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.


Area secret - nice trail

   July, 2016 by jlvcats

Trail was more interesting than I was expecting. Seems like it's location probably keeps it a bit of a secret. I would definitely ride it again. Some more details below: It had changing scenery including rural (fields doing well in July, Amish family ...read more


   August, 2015 by sasliger

Love this trail. Thank you to all who maintain this. Can't wait to get back to ride it again. read more


   April, 2015 by jody.ellertson

Great ride today. Beautiful trail! read more