89 miles of opportunity makes The Raccoon River Valley Trail a great trail for putting some significant mileage in. Trailside towns are less than 10 miles apart and provide good options for where to start/stop a ride or to take a break. The newest segment runs between Waukee and Perry with the towns of Dallas Center and Minburn in between. This link of trail is very flat and in excellent condition. Between Waukee and DC it is more out in the open but once past Dallas Center trees flank the trail for the remaining ride. Riders 18 and up are required to a user fee of $2 a day or $10 for a year. Strong boxes are located at trailheads for purchasing trail permits.
With the Waukee trailhead only a few blocks from home "The Raccoon" is my go-to trail. I’ve ridden it so many times this year I’ve lost count! My plan for this ride was to start from home and travel Northwest to Minburn. I was curious to see how the trailhead development was...developing.
Just outside of Waukee I was disappointed to find vandalism to one of the trail stop signs. Putting my disgust aside I made my way down the trail.
It was a pretty morning on the trail. Wild plums were ripening, the Iowa corn fields were in their glory, and a flock of geese was splashing around in a farm field puddle.
I stopped in Dallas Center and couldn't resist leaning the Iron Giant against one of the grain towers for a photo op. It did a good job putting the enormity of Iowa’s skyscrapers into perspective. How many Iron Giants would it take to reach the top?
North of Highway 44 I greeted a fellow trail user. Finally!!! I had come across someone slower than me!
The trailhead project in Minburn was coming along nicely. Despite it being Sunday, a gentleman was doing some brickwork on the old depot that had recently been moved closer to the trail. MInburn has over $1m planned for their trailside contribution to The Raccoon River Valley Trail. Not too shabby for a town with a population of 400.