Praeri Rail Trail


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Praeri Rail Trail Facts

States: Iowa
Counties: Story
Length: 10.5 miles
Trail end points: N. Park St. and National St. (Roland) and US 65 just south of W. Main St. (Zearing)
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015651

Praeri Rail Trail Description

The Praeri Rail Trail runs on an old section of railroad right-of-way between Zearing and Roland in central Iowa. Sections of the trail near Roland and McCallsburg have a crushed limestone surface, but the rest of the trail is mowed grass and may be difficult for road bikes, as the grass is mowed infrequently. Remnants of native prairie habitat line the flat, straight-as-an-arrow trail. The section about 2 miles east of Zearing is farthest from nearby roads and thus offers the most diversity of wildlife habitat.

Development of the Praeri Rail Trail began in 1979. The unusual spelling of the name is derived from the area's strong Norwegian heritage.

Parking and Trail Access

Access the trail from the Roland City Park at the intersection of North Park Street and National Street at the northeast edge of Roland or from McCallsburg, where on-street parking is available.

Praeri Rail Trail Reviews

Update on flood damage

August 12, 2009.

We are still in the process of repairing a bridge that was washed out by the 2008 flooding. The bridge is between McCallsburg and Zeariing (680th Ave and 690th Ave). We hope to get the bridge replaced by this fall.

It is also important to note that only a couple of miles of the trail are limestone. The rest is grass, and although our staff tries to mow those segments once per month, it is occassionally very overgrown.

Thanks, Carol Williams, Special Projects Ranger, Story County Conservation Board

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