Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The 18.5 mile long Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail follows the abandoned Chicago Great Western Railway grade between Riceville and the Iowa/Minnesota State Line. The corridor was originally built by the Minnesota & Northwestern Railroad in 1886. The paved trail traverses wide rolling landscape, agricultural land, upland timber, wetland and pasture while following the Wapsipinicon River for much of its meandering route. Less than one mile of the WGWL is on rural county roads.

Wildlife abounds on the trail. Otters, turkeys, pheasants, white-tail deer and a host of other native species are common sights. As if the scenic landscape isn't enough, the Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail also crosses three waterways—the Wapsipinicon River, Watsons Creek and Lake Hendricks—ensuring an even more tranquil experience. The northern section of the trail also comes close to a large-scale wind farm.

Parking and Trail Access

There is a Welcome Center for the Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail with parking at the Riceville trailhead off of East Main Street. Alternatively, park at Lake Hendricks Park to the north of downtown Riceville.



   April, 2015 by jody.ellertson

Great ride today. Beautiful trail! read more

Spectacular Trail

   August, 2014 by ryan.hulshizer

Since many of these comments were posted, the trail has improved dramatically- namely it is completely paved and in EXCELLENT condition. I have driven through this area many times and looked at the trailhead but never took the occasion until recently ...read more

Enjoyable Riding Trail

   August, 2013 by annamaewong

We rode our cross bikes and started out at the Welcome Center. We rode thru McIntire as far as we could go on the trail which was mostly all asphalt or cement. The last 2 miles was grassy. The grade was nice, because if you were peddling up hill you couldn't ...read more