Type: Nature Trail

Length: 18 miles

Surface: Paved

Older sections are asphalt, in good condition. Allison - Bristow, new in 2019, concrete.


Above Average

Grade - Gentle Grades



The Rolling Prairie Trail is a great rail-trail that is being developed in NE Iowa. It is near the Central Iowa portion of the Great America Rail Trail and is becoming a destination area. There is camping, lodging and B&Bs all around the area.

Other nearby cities like Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Waverly, Decorah and Cedar Rapids have a great trail system.
You can fish for walleye in the Shell Rock & Cedar rivers. Snowshoe, ski or fat tire bike in the winter.

Location - Where is this Trail?,-92.9870352,10.5z/data=!5m1!1e3


Shell Rock


Sites & Attractions

Shell Rock County Park, Shell Rock
Pete & Shorty's, Clarksville -
Wilder Park, Allison -
Sherrie's Cafe, Allison -

History of the Trail

  • Thu September 04 2008
  Posted Sep 4, 2008
By LAURA ANDREWS, HAMPTON — The potential to ride a bicycle from Coulter to Allison and beyond is now closer to reality for Franklin and Butler counties. “Basically Franklin and Butler County conservations have signed an agreement to a 32-mile railroad corridor from Union Pacific,” said Dennis Carlson, Franklin County Conservation director. The corridor will be called the Rolling Prairie Trail and go through Coulter, Hampton, Hansell, Dumont, Bristow and Allison. The project has been in the works the past 10 years. “It’s quite exciting to reach this point,” Carlson said. The corridor was recently purchased by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and will be turned over to the Butler and Franklin counties once fundraising is complete. Franklin County must raise $67,000 and Butler County around $60,000. This will also enable them to receive two federal grants totaling $600,000 and an Iowa Department of Transportation grant for $150,000. “Fundraising for purchase will go fairly quickly,” Carlson said. “Once we get into the planning that will be done in phases because cost per miles to develop the trail.” The planning will also decide what type of trail it will be. “In Franklin we’re in process of instigating a citizen advisory group to start planning on what we want the trail to be — biking, hiking, horseback riding or snowmobiling,” he said. “It is a fairly expensive process so we want to make sure we’re coming up with what people want to see.”


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This trail was last edited by IA-Mike on Aug 1, 2019.

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Pathways' PEDAL Power

5 Saturday May 2007
  • Clarksville, IA
  • Just Plain Fun
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Latest Rolling Prairie Trail News

Rolling Prairie Trail work continues

  • Tue September 10 2013
  •   10,851

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