website by Michelle
Since 1988, Southwest Iowa Nature Trails, Inc., The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and countless volunteers have been working hard to preserve the Wabash Trace Nature Trail for public use and enjoyment.
We will soon have a link available so that you may view a map of the Wabash Trace.
The trail is a converted railroad right-of-way running over 60 miles through the scenic Iowa countryside.
The railroad tracks and ballast have been removed, and the trail has been resurfaced with crushed limestone.
Individuals, families, businesses, and service organizations have donated the funding and labor to surface the trail, renovate bridges, and place benches and shelters along the trail.
The most popular starting points are at Trailhead Park in Council Bluffs, on the northern end or the Shenandoah Trailhead on the southern end.
You will travel through the picturesque Loess Hills which run along the western edge of Iowa from Plymouth County to the Missouri border.
These hills were formed by windblown loess, a fine and fertile soil, which built up over the years to heights of 200-300 feet.
This unusual formation can be found here and in northern China, the only two places on earth!
This and other natural wonders can be enjoyed on horseback using the equestrian trail, which parallels the trail from Council Blufs to Mineola, or you can travel the entire sixty-three miles by foot, by bicycle,or even cross-country skiing.
The trail is dotted with sites of service depots that once provided settlers the essentials of prairie life.
Some of these depots grew into towns still found along the way, while others dwindled and disappeared, unable to withstand the changes brought by highway transportation.
The original Wabash Depot, located in Shenandoah, has been saved by moving the entire building to a site along the trail and restoring it to it's original appearance.
The building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The rail line that is now the Wabash started in 1878 as part of the Council Bluffs and St. Louis Railway and was later acquired by the Wabash Railroad.
Although it was eventually taken over by the Norfolk & Western after World War II and later by the Iowa Southern Railway, the Wabash held many memories for area residents, memories that live on in the Wabash Trace.