Homer's Travels: Hiking Iowa: Wabash Trace Nature Trail - Imogene To Shenandoah

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hiking Iowa: Wabash Trace Nature Trail - Imogene To Shenandoah

On Tuesday I completed one more segment of the Wabash Trace Nature Trail. This segment, from Imogene to Shenandoah, was the longest one that I've done. At 8.7 miles one way, plus another 1.42 miles in the town of Shenandoah, I turned this hike into my personal best of 20.24 miles.

The hike takes you through wooded areas and across several bridges. I'd mentioned in some of my previous posts that I thought part of the trail would look like a tunnel once the trees had leafed out.  It turns out I was right.  The sun was out for the first time in a while and the shade from the trees kept me from sweating too much.

Since I knew this hike would be over twenty miles I instituted a 30 minutes on - 5 minutes off walking schedule.  I would walk for thirty minutes before sitting down, usually on a log as there were no benches, and rest for five minutes.  I'd used this method with some success during my 1995 vacation.  While it felt nice to get off my feet, it really didn't do much for my feet and legs.  As soon as I started walking again I felt the soreness and weakness return.  Maybe I need more than five minutes rest per stop.  Or maybe I need to shave fifteen years off my age.

When you enter Shenandoah, after crossing the second large river on the trace - the East Nishnabotna River, you pass a mural depicting the Wabash Trace along with a few facts about the trail.  I knew there were a lot of bridges but I didn't realize there were 73!

After arriving to the town I walked along a train track to Subway to stop for some lunch and rest.  I walked in with my backpack, camera bag, walking stick, and tilley hat and nobody even batted an eye.  Not even a "Walking the Wabash, huh?"

I searched for a couple geocaches along the way but only found one ("The Lutt Family Cache").  It was not far from the Walnut Creek Bridge.  I would have called it Walnut River as it seemed a little large for a creek.

I made it back to Imogene in just under eight hours (that includes the rest stops, geocache hunting, and lunch).  I managed to average 3.4 MPH while I was moving.  I am always surprised when I get back to the car and look at my average speed.  I'm always expecting it to drop on the longer hikes but it hasn't yet.  Maybe if I slowed down my feet and legs wouldn't ache so much but if I did slow down it wouldn't feel right - I've always had a fast walking pace.

I added some pictures to my 2009-2013 Wabash Trace Nature Trail Hike Google Photos album.

Only two more segments to go before I finish the whole thing.


  1. Yay!!! You've almost made it through the whole thing! This is awesome. :) I love the ladybug too!

  2. "Or maybe I need to shave fifteen years off my age."

    When you get the procedure worked out on that one, you will e-mail me a copy, right?

  3. Miss McC: Thanks! I liked the picture too which is why I shared.

    GH: Ha! I'll send it once you've bought my new book "How to shave 15 years off you age in six easy steps".