The Chichaqua Valley Trail is a converted rail-trail traveling twenty-six miles through several small Iowa communities, forested corridor, and open farmland. The concrete/ asphalt trail changes to crushed gravel north of Mingo. South of Berwick cyclists can connect with the High Trestle Trail, Neal Smith Trail or Heart of Iowa Nature Trail via Ankeny or pedal to Pleasant Hill and Altoona.
A bike ride with a prize winning tenderloin sandwich as the destination? Count me in!
My siblings had not yet ridden the new Chichaqua trail segment from Berwick to Bondurant. Having heard about the fantastic pork sandwich at the Butler Cafe in Bondurant, the idea to ride to Brick Street Market was hatched.
Our bike ride began at Mally's Park. It's a quiet spot in the heart of Berwick with a picnic shelter, water fountain and restroom. A direct connection to the trail from inside the park doesn't exisit (yet) but it's easy to catch up with the trail out on NE Berwick Drive.
Early July can be a super busy time out on Iowa's bike trails with folks getting miles in on the bike in preparation for RAGBRAI. Everyone we encountered looked to be out for a leisurely ride rather than training. The Chichaqua just might be a "quieter" trail to enjoy this time of year.
New concrete and no hills made the pedal to Bondurant an easy one. We stopped at the trailhead for a quick break before heading through town to the market.
Bike parking is not available at the store so we stowed our bikes next to the building and ventured inside to enjoy our lunch. The reviews were right! It was the best pork tenderloin I've ever had. It was tempting not to try other items like the root beer sundae or the malted waffle. What we didn't order was The Brick. This mammoth sandwich costs $29.99, but if eaten in less than 15 minutes is free, along with a t-shirt.
Folks travel from all over Iowa to eat at the Butler Cafe. Hopefully those who take the food challenge pedal off some calories out on the bike trail. But I doubt 26 miles is enough to burn them all. But, if you ride on to Woodward via the High Trestle Trail they just might!