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Thread: Trans Iowa Trail Route Development

  1. #1

    Trans Iowa Trail Route Development

    Since the Midwest is vertically challenged when it comes to terrain, those of us here have to look for every opportunity we can for off the beaten path challenging rides. This is why I am looking for any riders interested in developing a South to North route to traverse the Loess Hills in Western Iowa, aka the Trans-Iowa-Trail (TWT). The goal is to create a route similar to the Trans-Wisconsin-Trail (TWT) that will consists primarily of level B (non-maintained) roads and gravel roads through the Loess Hills from the Missouri boarder in the south to the South Dakota / Minnesota broader in the north.

    This could make for some fun rides before heading out to for the Rally in July.

    The Loess Hills:

    If anyone is interested please let me know. The Iowa DOT offers downloadable plat maps (3ftx3ft type size) that show all the level B and gravel roads by county. I have started on Mills county but there are still 8 counties more to go.

  2. #2
    This will be an Adventure Detour for The GS Giant (and it was one for Missouri last year).

    Looks like a great little detour off the slab.

  3. #3
    Great info, thanks for the route. This looks like it covers 1/3 of the state. I'll have to get out and see just how many B level roads there are. I know there are quite a few up in there, it is just a matter of connecting dots. Whatever I come up with to extend this I will post the additions for all to enjoy.

  4. #4
    I've not actually ridden this route, I constructed it from on-line info about the area... it looks like a great part of the state with land features one wouldn't expect out there.

    If you visit the site where my map is stored and look on the right side of the map, you will see an "Export" tab that lets you download the route for your GPS.

    Please post up what you find!



  5. #5

    Great Diversion

    For anyone heading West to the Rally. Sorry, I am really late in posting an update on these and other routes through the Loess Hills. Yes, this is a good fun ride. Iowa gravel roads are always well maintained but depending on when you ride it you can have fresh laid gravel 3-4 inches deep, usually in Spring. The B-Level roads in here are great fun through the woods and hills. However, since they are glacier loam their condition depends completely on the weather. They can range from dry hardpack with routes, to dry powder loam that hides the routes, to tacky when wet, to slippery than snot after a good thunderstorm.

    Still working on a good border to border route through the hills. I will definitely have something for next years Rally in St. Paul. Maybe a Omaha to St. Paul all dirt route?

    So, anyone taking the slab down I80 from the East wanting a nice change of pace should hit these up. I would be more than happy to ride with anyone riding through.


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