Type: Rail Trail
Length: 25 miles
Surface: Crushed Limestone
crushed limestone trail. Surface depends on the seasons. Can get rutted easily
Grade - Gentle Grades
HOINT is one of the last few longer non-paved trails in Central Iowa. I had
ridden this trail before a few times, but never made it more than a
couple of miles past Cambridge. Don't expect pristine conditions like
many of the other new trails in Central Iowa. "El Natural" is what you
will find on this trail. And "El Natural" is why I love this trail.
This is not a trail for your Madone or 23c road bike. If you are looking
for a bit of an adventure, then this trail is for you! With Crushed
limestone, sand, dirts, washouts, ruts, tree branches, a few horse
dropping, you'll also see all sorts of wildlife, cool bridge views,
scenic prairies and some pretty cool small Iowa towns to pass through.
READ BIKEIOWA Review from May 2013
Here is the explanation from the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation:
This trail offers expansive views plus significant prairie remnants east
of Slater, a pioneer cemetery and historical museum in Maxwell, heavily
wooded tracts near Cambridge and Maxwell and two wetland areas west of
Cambridge. A double track allows room for horses. Between Collins and
Rhodes, trail users cross the Hoy Bridge, which is 212 feet long and 60
feet tall. This unique, massive concrete arch bridge was built in 1912
to accommodate a double railroad over Clear Creek.
Chichaqua Valley Trail is a scenic recreational
trail begins just east of Bondurant and extends for 20 miles to the town
of Baxter. This was the trail that was closed for over a year and a
half due to flood damage a couple of years ago.
I had ridden it all once last year, but wanted to see how it was faring this year.
Location - Where is this Trail?
The main trail head is in Slater and there are places to part in most of the towns.
Sites & Attractions
normal small town convenience stores, restaurants, ice cream shops, hardware stores, etc.
History of the Trail
The Heart of Iowa Nature Trail traverses classic Iowa farmland along the former route of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, also known as the Milwaukee Road. The trail transitions from smooth crushed limestone in the west to a rougher grass and dirt surface in the east, with a couple of on-road detours. While a hybrid bike is a minimum requirement for cyclists, those riding fatter tires might find the trip more enjoyable. (source)
Planned Mileage: 8 miles -
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This trail was last edited by bikeiowa on Jun 5, 2020.