WIUM Tristates Public Radio

SE Iowa Trail Hits Roadblock

Des Moines County, IA – The path of a proposed trail system through Des Moines County appears to be in question.

The Flint River Trail is supposed to run from the Port of Burlington to Big Hollow Recreation Area. Construction is already underway near Burlington while bids will soon be accepted to construct the trail near Big Hollow.

The Iowa State Preserves Advisory Board has rejected a plan to run the roughly 20-mile hiking and biking trail through Starr's Cave Park and Preserve in central Des Moines County.

Regional Planner Mike Norris says the panel was concerned about allowing bicycle riding through the preserve. He says local leaders will appeal the ruling to the Iowa DNR's Natural Resources Commission.

Norris says that if the Natural Resources Commission accepts the proposed route for the Flint River Trail, the issue could go before Iowa Governor Chet Culver. Norris says that process could change, though, based on future discussions with the DNR.

Norris says a decision on running Flint River Trail through Starr's Cave Park and preserve may not come until December. He says moving the proposed route to avoid the preserve could impact the safety of hikers and bicyclists because of the proximity to highways and bluffs.

Norris says one goal of the Flint River Trail is to connect all of the recreational opportunities within Des Moines County.