The paved Summerset trail extends between the McVay Trail
in Indianola and Route 5 at 1st Street in Carlisle, following the old rail bed of the former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy (CB&Q) railroad. This National Recreation Trail passes among suburban back yards, woodlands, farmland, wetlands and undulating prairie, showcasing Iowa's natural heritage.
At the Carlisle end, you'll find parking, portable toilets and picnicking, as well as a shelter. Local restaurant and shops are found here, too.
As the trail heads south the terrain is flat, and the surrounding landscape is a good place for bird watching, especially where the trail passes through wetland conservation areas. At Banner Mine State Wildlife Management Area you can do a loop ride on the road around the wetlands and lakes. From here you cross the Middle River, where the trail begins a gradual climb.
South of the river the terrain gently rolls through remnants of Iowa prairie, passing through more farmland and a wooded corridor with occasional open areas. Around Hillcrest Avenue you begin to enter the outskirts of Indianola. You'll encounter a few light industrial areas, suburban back yards and a couple of parks before trail's end at the 300 block of East 5th Street.
Parking is available at the 300 block of N. 5th Street in Indianola, at Banner Mine Wildlife Management Area (follow the road around to the far side form the entrance) and at the trailhead along Route 5 at S. 1st Street.
Rode the trail the first time this past week, starting in Carlisle at the North End. Trail passes through some pretty countryside including several wildlife preserves and a state park. A few miles outside of Indianola the grade does increase slightly ...
I agree this is a good trail for those getting into trail riding. The southern section is much more scenic than the northern section. I'm thankful that this ex-Rock Island branch line was saved and turned into a trail.
I ride this trail often. It is a nice easy trail. I would agree start in Carlisle so the down hill is the second leg of your trip. There is an ice cream/sandwich shop call Fizz great place to stop after your ride. Indianola has lots of spots to grab a ...