Le Mars Recreational Trail

Iowa

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Le Mars Recreational Trail Facts

States: Iowa
Counties: Plymouth
Length: 9 miles
Trail end points: 4th Ave. & Park Ln and Key Ave. north of 200th St.
Trail surfaces:
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 9750912
Trail activities:

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Le Mars Recreational Trail Description

Parking and Trail Access

Le Mars Recreational Trail Reviews

Bucolic setting and very well maintained. Flat easy ride and would be good for kids. Plenty of signs but could use some arrows on the pavement so you don’t have to stop to look. Don’t miss going to the blue bunny ice cream parlor just a few blocks off the eastern end of the trail.

I came over to Le Mars from central Iowa to ride this trail. I'd heard good things about the town and the configuration of the trail intrigued me. It appeared to connect most of the town, making it possible to bicycle to stores and other destinations, and so I wanted to check it out.

It's a nice trail. The surface is mostly concrete with one or two asphalt sections. It's very smooth and in great shape for the most part. Recent flooding along Floyd Creek appears to have created some problems. There's a missing link where the trail passes under Highway 75. There are rather ominous signs stating that the trail is closed "by police order" warning off people who would try to pass through. They worked with us. and so I can't really comment on the northermost part of the trail.

The rest of it was delightful, though. It does connect the town together. There's a spur that heads off to a Walmart Supercenter, for example. The trail also skirts the community's largest employer, the Wells Blue Bunny ice cream plant. It meanders past the local airport and ends on a county road southwest of town. There are shelters so that people can take cover if the weather turns bad.

The town of Le Mars is very nice and worth spending some time in. We ate at the Iowa BBQ Company downtown and it was fabulous. There's a bike shop in town as well. We wanted to go to the Blue Bunny visitor center but it was "temporarily" closed...I'm not sure why.

All in all, I would say this trail is a model that other small towns can emulate if they wish to make their communities more bicycle friendly. The design, though not perfect, is thoughtful. I know that the winters here can be pretty harsh, and I suspect it's mostly a seasonal resource, but if they plow it as they do similar trails up the road in Minnesota, there's no reason local residents couldn't use it all year round.

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