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A proposed cross-country network of recreational trails called the Great American Rail Trail would follow a 465-mile path through Iowa.

Existing trails cover about half that distance, according to the Rail Trail Conservancy which created the route. Lisa Hein , of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, says to finish the job, local and state groups need to step up efforts to connect trail systems.

Hein says, “We have enough funding to do maybe three to ten miles a year and if we have 150 miles of connections that we need to still make to complete the Great American Rail Trail across Iowa, it’s going to take a few years.” On average, Hein says building one mile of trail costs 300- to 400-thousand dollars.


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