The Great Trails will cross 12 states and consist of 3700+ miles and... about half of the trails are already built!
Picture yourself … pedaling across the entire country on a safe, seamless and scenic pathway—or walking a local trail that connects along historic routes. Imagine the incomparable experience of exploring America’s heritage by trail—its potential, its beauty and bounty, its people and places. Consider the economic opportunities and the benefits for communities along the route of a multiuse trail that stretches more than 3,700 miles between Washington, D.C., and Washington State.
The possibility of a rail-trail that spans the country has been known since the mid-1980s. As RTC stood at the forefront of the trails movement that was emerging across the country, it tracked rail-trails being developed east to west along the same course charted by the railroad a century ago. Now, analysis of RTC’s database of open trails shows that the Great American Rail-Trail’s preferred route is more than 50 percent complete—the milestone RTC has long identified as the threshold for committing to make this trail a reality. With that milestone in hand, RTC has committed to bring its national expertise and resources to bear in connecting the people and the infrastructure necessary to deliver the Great American Rail-Trail to the country.
The Great American Rail-Trail is a signature project of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the nation’s largest trails organization—with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong—dedicated to connecting people and communities through a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines. The “Great American” is the most ambitious project in its TrailNation™ portfolio—the organization’s initiative to encourage the rapid replication of regional trail networks across the country. Follow @greatamericanrailtrail on Facebook and Instagram.READ MORE HERE on Rails To Trails
It is definitley worth spending some time on the interactive map to get the massive scale that this trail encopmpass across the United States and Iowa!
3700+ miles of trail
1900+ miles of existing trail
52%+ already complete
Iowa Trails (from West to East)
From the mileage listed on the interactive map, there are 478.6 miles that need to be covered to cross the state. 349.6 miles are already existing trails and 129 miles where there are still gaps. That is still 73% completed for Iowa! (although we've seen some graphs that show Iowa as 53% done. We will update this Feature if we find these numbers are not accruate) The largest gap is 28.8 miles from Steamboat Rock to Marshalltown.