Iowa DNR Could Change Rules For Trail System

Des Moines County, IA – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources could change its rules to allow a proposed hiking and biking trail through Des Moines County to move forward.

Regional Planner Mike Norris says the DNR is willing to reconsider its ban on bicycles in portions of Starr's Cave Park and Preserve. The change is needed because the roughly 20 mile Flint River Trail is slated to run through the preserve.

Norris says the DNR will meet with county conservation leaders to see if a compromise can be reached. He says, "the groups are expected to meet in July so a decision could come later this fall."

Norris says the DNR and the county have been working on a solution to the bicycle use issue for more than one year.

The trail will run from the Port of Burlington to Big Hollow Recreation Area. Norris says a small portion of the trail, through Burlington, could open later this year.

A rural portion, roughly 4 miles, could go out for bid later this year. Norris says there is still a bit of right-of-way needed for the project.

The entire trail could be open by 2013.