Inter-Urban Trail (IA)


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Inter-Urban Trail (IA) Facts

States: Iowa
Counties: Polk
Length: 1.3 miles
Trail end points: Neal Smith Trail and Urbandale Avenue and 34th Street
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015594
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Inter-Urban Trail (IA) Description

Des Moines' Inter-Urban Trail was opened in 1998 on the abandoned tracks of the Urbandale streetcar line. Residents and visitors of Iowa could ride the electric-powered trolley from Urbandale to Des Moines for just a five cent fare from 1905 to 1949. Later, the tracks were converted to accomodate freight traffic.

Abandoned in 1982, the centerpiece of the Inter-Urban Trail is the concrete-decked Wakonsa Bridge, which takes pedestrians and bike riders over the Des Moines River. A convenient connection to the Neal Smith Trail is provided on the east bank of the river, offering easy travel to Big Creek State Park and the Saylorville area to the north and downtown Des Moines to the south. On the west bank, the Trestle to Trestle Trail offers access to Johnston, one of Des Moines' northern suburbs.

To the west of the Wakonsa Bridge, the Inter-Urban Trail cuts directly through the heavily wooded Beaverdale Park. The asphalt trail then ends its off-road route at the intersection of Urbandale Avenue and 34th Street in the heart of the Beaverdale neighborhood of Des Moines. Those wishing to travel even farther west can continue along Urbandale Avenue's bike lanes.

Parking and Trail Access

Access to the Inter-Urban Trail is available at nearly any point off of Urbandale Avenue, but your best bet is the intersection with 34th Street or 30th Street. East of the Des Moines River, trail access is only available off of the Neal Smith Trail. Public parking is available at Beaverdale Park or on most of the residential streets of Beaverdale. As always, please be respectful of the property of the residents of the neighborhood.


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