Wabash Trace

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Coordinates: 40°52′32″N 95°25′45″W / 40.87556°N 95.42917°W / 40.87556; -95.42917

The Wabash Trace is a 63-mile (101 km) rail trail in Iowa running from the city of Council Bluffs southeast to Blanchard.

It was part of the Wabash Railroad's Omaha to St. Louis route. It passes through the towns of Mineola, Silver City, Malvern, Imogene, Shenandoah, Coin and Blanchard. For most of its course, there is a thin line of trees and bushes paralleling the trail. It follows streams such as Silver Creek, Four Mile Creek, Tarkio Creek, and the Tarkio River. Its grade is a very gentle one, downhill as one pedals northwestward to Council Bluffs. From Silver City northward, one can coast most of the way.


Two miles south of the Council Bluffs trailhead, the Wabash Trace crosses Pony Creek on a long, curving bridge. At the crossing of the West Nishnabotna River there are ruined boxcars lying in the river bed, some of them with wooden sides—remmants of a derailment that occurred in the 1960s. Heading south out of Shenandoah (the largest intermediate town) the path follows the rocky ravine of Four Mile Creek. The trail ends at Blanchard, close by a tiny service station that straddles the state line.

There are no bicycle repair shops along the way, but Shenandoah does have a discount mart that sells new bicycles. The town also has a motel, B & B's and eateries (including The Depot Restaurant and brew-pub, open daily at 6 am. which is the Headquarters and one of the founders of the Wabash Trace) Coin and Mineola have very small trail side parks; Shenandoah has a somewhat larger one, Waubonsie Park. There are outdoor johns in Council Bluffs and Mineola. The park in Coin has a shower and electricity and allows tent camping for a small fee. There are parks in Malvern and Shenandoah with free camping.

The small Irish Catholic town of Imogene has a quaint restaurant/bar, The Emerald Isle, as well as a magnificent Catholic Church, St. Patrick's.

Council Bluffs has, 1.5 miles from the trail head, a bike shop. This bike shop can repair your bike, sell you a new one, and outfit you as well, just in case something happens... At the head of the trace in Council Bluffs, there is also a nice park and eatery for the family.

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