, Adel and Waukee. Raccoon River Valley Trail: Urbandale, IA, US Route Overview Iowa Bikeways From the Iowa Bicycle Coalition. We camped in a RV at Springbrook State Park which is six miles west of Yale. On the western outskirts of Des Moines, the Raccoon River Valley Trail offers a quintessential central Iowa experience. But the trail etiquette of Iowa trail users leaves much to be desired. The Trail is now closed between 252nd St and 265th St. No timeframe for repairs but certain to be closed for several months. The community truly embraces the trail, and in the windows of many businesses are signs welcoming trail visitors. We spent over 6 hours riding the Raccoon River Valley loop. The trail turns north here, and you’ll have 6 miles to go before reaching Yale, where you’ll pass by a massive grain silo, as well as a city park with restrooms and water. Rent a whole home for your next weekend or holiday. We rode from Waukee to Jefferson going through Perry on Day 1. It is rough from Yale to Jefferson. Nearly every cyclist spoke and said hello, there was only one solitary rider with headphones that failed the friendly greeting. The trail crosses many gravel/dirt roads and the transition from the pavement to dirt is frequently very rocky or has deep soft dirt which could be a problem with a road bike traveling at high speeds. Wed 06/07 (70.2 miles) Raccoon River Trail Fri 06/02 (37.3 miles) Lincoln Trail System Thu 06/01 (39.7 miles) Hwy 2 Mon 05/29 (38.9 miles) Lincoln Trail System Head west about 41 miles to Jefferson, and turn left onto SR 4 (N. Elm St.). My wife and I are annual pass holders and can't possibly thank those who made this possible near enough. Review the water trails and maps below for different water trails around Iowa. Turn left to travel east to the towns of Jamaica, Dawson, and Perry, or continue your southward momentum to the towns of Yale and Panora. Every trip on the RRVT should include a stop at Harvey's. It is known as a place of solitude and good fishing. The trail opens up to farmland as it approaches the old railroad town of Cooper at mile 7. Upon arrival, you’ll have experienced the entirety of the Raccoon River Valley Trail. Significant woodlands and wetlands throughout the area provide critical habitat for bog turtles, among numerous other threatened and endangered species. Turn right (north) onto County Road R22 (which becomes Sixth St.), and go 3.5 miles to Ashworth Drive. In 2013, an additional 33.1-mile north loop was completed on the RRVT, making the RRVT nearly 90 miles of paved trails and having a paved interior loop of more than 72 miles. If you are into history and have some time,  check it out as it is quite nice.We stopped for lunch in Perry. This route includes a lowhead dam at Redfield that must be portaged around. The trail is OK for hard-riding enthusiasts who want to crank out the miles, but for comfort cruisers like ourselves it lacks the scenery and amenities that the best trails in the midwest provide. Returning from Michigan to ride the trail in 2014. Over its 89-mile span, you’ll traverse woodlands, prairie and agricultural landscapes. Better yet, buy an annual pass $10 and come back again and again. On nice fall/winter biking days you may encounter hunters that are purposefully trying to cause bikes to wreck by allowing their dogs to attack riders. Raccoon River Valley Trail is a rail trail running 56 miles from Waukee, Iowa, to Jefferson, Iowa. Bicyclists, joggers, walkers, skaters, campers, cross-country skiers, birdwatchers, hunters, fishermen, naturalists and snowmobilers all use the RRVT, or at least those portions of the trail that are opened to specific uses. The bridge south of Jefferson is still out. Enjoy a 71-mile on the scenic Raccoon River Valley Trail featuring bacon specialty foods along the way. The route forms a loop through several rural communities with a long tail coming off the loop on its northern end that heads to Jefferson, as well as another tail on its southern end that heads toward Des Moines. The waitress was grumpy and the food slow coming out. Like the Raccoon River Valley Trail? Except for a few rough sections and some surface pimples, this is my favorite trail. A number of railroad companies owned the right-of-way over the years. Put it all together and you have the BACooN RIDE starting and ending in Waukee. Bids were let and construction will begin on the segment between Waukee and Dallas Center this fall. We also stopped at the Raccoon River Valley Bike Shop. My wife and I started on the Clive Greenbelt at 100th street, and rode west to the Raccoon River Trail. The shop is right next to Hotel Patee, less than a block off the trail. North Raccoon River Water Trail. The people seemed happy to see us, not annoyed by our intrusion into their town. It was very well maintained and the small towns you encounter about every 6 miles were quite accommodating. “The safety of trail users is our highest priority,” Wallace said. This all-important 9 miles will make central Iowa an even bigger destination! If you’re not done riding yet, pass under US 6 to seamlessly pick up the Clive Greenbelt Trail, which will take you through the West Des Moines suburbs. From there, all along the southern loop, all the way back to Waukee was nice again. Come in the summer, and you’ll see a plethora of grasshoppers darting across the pathway. AC was great. Some portions of the trail pass over raised boardwalks that enable hikers to … A delightful find as was this trail. Hunting Season Dates; Hunting and Habitat Public Meetings ... North Raccoon River Dallas