The Rock Island Old Stone Arch Trail travel 4 miles along an asphalt path atop an abandoned rail bed once owned by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. As the name suggests, the trail's main feature is a stone arch bridge, which is listed on National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is one of only four built in the county in the 1880s, and it was reported to be the first railroad structure built in Shelby County. The limestone is believed to have come from a quarry in Earlham, Iowa, not far from the railroad's main line in that area.
Start the trail at the southern end along 358th Street near I-80. From here, it arcs around to head north, passing through the small community of Shelby then heading toward Pingel Timber. The trail mostly traverses a green corridor through farmed fields. It also passed Shelby's restored wetland and depot.
The stone arch bridge is over Little Silver Creek, and in 2001 two other historical bridges were moved to cross into Pingel Timber (one bridge is the oldest tall iron-sided steel bridge in Shelby County). Friends of the trail have landscaped the route with native plantings. In addition, the trail features benches, maps and brochures at various locations and a gazebo overlooking a wetland area.
Parking and Trail Access
Parking is available where the trail crossed Hackberry Road, at the park at Station and West streets and at the southern terminus off 358th Street near I-80.