The Iowa Department of Transportation plans to close the Wabash Trace Trail at Malvern.

A popular trail in Southwest Iowa will close for the summer and this has many trail users and advocates wondering 'why now?'

"It doesn't make sense," Kim Gee said.

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Gee and other trail users gathered in Tabor, Iowa Thursday night to discuss trails in several Southwest Iowa counties.

"The trail is a vital part of recreation in Southwest Iowa. We've got to have it," John Baxter said. "Thousands of people use it throughout the summer."

The Iowa Department of Transportation plans to close down the trail at Malvern as crews do bridge work all spring and summer.

"The economic impact besides the health benefits are huge to the area and closing the trail for the entire season isn't an option," Rebecca Castle, President of Southwest Iowa Nature Trails, which manages the Wabash.

Castle said the Iowa DOT has been planning this project since 2014 but did not consult her group about the timing of this shut down.

"We need to figure out a compromise and safe detour or reroute for the trail during the summer," Castle said.

The town of Malvern depends on trail users for business.

"You're shutting off a lot of businesses and a lot of things that are going to happen in that community. Shame on the D-O-T for doing that," Gee said.

The project is set to start April 9th.

The Iowa Department of Transportation did return emails or phone calls.

For updates on the project, visit Wabash Trace Trail




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