Wide Open Spaces

Overview

  • Lucky me!  The trail head for today’s ride was my home in Waukee.  If you’re not fortunate enough to live close by to the trail, the new Waukee trail head is a perfect spot to kick things off.  There are restrooms, a drinking fountain, and also a picnic area.

  • This concrete trail segment is very new and in perfect condition.  It has very minimal grades and is very smooth.  The gravel road crossings are also concrete and trail shoulders are well groomed.

  • This segment of the trail travels through wide open spaces of Iowa farmland.  At times I felt like I was pedaling through a sea of corn.  Trees flank the trail but are at a distance that results in very minimal tree canopy.

Considerations

  • This trail is not one for those who dislike riding in the Iowa winds. However if you prefer riding out in the open and being able to see long distances, it’s a perfect fit.

  • Riders are required to pay $2.00 a day to ride the Raccoon.  If a person plans riding the Raccoon more than 3 times in a year it makes sense to purchase a yearly pass.  A permit strong box is located at the Waukee trail head.

Stops

  • A new rest stop is now located ½ way to Dallas Center.  I pulled over here and put on some gloves since it was such a chilly morning.

  • Dallas Center’s trail head made for a great stop for a mid-ride stretch and water break

Sightings

  • Just outside of Waukee I saw local celebrity Heidi Soliday out on a ride with a friend.

  • A squadron of pelicans were floating in the air out on a cruise.

  • Just before you reach Minburn there's a lone corn crib out in a field to the northeast of the trail .  It’s such an iconic scene and a great photo op.

  • Many of the towns along the Raccoon trail have old train stations.  Dallas Center’s station is now home to offices of a local law firm.  Minburn’s station is anxiously awaiting planned restoration.  

Treats

  • I didn't pack a snack today, and boy was I regretting it on the way back!  The Korner Kone (just off the trail in Dallas Center) was calling my name on the return trip.  As tempting as it was to pull in and grab lunch I headed back home for my lunch.  Next time I’ll remember to bring along a snack.