September 2018 Eldora Herald-Ledger  By Rick Patrie, News Editor
It was only a mile, but every bit a milestone.  And just a few weekends ago, Rainsbarger Daze introduced that first one-mile paved
evidence of the Iowa River Trail to the wider public.  Runners in the Rainsbarger 5K took the route.  Completion of that opening phase of the Iowa River Recreation Trail – with its launching from Steamboat Rock – marked the first “done” on the thirty plus mile project’s to do
list.  Earlier in the summer the ribbon was cut on roughly a mile of paving and landscaping and now enthusiasts for the biking and recreation trail are saying they hope to have the Hardin County length of the feature 
open to use – at least in its rough state – by this time next
year. Rough means a graded and maintained, but crushed stone roadbed.

That still leaves a lot of time, and money need for the full two county stretch of full paving. It calls for a ten-foot wide concrete surface running from Steamboat Rock, through Eldora and on along the route of the old Iowa River Railway into Union and then from there along a route through Marshall County to finally arrive in Marshalltown.  Supporters of the rec trail in Marshalltown had made their own start on initial paving this summer, too.  Trail developers had spent this past summer completing an ecological study along the route corridor. The idea was to cataloged plant life, get locations and information on the whole host of species that trail users will encounter, and spot any threaded or endangered species of flora.  Meanwhile a couple of grant applications are in looking for financial help extending a short demonstration paving project installed in Eldora and doing much the same in Union where the trail will route from the town to the Daisy Long Park.  The trails group continues to seek more federal assistance for longer-term work on the project.
One of the near term projects is a continued assessment and repair work on seven bridges which are part of the old railway route.  
To bring them up to rec trail standards will involve repairs to decking and railing. First work will likely be on the bridges from Steamboat Rock to Gifford.  So, the hope is that by the
close of 2019, the trail will actually be usable, though its will be initially a stone surface.  When finally done the 34-mile trail will feature that tenfoot concrete paved section,
with about another ten foot of siding. Though the trail is commonly referred to as a biking trail, it will actually be open to a number of types of recreational traffic.  Promoters of the Iowa River recreation trail gathered up May 19 for a ribbon cutting spotlighting the successful completion of the first phases of the trail.  That day some of the bike enthusiasts set off on a short ride taking in the existing portion of the trail making connections with the existing trail segments out of Pine Lake State Park.


September 14, 2018  Eldora Herald-Ledger~By Rick Patrie News Editor
HARDIN COUNTY – It was only a mile, but every bit a milestone.  And just a couple of weekends ago, Rainsbarger Daze introduced that first one mile paved evidence of the Iowa River Trail to the wider public.  Runners in the Rainsbarger 5K took the route.  Completion of that opening phase of the Iowa River Recreation Trail – with its launching from Steamboat Rock – marked the first “done” on the thirty plus mile project’s to do list.  Earlier in the summer the ribbon was cut on roughly a mile of paving and landscaping and now enthusiasts for the biking and recreation trail are saying they hope to have the Hardin County length of the feature open to use – at least in its rough state – by this time next year. Rough means a graded and maintained, but crushed stone roadbed.  That still leaves a lot of time, and money need for the full two county stretch of full paving. It calls for a ten-foot wide concrete surface running from Steamboat Rock, through Eldora and on along the route of the old Iowa River Railway into Union and then from there along a route through Marshall
County to finally arrive in Marshalltown.  Supporters of the rec trail in Marshalltown had made their own start on initial paving this
summer, too.  Trail developers had spent this past summer completing an ecological study along the route corridor. The idea was to cataloged plant life, get locations and information on the whole host of species that trail users will encounter, and spot any threaded or endangered species of flora.  Meanwhile a couple of grant applications are in looking for financial help extending a short demonstration paving project installed in Eldora and doing much the same in Union where the trail will route from the town to the Daisy Long Park.
The trails group continues to seek more federal assistance for longer-term work on the project.  One of the near term projects is a continued assessment and repair work on seven bridges which are part of the old railway route. To bring them up to rec trail standards will involve repairs to decking and railing. First work will likely be on the bridges from Steamboat Rock to Gifford.  So, the hope is that by the close of 2019, the trail will actually be usable, though its will be initially a stone surface.  When finally done the 35-mile trail will feature that ten foot concrete paved section, with about another ten foot of siding. Though the trail is commonly referred to an s a
biking trail, it will actually be open to a number of recreational traffic.  Promoters of the Iowa River recreation trail gathered up May 19 for a ribbon cutting spotlighting the successful completion of the first phases of the trail.  That day some of the bike enthusiasts set off on a short ride taking in the existing portion of the trail making connections with the existing trail segments out of Pine Lake State Park.



Ribbon Cutting in Steamboat Rock May 19th




























Thursday, April 12, 2018

About forty volunteers, in partnership with Park and Rec, helped with the cleanup of the bike trail from Keyer Trailhead (Wilson Circle) to Summit Road. They worked Thursday morning in beautiful weather to pick up trash and clean up brush and heavy trash also. Many thanks to everyone who helped! More pictures will be coming in another post.