County, Iowa Lizard Creek Webster County, Iowa Lower Des Moines River Eldon to Farmington, Iowa Maquoketa River Jones County, Iowa Snow across pass approximately 1 mile north of Panora on April fools day, 2019. The stretch from Forest Park Museum, just south of Perry, through Perry and west to Dawson was opened about two years ago. They mechanically blow this section of the trail every Friday! Menu & Reservations Make Reservations . Even though the trail is mostly flat there are challenging gradual climbs. Raccoon river park has something for most everyone. I've ridden all the way to Des Moines and back on both legs. This is a destination trail that's worth your travel. The trail is completely paved and most of it is very smooth and well maintained. We turned around at Linden where there is a nice picnic shelter and water fountain. The trail runs through 3 counties (Greene, Guthrie and Dallas) and local conservation officials are responsible for maintaining it. Just this is enough to bring me back. The only reason I might not ride that section again real soon is that there are a lot of cracks that have been filled, but the filling is now sunk in, and many other cracks that need filling, and despite the nice scenery, it was just too bumpy for me to be fun. Summary: You need to ride this trail if you get the chance. The North Raccoon River is a mostly freeflowing river surrounded by rural areas in a wooded valley. Nature Lodge. ", "The heart of this trail is the Waukee to Yale section of 34 miles. Now for the rest of the ride, we LOVED IT! We stayed on Perry Iowa and we able to bike right to the trail and continue riding the whole loop. You can finish your day’s journey by taking the short trail segment east along US 6 (Hickman Road) to the trail’s end in Clive. The trail will be adding another 33 mile loop in 2009 along another rail line, creating a loop. The trail is quite popular with cyclists in the Des Moines metro area and sees heavy use as weather permits year round. Here, you’ll also find restrooms and drinking water. Next time, I will probably just ride the main loop, and not include the northern part above Jamaica, simply due to the number of miles, and the bumps. We skated from Perry to just passed Dallas Center and back for 30 miles. The food was good, the service great, prices fair and most of all ... Air Conditioning. I drove 600 miles to do it, and i am glad I did! I decided to do the complete trail. The Raccoon River Valley Trail is an 89-mile paved trail beginning at the trailhead in Waukee, winding through 14 other communities and looping back to Waukee. With the connection to Jefferson and the extension to the Clive Greenbelt Trail and Windsor Heights Trail, a real century ride is possible on a there-and-back trail. While most of the surface is fine, the intermittent cracks were rough. There are also campgrounds and restaurants on the trail or within easy access. The trail is paved. The Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge sits on the northwest end of the lake. We didn't see the reported Mountain Lion (LOL) but we saw deer, geese, rabbits, grass hoppers, birds and even a mouse walking on the trail. The trail is perfect for a leisurely stroll or bike ride around the lake. We came from another state because we were looking for an easy day drive to a trail. We stopped in the town of Dallas Center and ate ice cream at the Korner Kone Ice Cream and Deli, which is right off the trail about 150 ft away. Portions of the trail have been paved within the city limits of Dallas Center, Perry, and Waukee. County Conservation Director Dan Towers says three entrances to specific locations on the trail in the county are a part of the “In the Shadows of the Rails” are finished. 515-465-3577 I had an y time finding a Casey's gas station just a few blocks west of the Jefferson trailhead, and took my food back to the Jefferson trailhead to eat. Construction has already started along segments of the new 33 mile section, and the entire project is expected to be completed within a couple of years (pending securing the final funding needed, which is nearly complete). A new 33- mile extension of the trail is being developed from Waukee, through Dallas Center, Minburn, Perry, Dawson, Jamaica and Herndon (where it will re-connect with the existing trail) that will create a nearly 90-mile paved looped trail! It’s one of the longest paved, recreational trail loops in the nation at 72-miles long and connects 15 communities and four counties. Reviews. In particular the mile on either side of the trestle bridge a few miles south of Jefferson was really nice. Eventually, this "Let's Connect Trail Project" will stretch to Woodward to meet the HTT. In Iowa, the American Di From Panora to Redfield is almost all in tree tunnels, welcome shade in the hot August weather. The trail is wide and flat, and is fairly easy walking. In 2018, the first section of an exciting new project to connect the Raccoon River Valley Trail to the stunning High Trestle Trail opened. 1,624 ft. The total ride was 99 miles and there was live music playing at all the towns along the way. Over its 89-mile span, youll traverse woodlands, prairie and agricultural landscapes. The lake and beach area are nice and not overly crowded. "Much of the trail has been resurfaced, except for a small section in and about two miles west of Adel. I'll include some pics to. 10th St. From I-80 westbound, take Exit 117 for Waukee. I do, too. Raccoon River Valley Trail. We just finished a 2 day event on this trail and despite the heat and wind, had a great time.