Trail systems are becoming more popular every year, and many towns are developing their own trail system. While some trails remain independent, some towns are looking toward the future and beginning work to connect the trails to the American Discovery Trail (ADT).
The ADT is a system of recreational trails and roads which, when completed, will traverse America from coast to coast.
The ADT is already contiguous across the United States, but the goal is to create an off-road trail using existing trails and connector routes between them. It is a trail that will pass through towns, farmlands, and near highways as opposed to a wilderness trail used mainly for hiking.
The ADT is proposed to allow those interested in biking, walking, running, and other recreational activities to move across the states in a safe environment.
The ADT is a non-profit organization and is run by the American Discovery Trail Society, managed by a board of directors. Each state that the trail passes through has a state coordinator, and each county it passes through has a board.
In Montgomery County, the ADT has no signage yet, but the shoulders north of Red Oak on Highway 48 have been extended as part of the trail and continues through Montgomery County into Cass County along the highway.
It goes west on old Highway 34 through Emerson to Hastings, entering Mills County, then south on M16 and west on H48 to Malvern where it joins the Wabash Trace Trail, going through Silver City and Mineola.
The ADT crosses into Nebraska at the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. From Atlantic to Council Bluffs at the state line, the ADT measures 76 miles.
Many counties are continuing to work with Boards of Supervisors and the Iowa Department of Transportation to get the proposed living map of the trail completed. The living map is subject to change due to contracts and paperwork needed to be completed by landowners, but the map offers hard and soft surface trails.