Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail


Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail Facts

States: Iowa
Counties: Pottawattamie, Shelby
Length: 4 miles
Trail end points: I-80 at 358th Street and Pingel Timber about 1 mile past Hackberry Rd.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015661
Trail activites: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail Description

The Rock Island Old Stone Arch Trail travels 4 miles along an asphalt path atop an abandoned rail bed once owned by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. As the name suggests, the trail's main feature is a stone arch bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge was reported to be the first railroad structure built in Shelby County. The limestone is believed to have come from a quarry in Earlham, Iowa, not far from the railroad's main line in that area.

Start the trail at the southern end along 358th Street near Interstate 80. From here, it arcs around to head north, passing through the small community of Shelby then heading toward Pingel Timber. The trail mostly traverses a green corridor through farmed fields. It also passed Shelby's restored wetland and depot.

The stone arch bridge is over Little Silver Creek, and in 2001 two other historical bridges were moved to cross into Pingel Timber (one bridge is the oldest tall iron-sided steel bridge in Shelby County). Friends of the trail have landscaped the route with native plantings. In addition, the trail features benches, maps and brochures at various locations and a gazebo overlooking a wetland area.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available where the trail crosses Hackberry Road, at the park at Station and West streets and at the southern terminus off 358th Street near I-80.

Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail Reviews

Parked at the corn crib. Next time will pick up trail in town because of gravel by the marsh.Otherwise wonderful trail to rollerskate on.

This was a perfect stop on 80 for lunch and a walk with out puppy. We could even let him off lease.

Nice 8 mile out & back round trip. We parked at the Trail head by the Corncrib restaurant. Takes you through wetlands and farm fields. Great for walking, running or riding.


We rode this one on 16 Sep 2013. Started at the trail head near exit off of I-80. Parked at Corn Crib convenience story. There are short sections of gravel near the wetland and crossing some gravel roads. Otherwise trail is nicely paved. Travels through some wooded sections and open farmland. The trail crosses over the stone arch bridge and then ends at another steel bridge entering the Pingel Timber. We noted a lot of benches but missed the maps and brochures. As the title of this review states. This is a short ride but did enjoy a break from travel on I-80 and the scenery was enjoyable. The small town of Shelby was fun to cruise through. Recommended stop when traveling I-80 through Iowa.

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