Thursday, August 29, 2019

Historic Hoy Bridge and the Heart of Iowa Trail

Colorado or Bust, Days 60 through 63:

Hoy Bridge, near Rhodes, Iowa, was built in 1912.

It is one of the highlights of my Iowa rail trail hiking.  There's a side trail to an observation deck.  Here's that view.

The bike trail conversion was done in 2003.  Doesn't look like the same bridge, does it?

Rail trail highlights are few and far between, but the five mile section of the Heart of Iowa Trail from Rhodes over the Hoy Bridge is one of my favorites.  The reason:  It's surface is grassy.  My feet loved it, and it feels like a continuous linear park.

Bikers, of course, prefer the hard surface.  And Iowa does a fantastic job building paved rail trail.  It's not cheap asphalt slapped over a little gravel, it's good solid thick concrete slabs.  For hiker feet that makes little difference.  Paved rail trail is just road walking without the traffic noise.  The benefits come with the narrowness of the corridor and the width of the right-of-way, such that a wooded buffer has grown up to shade the walk in many places.

This report actually includes the hike on the "330 Trail", which is a rail trail that parallels busy highway 330 and has little wooded corridor.

It does pass a couple of nice wetland preserves.  Just ignore the roaring eighteen-wheelers and enjoy the nature.

That's not always easy to do.  This poor Right-of-Way sign has turned rather despondent being planted there, unmoving, year after year, facing the traffic, and with its back to the nice pastoral scenery.

There is a five mile gap of road walking between the 330 Trail and the Heart of Iowa trail.

I had fun with signs in this area.  I imagine that this one lists all the generous patrons who contributed to the construction of the spacious Maxwell City Park.

Along the road into Rhodes, it appears that some local has rather gone off the deep end:

After the Heart of Iowa Trail, there's a seamless connection in the town of Slater to the next trail on my westward route:  The High Trestle Trail.  That one provides an even better highlight, but for that, you'll have to wait for the next report.

Here are the GPS Tracks for this four-day collection of hikes:

High Trestle Bridge:  Most popular trail destination in all of Iowa.  Worth a visit.  Stay tuned.

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