From Southwest Iowa Nature Trails, Inc. website:
The Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a converted railroad right-of-way running over 60 miles through the scenic Southwest Iowa countryside from Council Bluffs to Blanchard on the Iowa/Missouri border. The railroad tracks and ballast have been removed, and the trail has been resurfaced with crushed limestone. State agencies, individuals, families, businesses, and service organizations have donated the funding and labor to surface the trail, renovate bridges, and place benches and shelters along the trail.
The trail can be accessed in each of the towns it travels through: Council Bluffs, Mineola, Silver City, Malvern, Imogene, Shenandoah, Coin, and Blanchard (see Trail Access). The most popular starting points are at the Trailhead Park in Council Bluffs, on the northern end or the Shenandoah Trailhead on the southern end (see Trail Map). You will travel through the picturesque Loess Hills which run along the western edge of Iowa. These hills were formed by windblown loess (rhymes with bus), a fine and fragile soil, which built up over the years to heights of 200-300 feet. This unusual formation can only be found to such extent and depth in western Iowa and in northern China.
This and other natural wonders can be enjoyed on horseback using the equestrian trail, which parallels the trail from Council Bluffs to Mineola, or you can travel the entire sixty-three miles by foot, by bicycling or even cross-country skiing. No motorized vehicles are allowed.
The original Wabash Depot, located in Shenandoah, has been saved and restored. The building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located along the trail in Sportsman's Park.
The rail line that is now the trail started in 1878 as part of the Council Bluffs and St. Louis Railway and was later acquired by the Wabash Railroad. Although it was eventually taken over by the Norfolk and Western after World War II and later by the Iowa Southern Railway, the Wabash held many memories for area residents, memories that live on in the Wabash Trace Nature Trail.
The new Bob Kerrey Perdestrian Bridge (yes, bicycles can ride across the bridge) opens the Council Bluffs Trails and the Wabash Trace to the Omaha side of the Missouri River. It is a easy 11 mile ride on paved trails between the bridge and Wabash Trace Trailhead Park.
Disclaimer: All project trails listed on TrailLink.com are in various phases of development and may not be open for public use. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy does not manage any trails listed on TrailLink.com. To learn more about the current status of trail development, please look in the "Related Links" section below to find contact information for the local organization or agency responsible for trail management.