The Sauk Rail-Trail runs for 33 paved miles between Swan Lake State Park in Carroll and Black Hawk State Park in Lake View. The trail links the communities of Swan Lake, Maple River, Breda, Carnarvon and Lake View with scenic state parks and serene farmland.
Along the trail you'll pass through prairies and wetlands, preserved at such places as Black Hawk Marsh, Breda's Railroad Depot, Hazelbrush Wildlife Area, Mid-Prairie Park and Rolling Hills City Park in Carroll. And each end is crowned by Black Hawk Lake and Swan Lake state parks.
Around Swan Lake you'll encounter hills but more level grades are between Maple River and Carnarvon. Distances between towns are as follows: Lake View and Carnarvon: 6.2 miles; Carnarvon and Breda: 6.5 miles; Breda and Maple River: 8 miles; Maple River and Carroll: 4.5 miles; Carroll and Swan Lake: 4 miles. The trail around Swan Lake is 3.8 miles.
Note: A user fee is required for those 18 and older ($2 per day or $15 per year).
To reach the northern trailhead in Lake View: From US 71 northbound, take a left on 350th Street (IA 175). Travel 5 miles west and turn left at Madison Street. Travel south 0.4 miles to 3rd Street. Take another left and you’ll see the trail entrance with its distinctive arch on your right side in 0.2 miles. Parking is available at this trailhead.
At the southern end of the trail, parking is available in Swan Lake State Park (22676 Swan Lake Drive). From US 71 northbound, turn right onto 220th Street. Drive 1.4 miles east to reach the park.