Nestled in the southwestern corner of Iowa, the 63 mile Wabash Trace Nature Trail has earned itself a place in the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Hall of Fame, thanks to the incredible scenery that it takes you through. From dense rural forests to lush open countryside, this diverse trail is the pawfect place for you and Fido to make some memories together.
The Wabash Trace Nature Trail runs through four counties, as well as numerous small towns, and the farthest away that you will ever be from facilities, as well as full cellphone coverage, is on a 14 mile stretch through farm country. The trail can be accessed via any of the towns it passes through, although if you and Fido are feeling adventurous and would like to take on the entire trail, you will need to start at either Council Bluffs or Blanchard. Keep in mind that you will need to purchase either a day pass or an annual pass in order to use the trail, and this can be bought either online or at most of the trailheads.
Although the trail cuts through plenty of open farmland with nothing but sky above, the original railroad track, which is 100 feet wide, has been well-preserved, meaning that it is lined with shady trees most of the way. You will find water, as well as restrooms, at many of the towns that you pass through on this trail, so make sure that you always fill up on fresh water for you and Fido whenever you have the opportunity.
If you and your pooch enjoy a bit of history, you will definitely want to keep an eye out for the two train-car wreckages that you will pass by along the way. The first is just outside of Malvern, where you will see a derailed train from the 1960's, while the second can be found in Mineola, with multiple train cars fallen down the embankment.
The Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a popular trail, but, being so long, it is easy to walk for lengthy stretches without seeing anybody else, making the trail feel quite secluded. If a tranquil long-distance walk through some of Iowa's finest countryside appeals to you, then this is a trail that you and your pooch should definitely try.