Paint Creek Trail (IA)


Paint Creek Trail (IA) Facts

States: Iowa
Counties: Allamakee
Length: 2.5 miles
Trail end points: White Pine Rd. north of State Forest Rd. and east of Donahue Rd. (Yellow River State Forest)
Trail surfaces: Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015575
Trail activites: Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Snowmobiling, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Register for Free with TrailLink Today!

View over 30,000 miles of trail maps
Share your trail photos
Save Your Favorite Trails
Find New Trails Near You
Leave reviews for trails
Submit new trails to our site
Register Now

Paint Creek Trail (IA) Description

Iowa's Yellow River State Forest contains a sprawling network of hiking, equestrian and bicycle trails. The Paint Creek Trail, which occupies a segment of an abandoned railroad corridor, is the only rail-trail in the 8,500 acre forest. The trail has a natural dirt surface, so be careful after heavy rainfall.

The Paint Creek Trail is popular with equestrian users (as Yellow River State Forest includes horse camping facilities), but bicycling is also permitted. Before or after your visit, be sure to check out Effigy Mounds National Monument to the south of Yellow River State Forest. The site preserves more than 200 ancient Native American burial mounds.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the Paint Creek Trail can be found on State Forest Road just to the east of White Pine Road.

Paint Creek Trail (IA) Reviews

Yellow River has day parking for horse trailers as well as over-night equestrian camping. We walked part of the Paint Creek Trail along the Big Paint Creek near the Donahue Road. The trail was a solid dirt trail even after having a lot of rain. We did cross a shallow area of creek. The trail next to the creek was wooded and provided the right amount of shade and sunlight. If you take White Pine Road (at the Trail Head) and drive to Waterville, you will see about four or five old railroad bridges, 2 of them are used as part of roads. One is a private driveway to a residence, the other is in the town of Waterville and has concrete over it. I am looking forward to starting a walk at the Trail Head next time. I wish there were more reference to the former railroad that once went through this area. The railroad started in Waukon and followed the Paint Creek through Waterville and down to Waukon Junction near Harpers Ferry. The railroad was once used to haul iron ore from the short-lived Waukon Iron Mines. Later it was used for people to travel and cattle to market. The railroad was less used as modern vehicles and roads improved. A book called, "Grass Between the Rails" tells the story of this particular railroad.

Nearby Trails

Pony Hollow Trail

Iowa - 3.6 miles

The Pony Hollow Trail in the northeastern Iowa city of Elkader offers a scenic route through woodlands and wetlands along the former Chicago, Milwaukee ...

Trout Run Trail

Iowa - 11 miles

Trout Run Trail forms an 11-mile loop around Decorah, providing access to many of the area's natural treasures and views of beautiful Iowa countryside. Although ...

Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail

Iowa - 20 miles

The Prairie Farmer Rec. Trail (a.k.a. Winneshiek County Trail) was named for a radio show once broadcast throughout the Midwest. The trail occupies the ...


Pine River Trail

Wisconsin - 14.3 miles

The Pine River Trail winds on an abandoned railroad corridor between Richland Center and Lone Rock in scenic Richland County. Trail users are treated to ...

Root River State Trail

Minnesota - 42 miles

Along much of its route, the Root River State Trail follows the winding course of its namesake river for 42 miles through the Minnesota towns of Fountain, ...

Great River State Trail

Wisconsin - 24 miles

The Great River State Trail follows the shores of the Mississippi River in western Wisconsin. The trail meanders through 24.4 miles of river marsh, thick ...

La Crosse River State Trail

Wisconsin - 22 miles

The La Crosse River State Trail is a link in a chain of rail-trails that connect more than 100 miles. This 21-mile trail leads you from the industrial ...

Heritage Trail (IA)

Iowa - 29.4 miles

Iowa's Heritage Trail runs for nearly 30 miles between the city of Dubuque and the town of Dyersville to the west. Short portions of the trail are paved ...

Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail

Minnesota - 18 miles

The Harmony–Preston Valley State Trail runs 18 miles on a north-south line between the town of Harmony and the Root River State Trail, which it meets between ...

Rountree Branch Trail

Wisconsin - 3 miles

The Rountree Branch Trail begins where Chestnut Street in Platteville crosses the Rountree Branch stream and continues 2.7 miles to Keystone Parkway. The ...

Pecatonica State Trail

Wisconsin - 10 miles

The Pecatonica State Trail from Belmont to Calamine promises a journey through some early Wisconsin history. Old Belmont was Wisconsin's capital when it ...

Elroy-Sparta State Trail

Wisconsin - 33.8 miles

Utter darkness is as much a part of the scenery along the Elroy-Sparta State Trail as the views of the rolling hills and farmland. That’s because visitors ...

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!