Pioneer Trail


Trails Matter More Than Ever

DurIng these extraordinary times, more people are counting on trails to stay active and healthy. Your support keeps TrailLink resources FREE to help find a trail near you!

Pioneer Trail Facts

States: Iowa
Counties: Grundy
Length: 11.5 miles
Trail end points: S. Main St. and Market St. (Holland) and N. Commercial St. near Grundy Ave./SR 175 (Reinbeck)
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015648
Trail activities: Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

With Unlimited:

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

Pioneer Trail Description

Central Iowa's Pioneer Trail—which gets its name from the early settlers of Grundy County—is built on a former rail line that once connected the towns of Holland and Reinbeck and the communities in between. The crushed-stone trail parallels Black Hawk Creek for most of its route, offering views of natural conservation areas and picturesque farmland.

The trail, mostly tree-lined and shaded, consists of three sections separated by two gaps (around a mile each) on shared roadways. Horseback riding on the trail is allowed on the mowed grass parallel to the crushed-stone pathway.

From the northernmost endpoint in Holland, the trail begins at South Main Street, where there is a small parking area, and continues through a tree-lined area bordered by farmland. After the first 2.4 miles, the trail shares the roadway with A Avenue for about a half mile. The trail continues off-road on the east side of Fourth Street for another 0.8 mile and then reaches its first gap at 235th Street. You can continue on a shared roadway by turning right onto 235th Street and then left onto Diagonal Road.

The trail picks up again about a mile down the road at the entrance to the Wolfe Family Preserve (in the preserve’s eastern end), where there is a small parking area.

The trail then enters a forested landscape before traveling back out into relatively open farmland as it parallels Diagonal Road. This section has three stops with picnic areas and restroom access: the C.E. Shearn Memorial Park (south side of Diagonal Road, approximately 1.8 miles in), the Grundy County Museum (south side of Diagonal Road at Second Street and Sycamore Street, approximately 4 miles in), and Gutknecht Roadside Park at U Avenue (approximately 5.5 miles in).

To reach the final section to Reinbeck, turn right onto U Avenue, and turn left onto Diagonal Road. The trail picks up just over a mile down the road on the east side of V Avenue and ends a quarter mile later at the Reinbeck Shooting Range, where limited parking is available.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the northwestern trailhead in Holland from Des Moines, take I-235 eastbound to Exit 137A to I-80 toward Davenport. In 4 miles, take Exit 142 to US 6/US 65 toward Altoona. Turn left onto NE Hubbell Ave., and continue for approximately 36 miles. Turn left onto Marsh Ave. to continue on SR 330 northbound for 13 miles. Turn left onto State Route 14 northbound just after passing the Marshalltown Municipal Airport on your right. In about 16 miles, turn right to continue on SR 14/SR 175. In just over 6 miles, you’ll reach the outskirts of Grundy Center. Turn left onto M Ave.; the Rose Hill Cemetery will be on your left. In 2.5 miles, turn left onto 210th St. Continue for just under 0.75 mile. Take a sharp left onto Market St. and then immediately turn right onto S. Main St. Turn left into the trailhead parking lot.

To reach the eastern trailhead in Reinbeck from Des Moines, take I-235 eastbound to Exit 137A to I-80 toward Davenport. In 4 miles, take Exit 142 to US 6/US 65 toward Altoona. Turn left onto NE Hubbell Ave., and continue for approximately 36 miles. Turn left onto Marsh Ave. to continue on IA 330 northbound for 13 miles. Turn left onto SR 14 northbound just after passing the Marshalltown Municipal Airport on your right. In 4 miles, turn right onto IA 96 eastbound, and go 14 miles. Turn left onto H Ave., and go 8.5 miles. Turn right onto SR 175 (Diagonal Road); after about 1.5 miles, turn left onto N. Commercial St. The roadway to the Reinbeck Shooting Range will be on your left across from a cluster of grain silos. The roadway leads to a small parking area at the end of the road.

