Nearly 3 miles of the Grant Wood Trail in Jones County has been constructed so far (2012) along a former Milwaukee Road right-of-way in Marion and Olin. The trail is named for the early 20th-century Iowa artist, perhaps best known for his painting "American Gothic." The trail currently is in two separate segments, the longest of which is the easternmost segment in Olin (2.2 miles).
The western segment (0.5 mile) begins in Martelle where South Street bends and heads east just a short distance through a narrow green space corridor. The trail here is paved. The 2.2-mile eastern segment runs between County Road E45 and Resident Street in Olin. The trail here is crushed stone. Both segments of the Grant Wood Trail follow a narrow wooded corridor and open green space among farm fields and farmsteads. You'll also encounter wetlands and meadows in the stream corridor, where wild turkeys, pheasants and deer hang out. In spring, warblers and other songbirds flit among the greenery, and you may hear the call of sandhill cranes passing through.
The trail is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. It is also open to snowmobiles in winter. Pick up the Linn County
portion of the trail in Martelle. Future plans call for linking the disconnected segments in Linn and Jones counties.
Street parking is available in Olin at the eastern terminus on Resident St. There is a limited parking on the western end of the Olin segment off CR E45. In Martelle park at the eastern edge of town off CR E45.
I have been on this trail a few times, really enjoyed it! Can't wait to hike it when it goes all the way to Marion!