Homer's Travels: Hiking Iowa: Wabash Trace Nature Trail - Mineola to Silver City

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hiking Iowa: Wabash Trace Nature Trail - Mineola to Silver City

After the last few hikes on the Wabash Trace and Oak Creek Trails, I decided to keep this week's hike to a more manageable length. Since I enjoyed the Wabash Trace so much last week, I decided to do another segment - this one stretching 4.3 miles between Mineola, IA (Pop: ~200) and Silver City, IA (Pop: 259).

The trailhead is located on the north side of town. There is a small parking lot, a picnic area, a couple of benches, and a trailhead marker. It was chilly this morning and the wind was blowing so I bundled up and headed east on the trail. Eight tenths of a mile later, near the outskirts of the town, the trail crosses Barrus Road and heads south-east.

This segment is similar to the one from Silver City to Malvern. There are fewer trees and fewer bridges but the trail is flat and straight. There are only three bridges on this segment - two in Mineola and one as you enter Silver City. I seem to have become a fan of bridges. There are more benches along this short segment than on the longer one. All benches and bridges that I've seen so far are either sponsored or dedicated to someone. Bridges have the sponsor's name carved on railing planks. Some are sponsors by the boy scouts. Others by local bike clubs, bike shops, or businesses. Some are dedicated to anniversaries or untimely passings. It adds interest to the hike.

Along the way I found a couple geocaches. One, "
NFL Cache", was about a third of a mile off the trail on 275th street. The other, "Quicksilver City", was not far from Silver city.

In Silver City I explored the
1911 jail some more before sitting on a bench in front of the small library and sucking down a soda.

The way back went pretty quick. I stopped and explored some box cars in Mineola, similar to the ones in the Silver Creek, keeping erosion at bay.

The total distance for this hike was 9.14 miles round trip. Elevation was about 360 feet. I didn't take too many pictures along the trail - they all looked like the ones I took last week - but I did add some more pictures to my
2009-2013 Wabash Trace Nature Trail Hike Google Photos album.

I think I have a new goal - walk each segment of the Wabash Trace. Some of the segments may have to be biked as they are a little too long to walk.
Note: Earmuffs are good.


  1. I can definitely see the appeal of these hikes. It's nice the way they connect communities, the mix of nature and history along the way. Plus, there's something to be said for the elevation range! :)

  2. GH: I was unsure when I started but they are interesting. In a way, the small communities are more interesting than the hikes in between.