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A plan to create a nationwide trail network for hiking and cycling includes a winding route through Iowa, from Davenport to Council Bluffs. The Great American Rail Trail was mapped out by the non-profit Rail Trail Conservancy and builds off of the state’s existing trail network.

The complete trail would travel 3,700 miles from Washington, D.C., to the Pacific Ocean in Washington State. According to the RTC, existing trails cover 53 percent of the 465-mile distance across Iowa including the Lake Manawa Trail, Heart of Iowa Nature Trail and Cedar Valley Nature Trail.

“They’re building upon an existing system and vision that’s already been laid out,” said Lisa Hein, senior director for conservation programs at the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.


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