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The small community of Mount Pleasant, Iowa is home to a nice, long series of recreational trails and sidepaths. The trail system enables many residents to easily get around the community by foot or by bike, and also provides a great option for some outdoor exercise and fun.
Beginning along Walnut Street and Bell Drive on the southern side of town, the concrete pathway heads south along the side of the road, briefly interrupted by a narrower sidewalk before it splits to head east and west - there are some small gaps along the route where the wider trail gives way to narrow sidewalk or where no accommodation is made at all, so be sure to do some research if you're planning on doing the whole route. The western fork quickly comes to an end along Harvest Drive, while the eastern fork continues along a pleasant creek corridor before turning south along the side of Grand Avenue.
After a ways, the trail turns east again and then north, coming to another fork soon after. Heading east will take you into the city's East Lake Park - the 120-acre park has numerous athletic facilities, playgrounds, and picnic areas, making it a great place to stop for lunch and a popular community destination. Continuing north through a residential subdivision, the trail comes to a halt after about a half-mile; this represents the longest gap in the trail, with almost a full mile of on-road routing before the off-road path resumes along Iris Street. The trail continues north along the roadside, then heads west along Maple Leaf Drive (with yet another short gap), before turning north one last time along Grand Avenue, coming to an end outside a large shopping center.
While most of the pathways that comprise the trail system are located right along roadways, with little shade and not a whole lot of natural scenery, the Mount Pleasant Recreational Trails remains one of the best ways to get around and experience this charming, small-town community.
Parking and restrooms are available within East Lake Park, located at 1722 Lexington Avenue off of State Route 27/US Highway 218.
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