Kewash Nature Trail

Iowa

Kewash Nature Trail Facts

States: Iowa
Counties: Washington
Length: 13.8 miles
Trail end points: County Highway V15 just south of E. Broadway Ave. (Keota) and N. D Ave. just south of W. 5th St. (Washington)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015372
Trail activities: Bike, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Kewash Nature Trail Description

The Kewash Nature Trail winds for nearly 14 miles between the towns of Keota and Washington. These endpoints were creatively combined to form the trail's name. The trail has a crushed limestone surface for most of its route, but the portion within Washington's city limits is paved asphalt.

Be certain to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the trail's many features. Particularly enjoyable are the prairie remnants and wild blackberries on the long stretch from Keota to West Chester. After passing through West Chester, the trail changes to a mixture of woodland and prairie scenery. The Crooked Creek Bridge—located between West Chester and Washington—is one of the most scenic places on the trail. You will also want to stop and take a look at the County Home Pond, where fishing is permitted.

Immediately before State Route 92, you can take a short hike into Hayes Timber. Here you will be surrounded by huge ancient oaks and abundant forest flora, fauna and fungus. In Washington, be sure to take a look at the 14 acre re-established prairie and Sesquicentennial Park before taking your final rest at Sunset Park.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking, restrooms and water are available in Keota, West Chester, and in Washington at Sunset Park, which is connected to the east end of the trail by the quarter-mile, asphalt-surfaced Sesquicentennial Way.

Kewash Nature Trail Reviews

Nice gravel and dirt trail, flat grade. First half between Washington and West Chester often under trees lining the trail. Freshly laid gravel in first 3-4 miles outside Washington was a bit thick at times and bogged me down even with 700x38 tires meant for such trails. Main objection is lack of services outside Washington, particularly water. West Chester has very nice trail side park, but no water. Pump behind the shelter but it was off and this was early June. Trail end in Keota was disappointing and ugly, ending confusingly in the middle of a co-op, tho nice golf course next door. If any facilities nearby I didn't see them. Two bottles of water and ran out at last 7 miles of return trip, so may want to take three if riding full trail round trip. Overall nice scenery and worth the trip.

My wife and I rode the entire length of the Kewash trail from Washington to Keota and back. The paved section was a little bumpy in places but not too bad. Would have been better if it had been swept of leaves and sticks. Once on the unpaved section it was a lot smoother though a good game of "pick up sticks" would have made it much better. There were places where if it was wet it could have caused us some grief but only had to walk one short section which was sort of steep with a little mud. Maybe 20 or 30 feet with a 6 foot section of mud with a gravel path to walk through. Someone braver than me probably could ride right through it. Not trying to scare anyone,the trail is not perfect but we had a great time really enjoyed ourselves and will definitely ride it again.By the way, we both rode on 23mm tires and had no problems.

We rode this trail from Washington to West Chester and had a great time. When one is on this trail there will be no doubt that you're in Iowa. There's a really nice little part just off the trail in West Chester that is great for a snack break.

Accordion

"The portion of the trail that runs from Washington to Highway 92 is very nice with regards to the surface and the scenery. However, the portion of the trail that runs from 92 to Keota is a mess. It is overgrown and very bumpy.
I wish it was in better shape, it's very nice country."

"Trailhead in Keota located near a cafe/service station. My impression of the trail surface was that this trail had been forgotten. I was on a touring bike while my wife rode her racer. Fortunately, the surface was dry or we would have been muddy. Its a pleasant ride to Washington and we did cross paths with other trail users. Somewhere I have a photo of pigs near this trail. Lots of canopy. Its the trail that Iowa forgot, that's its charm."

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