wabash trace cycling in Iowa

If the Wabash Cannonball still runs, it runs in Iowa along the Wabash Trace, sixty miles of delightful trail in Iowa. The original Cannonball, as legend goes was the death caboose that took the hobos of the depression to a better place. I suppose I’ll defer my ticket till a later date and trust my bicycle along the converted trails.

Iowa is prettier than I imagined with it’s rolling hills and miles of grain. Some of the hills are terraced to conserve the soil, and I could feel the farmer’s love for the land as we rolled along the converted trail, with 73 bridges along the 63 miles and the gentle long inclines that the old steam engines so favored.

The Wabash Trace near Shenandoah Iowa

The Wabash Trace near Shenandoah Iowa

The many bridges span ravines, little streams or the Nishnabotna River…

Across the river and onward....

Across the river and onward….

Pictures don’t do Iowa justice. On the cold blustery day the sky is so blue and brilliant the vistas so large I liken it to the ocean. We a red-headed woodpecker, a black vulture flew overhead and a state where the goldfinch is the state bird has to be just fine.

Every hill has a new vista

Every hill has a new vista

You can hop on the trail at Council Bluffs, and ride the length in a day, the hills are gentle but long and the people of Iowa seem to be friendly. This trail and all the bridges are all volunteer build, so there is a small fee at the trailhead. It’s very worth it to see a piece of history in a great state.

27 Comments on “wabash trace cycling in Iowa”

  1. It looks like you have been having loads of fun! YIPPEE! Does Janet get back soon?

  2. Shannon says:

    But boy, was it cold!!

  3. Shannon says:

    That was a great ride!

  4. lynndiane says:

    I live in the northwest corner of Iowa and was unaware of this trail until now…thanks for posting! “Iowa” means “beautiful land” in the language of the native people who lived here.

  5. Clanmother says:

    I did not know about the caboose! So much to learn – its a good thing that we help each other along the way.

    • billgncs says:

      In the Great Depression, there was not much hope for those displaced men. I like the thought of this – for those men in a diaspora of sorts – from camp to camp along the railways.

      And yes, it is a good thing indeed.

  6. Resa says:

    Obviously a bike will take us for a better look than a car or tour bus!
    The “Wabash Cannonball’ should be a book or a movie. Where you going biking next?

  7. Sounds awesome! Any covered bridges? I love covered bridges.
    Diana xo

  8. Used to sing the song in the folk clubs, interesting to have become a bike trail. Maybe we’ll have to write new words?

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