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

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Hiking Iowa: Wabash Trace Nature Trail - Mineola to Dumfries

A Map!  I finally put together a map of the Wabash Trace Nature Trail.  The Blue parts are sections I have completed, the red I have not completed, and the green is the section I completed today.  Only five more doable sections to go.

Last February I'd tried to hike between Council Bluffs to Mineola.  I was less than successful due to snow and possibly the onset of a cold/flu.  Today I decided to complete that section starting in Mineola and hiking back to the, now extinct but always historical, town of Dumfries.

I stayed on the main path going north-west. The day was pleasant if not a little windy.  I stopped at a small cemetery and looked at the stones.  Many of them were in German and dated back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.  These families had a rough time as many of the stones marked the graves of children.

I reached my turnaround point, an historical marker giving the history of Dumfries, and sat down to eat a snack bar and rest.

On the way back I decided to change things up a little bit and follow what I think was the remnants of a horse trail that parallels the main trail. Horses were once permitted between Council Bluffs and Mineola but the signs along the trail seems to indicate that it's no longer allowed.   This side trail is narrow and feels more like a real hiking path in contrast to the wide country road feel of the actual trace.  It was easy to follow and I suspect that it's kept active by the wildlife of the area - Deer and coyotes mostly.  I also saw that sign of the changing seasons, the snake.

I liked this side trail.  You could still see the main trail but it felt more distant as this side trail went through trees, passed old telephone/telegraph poles,  and along the fence lines of farms.  If I hadn't taken it I would have missed the rotting raccoon carcass, only the head and skeleton remained, and the tattered "Pink Love" panties hanging from a tree.  Don't ask, I have no idea either.  I also didn't take any pictures of either of these things, sorry.

The few pictures I did take I added to my 2009-2013 Wabash Trace Nature Trail Hike Google Photos album.

It ended up being a very nice hike.  My blisters didn't bother me.  I'd kept it short, 7.88 miles, just in case.  The weather was very summer-like with highs getting up into the 80s later in the day. While the lack of pain and the weather were great and all, the most uplifting thing of this hike was this:

Spring is here.


  1. Is this a trail one can backpack, and then do a through-hike of? If so, ever considered it?

  2. GH: While the trail is predominantly a bike trail, there are several town parks along the trail that allows camping.

    I have not considered it as I'm not a camper and hotels are too far apart.

  3. Yes! Spring! I've really enjoyed having warmer weather finally.

    Great map! I'm a hotel camper too, like Troop Beverly Hills. LOL!!

  4. Miss McC: Ha! So am I.

    Hotel camping is what I prefer. I like to be clean and fed at the end of the day.