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Opened in 2016, the Carlisle Nature Trail is a beautiful way to experience the natural beauty of the small Iowa community of Carlisle, located about a dozen miles southeast of Des Moines. Running through gorgeous woodland and prairies in the Scotch Ridge Nature Park, the trail allows you to experience firsthand the ecological history of the area, from the impact of moving glaciers during the last ice age to the thriving plants and wildlife supported by the North River. The paved trail runs north to south through the natural space, offering a pleasant walk or ride with intermittent shade - the trail also conveniently runs right past the local middle school, giving students a great option for walking or biking to school.
In the south, the trail connects to the longer Summerset Trail, a rail-trail that provides a straight shot down to the community of Indianola. Local parks near the trail junction provide even more opportunities for fun and recreation, with a host of athletic fields and play areas. A great little gem of a trail, the Carlisle Nature Trail is a fantastic asset for the charming small town.
Parking is available at the north end of the trail off of County Line Road, just south of Highway 5. Additional parking is available at the south end in Lindhardt Park, on Lindhardt Park Road off of S 5th Street.
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