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The small city of Knoxville, about forty miles southeast of Des Moines, is chiefly known for the Knoxville Raceway and the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum, which draws racing enthusiasts from all over. Located on the western edge of the city, the city's Competine Trail may not let you speed around in a racecar, but it does provide a nice little flat and paved asphalt path that's perfect for a bit of exercise and recreation.
The trail begins in the north next to the Marion County Park and the local high school, running through the school grounds and by the city's recreation center. The park is home to campgrounds and picnic sites, with fishing and a whole host of outdoor activities available - be sure to check out the historical village when it's open during the summer. Crossing over to the east side of Park Lane Drive, the trail passes by the outskirts of residential neighborhoods and currently comes to an end just shy of Lincoln Street behind the hospital. Managing to pack in connections to a variety of destinations and recreation sites in just under a mile, the Competine Trail is a great start to the city's trail system - plans are in the works to extend the trail further east to 5th Street to form the southern edge of a looping trail network around the community.
Parking is available at the northern end of the trail at the intersection of Panther Drive and Willets Drive. From State Highway 5/92, take exit 64 and proceed east on McKimber Street. Turn right on Willets Drive; the beginning of the trail is in about a half-mile.
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