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The Red Rock Prairie Trail is a developing rail-trail that will link three central Iowa towns, just outside of Des Moines: Mitchellville, Prairie City, and Monroe. The paved, multiuse trail runs 5.5 miles along a former rail corridor from Prairie City to Monroe with a potential 5-mile extension to Mitchellville city limits. As the corridor is mostly located in Jasper County, the trail development is being spearheaded by Jasper County Conservation.
As of August 2022, the rail-trail's eastern half—5.5 miles between Prairie City and Monroe—has been paved and is open to the public. With fields and farms stretching uninterrupted to the horizon in all directions, the trail runs south from the outskirts of Prairie City to downtown Monroe. Iowa's flat landscape and open skies provide a dramatic background for the rail-trail as it parallels IA-163.
Eventually, the plan is to expand the trail to Pella, Red Rock Lake, and the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge as well. As part of the Central Iowa Trail System, the trail will help link the Des Moines Metro to Lake Red Rock, Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge and Saylorville Lake.
For those driving, parking is available at Monroe Public Square (116 N Commerce St), a block east of the trail's Monroe endpoint. Visit the TrailLink map for detailed directions.
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails conservancy
(a non-profit) and we need your support!