August 18, 2021

A Quintessential Central Iowa Experience

A Quintessential Central Iowa Experience


PANORA, Iowa – The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation's largest trails organization, inducted the Raccoon River Valley Trail into its Rail-Trail Hall of Fame after the trail secured 16,000 votes – a record-breaking number of public votes during the annual national contest.

Since opening in 1989, the trail has been a vital tourist attraction and embraced as an asset for health, wellness and connections among the region and state. This 89-mile path — offering views of woodlands, prairies, public art and a unique "lighted bridge" — connects rural communities to larger cities, including Jefferson, Des Moines and Perry. Plans are in the works to eventually connect the Raccoon River Valley Trail to the world-famous High Trestle Trail. The trail is also an important segment of the cross-country Great American Rail-Trail™, a flagship project of RTC that will connect Washington, D.C., and Washington State across 3,700 miles of trail.

Pictured: A depot in Panora, Iowa, along the Raccoon River Valley Trail. Photo courtesy Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

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