The Pioneer Trail is named to give a nod to the people who settled in Grundy County in the 1850s. Eventually, the railroad came to serve the farm communities of Holland, Grundy Center, Morrison and Reinbeck. The trail now replaces the rails, which runs 12 miles between Reinbeck and Holland, with two 0.5-mile gaps (east of Grundy Center and west of Reinbeck). The gaps must be bridged via road since there is no public access between them.
The crushed and packed limestone surface accommodates walkers, cyclists and runners, while a grassy adjacent track is perfect for horseback riding. The trail provides access to several conservation areas, a couple of which are right along the route. Visit the Black Hawk Creek Wildlife Area, about 0.25 mile north of Morrison on County Road T53, with self-guided nature trails and a suspension bridge.
Other nearby points of interest include Holland Marsh, Wolfe Family Preserve, Shearn Park, Grundy County Heritage Museum, Buckles Wildlife Area, Gutknecht Park, Copley-Strohbehn Preserve, and the Reinbeck section of the Grundy County Greenbelt, all teeming with wildlife and native prairie vegetation.
Parking and Trail Access
You access the trail from any of the communities along its route. Find limited parking at Wolfe Family Preserve off Diagonal Rd./Route 175 just east of Grundy Center and farther along the same road at Shearn Park west of Morrison (middle segment).