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Wabash Trace Nature Trail

Location Southwest Iowa along the base of the Loess Hills - Council Bluffs, IA to Blanchard, IA along a former railroad corridor, this 63 mile long 4-county railtrail connects Blanchard northwest to Council Bluffs.
State(s) Iowa
Counties Page, Fremont, Mills, Pottawattamie
Type Greenway
Nature Trail
Rail Trail
Snow Trail
Length 63.00 Miles / 101.39 Km Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses Bicycling (on pavement)
Bicycling (off pavement)
Dogs - On leash
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Snow - Cross-country Skiing
Snow - Snowshoeing
Wildlife Observation
Agency Nonprofit
Entry Fee? Yes Parking Fee? No


The Wabash Trace Nature Trail is part of the Frontier Iowa Trails Network.
View all trails in this system.



photo: photo courtesy
photo courtesy

The Wabash Trace Nature Trail began as Iowa's longest rail trail. This 63-mile long crushed limestone trail was built in the late 1980s and early 1990s on a portion of the former Council Bluffs and St. Louis railroad. The trail is a pathway through a serene and unique landscape. Users can begin in the town of Blanchard along the Missouri/Iowa boarder and travel north through the communities of Coin, Shenandoah, Imogene, Malvern, Silver City, and Mineola on their way to the city of Council Bluffs on the Nebraska/Iowa border. Recent trail additions now connect it to the Omaha metro area across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. Nature and recreation enthusiasts are able to hike, run, bicycle, cross country ski, bird watch, and participate in countless other activities. The northwestern portion of the trail exposes the natural wonder of the Loess Hills. The Loess Hills were formed from fine soil (loess) blown by the wind over thousands of years. This process resulted in the creation of 200-300 ft hills for 200 miles along the western boarder of Iowa. Only in Western Iowa and along the Yellow River in China can someone view Loess Hills to such depth and extent. The trail intersects the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway in many places. The trail's grade remains a gentle 3% despite the fragile hills that line the path.Along the northeastern portion, the trail is encompassed by a tunnel of arched trees. Their shade is a welcoming sight to bicyclists in the summer. In the south, outd (Continued...)


Visitor Information

Date Opens: 1/1 - Date Closes: 12/31

Open 24 Hours

If trail is soft, do not use if marks are left behind.


The Iowa West Foundation Council Bluffs Trailhead is near the Intersection of Hwy 275 & Hwy 92, where Harry Langdon Blvd (Wabash Ave) and East South Omaha Bridge Road meet, near Lewis Central School and Iowa School for the Deaf.
The Shenandoah Trailhead is at Sportsman's Park, on Ferguson Road (Hwy 48) east of Hwy 59, where Sycamore St. intersects Ferguson Road.
Many other access points along trail.


Additional Information

Width: 108 inches.

Primary Surface: Crushed Rock

Secondary Surface: Crushed Rock

Average Grade: 2%

Elevation Low Point: 1000

Elevation High Point: 1000

Year Designated: 2007

Date Last Updated: 07/06/2017


Contact Information

Information Contact:

Southwest Iowa Nature Trail, Inc.
PO Box 581
Shenandoah , IA 51601
(712) 246-9589

Trail Management:
Rebecca Castle
Southwest Iowa Nature Trail, Inc. (SWINT)
304 W. Sheridan Ave.
Shenandoah , IA 51601
(515) 210-0269


Related Webpages and Documents

Title Type Link
Trails from Rails - trail information Website View/Download
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation Website View/Download
Trail Information Website View/Download



Do you see a problem with this trail data? Contact either the trail manager (listed above) or email


NOTE: The information on this web site and/or in this database is provided for the convenience of the public, trail managers, organizations, elected officials, etc. Neither the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, nor American Trails can guarantee that the information is accurate. Trail users are urged to inquire locally about weather, trail conditions, trail characteristics, fees, and regulations! The information on this web site and/or in this database should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government, and any mention of trade names, commercial products, or businesses does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.




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