Pioneer Trail Reviews

The Pioneer Trail provides a nice way to enjoy the countryside across the central part of Grundy County. With the exception of a couple of gaps in the trail in and around Grundy Center, cycling the trail is a very enjoyable experience.

An effort is currently underway in Grundy Center to close some of the gaps in the Pioneer Trail between Grundy Center and Reinbeck. Currently, a gap in the trail exists within the city limits of Grundy Center, as well as from the east edge of Grundy Center for approximately a mile east where the trail resumes again. Community groups are currently working with the city and other groups to raise funding to construct a trail that will link these sections with an effort to make the Pioneer Trail contiguous through this area. More information to come!

The Pioneer Trail is a roughly 12 mile crushed limestone trail that extends from Holland on the west, through Grundy Center, Morrison and eventually ending at Reinbeck at the eastern terminus. It follows the old Rock Island railroad line that once traversed across Grundy County from near Reinbeck to Wellsburg and beyond through the northwest corner of Grundy County. The trail was developed in 1986 and is managed by the Grundy County Conservation Board. Currently there are two gaps in the just east of Grundy Center, and another just west of Reinbeck. Efforts are currently underway to close the gaps so that one does not need to detour around these areas. It is a nice, flat trail perfect for cycling, running, walking or other activities. It adjoins several parcels of land that make up the Grundy County Greenbelt between Grundy Center and Morrison, including the Blackhawk Creek Wildlife Area just north of the trail near Morrison.

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Sergeant Road Trail

Iowa - 9.9 miles

The Sergeant Road Trail is part of the larger trails system in the Cedar Valley region of Iowa, which includes the cities of Cedar Falls and Waterloo....

Grundy County Lake Trail

Iowa - 3 miles

The Grundy County Lake Trail circles its namesake 40-acre lake, where outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy fishing, boating, and many other recreational...

Wolf Creek Trail (IA)

Iowa - 2.6 miles

The Wolf Creek Trail begins in Gladbrook, a small city about 70 miles northeast of Des Moines. The trail was established in 2001 by volunteers from...


Comet Trail

Iowa - 7 miles

The Comet Trail is built upon an abandoned right-of-way of the old Chicago Northwestern Railroad. It runs for 7 miles between the town of Conrad (City...

Shaulis Road Trail

Iowa - 5.59 miles

The Shaulis Road Trail is a ten-foot wide concrete trail that runs along the side of Shaulis Road in the sparsely populated southern edge of Waterloo,...

Prairie Lakes Trail

Iowa - 3.4 miles

A lovely concrete and asphalt path that traverses through a pleasant, tree-lined corridor in the southern edge of Cedar Falls, the Prairie Lakes Trail...

Cedar Prairie Trail

Iowa - 7.9 miles

The Cedar Prairie Trail is an important component of the extensive trail system in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The paved pathway runs between the South...

Greenhill Trail

Iowa - 4.68 miles

Forging a link between the South Riverside Trail (and the smaller, unpaved Trolley Trail) on one end and the Cedar Prairie Trail on the other, the...

Hudson Road Trail

Iowa - 2.22 miles

A multi-use sidepath that runs from University Avenue to 1st Street in Cedar Falls, the Hudson Road Trail helps provide off-road access to the campus...

University Avenue Trail

Iowa - 3.1 miles

Installed in 2018 as part of a major overhaul of the adjacent roadway, the University Avenue Trail provides convenient access to destinations on the...

UNI Preserve Trail

Iowa - 0.8 miles

Right in the heart of the campus of the University of Northern Iowa, the UNI Preserve Trail offers a shockingly scenic trek through prairie and...

12th Street Trail

Iowa - 1.51 miles

The 12th Street Trail, occasionally referred to as the Pheasant Ridge Trail after the golf course it runs next to, is a wide concrete sidepath that...

Download the TrailLink Mobile App and Take TrailLink With You!
Support The Trails You Love & Get Our Rails to Trails Magazine!
Get Outdoors and Experience Trails With Our New Guidebooks!

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

Log in with Google


Register for free!

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

Register with Google