Veterans Trail

The Veterans Trail is a ¼ mile, barrier free trail constructed to accommodate wheelchair users and people with walking disabilities as well as able-bodied users. The asphalt and boardwalk trail meanders through mature oak, hickory, and maple trees. Features along the trail include a bird observation area, various rest areas for quiet reflection, and an 80 foot bridge.

photo: WWII rest area and Pelechek Bridge on Veterans Trail Type: Nature Trail
Length: 0.25 miles
Loop Trail? Yes
Allowed Uses: Bicycling (on pavement), Bicycling (off pavement), Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running, Roller/Inline Skating, Snow - Cross-country Skiing
Agency: Nonprofit
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

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Directions

Location: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Coralville Lake Project, near Iowa City, IA. Located just below the Visitors Center, adjacent to the East Overlook Recreation area.
States: Iowa
Counties: Johnson
Latitude: 41.724   Longitude: -91.52534

From I-80 at Iowa City take exit 244 (Dubuque St) north approximately 2 ½ miles to West Overlook road. Turn right or east on West Overlook road and go approximately 1 ½ miles across the top of Coralville Dam. At the east end of the Dam is the East Overlook recreation area. Just east of this is the parking lot for Veterans Trail.

Description

During the fall of 1988, construction was completed on the Veterans Trail. On Memorial Day of 1989, the trail was dedicated as The Veterans Trail in honor of all Local Johnson County Veterans who have served in the military. Each Memorial Day, a Dedication Ceremony is held honoring all Veterans and a portion of the trail adds the names of special Honorees to the trail.

In 1989 - During the ceremony, the Bird Observatory was dedicated in honor of Daniel Vickroy a Vietnam veteran who had sustained life threatening injuries that left him a double amputee. From this bird observatory disabled, as well as able-bodied, visitors can view wildlife such as deer, chipmunks, squirrels and various species of birds.

In 1990 – The bridge was dedicated for Richard Pelechek who served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Battalion and was a Silver Star winner. This 80 foot bridge stretches across a small ravine to the bird observatory.

From 1991 – 1996 the six rest areas on the trail were dedicated for various Veterans.
1991 – Ralph C. Neppel rest area. Congressional Medal of Honor winner.
1991 – Donald Link flower garden. Garden is in the shape of a “V” for Vallor.
1992 – E. Raymond Campbell rest area. A Pearl Harbor Survivor.
1993 – William Doherty rest area. WWII POW and Purple Heart recipient.
1994 – The seven Seydel brothers rest area. All serving in various branches during WWII.
1995 – The WWII Veterans rest area. Honoring 10 decorated WWII Veterans including one of two women honored on the trail.
1996 – The Vietnam Veterans rest area. Honoring 9 decorated Vietnam Veterans.

From 1997 – 2001 In 1997 the first of two granite rocks was dedicated onto the trail. During this 5 year period the names of 36 deserving veterans have been added here.

From 2002 – 2004 The second granite rock was dedicated on the trail in 2002. Thirty-two decorated veterans names appear on this stone.

In 2005, two rest areas were dedicated. One was a limestone bench honoring MG Robert L. Sentman. The other is a monument consisting of two upright granite slabs supporting a bench between them. The granite slabs contains the names of the veteran honorees for 2005-2011. This granite memorial will be used for future honorees until space is exhausted.

In 2008 a Monument, consisting of two brick columns holding a limestone slab between them, was dedicated on the trail. This monument honors all Veterans from Johnson County, Iowa, who gave the supreme sacrifice, dying in combat from the Civil War to the present conflicts of the United States.

There are many reasons why people are unable to walk through the woods. The Veterans Trail is significant in that it provides an outdoor experience to users that no longer have the ability to walk through the woods independently. This trail allows individuals the opportunity to view flora and fauna, indigenous wildlife, and provides a place for quiet reflection. The Veterans trail is used by care givers to people with disabilities, those rehabilitating at the U of IA Hospital and Clinics, the VA Hospital in Iowa City, school groups visiting Coralville Lake on field trips, and daycare providers.

Additional Details

Width: 60 inches.
Primary Surface: Boardwalk
Secondary Surface: Asphalt
Boardwalk

Average Grade: 1%
Elevation Low Point: 730
Elevation High Point: 740
Year Designated: 2012

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: Veterans Trail information

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Public Contact:
Jeffrey Peck
Natural Resource Specialist/Ranger
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
2850 Prairie Du Chien Rd
Iowa City , IA 52240
(319)338-3543 e
Jeffrey.H.Peck@usace.army.mil

 

Photos

Neppel rest area

Neppel rest area

MG Robert L. Sentman Memorial Bench

MG Robert L. Sentman Memorial Bench

 

Stone Bench

Stone Bench

Vickroy Bird Blind

Vickroy Bird Blind

 

"V" vallor planting garden at trail head

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