Paint Creek Trail (IA)


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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 activities: Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Snowmobiling, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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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.

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