Iowa DOT News Release

Iowa DOT joins Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in support of Great American Rail-Trail, a nationwide multi-use trail

Posted on: May 10, 2019

AMES, Iowa – May 10, 2019 –  Iowa DOT joins Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) in support of their unveiling of the preferred route for the Great American Rail-Trail— a proposed multi-use trail that would go through 12 states, including Iowa, and connect more than 1,900 miles of existing trails with more than 1,700 miles of trail gaps to create the nation’s first contiguous cross-country trail that stretches 3,700+ miles between Washington, D.C. and Washington State.

The preferred route was developed over 12 months with input from RTC’s GIS analysis of more than 34,000 miles of multiuse trails; review of state and local trail plans; and in close partnership with Iowa DOT as well as hundreds of additional local trail partners and state agencies representing the trails along the route.

Support for the route effort aligns with the Iowa Transportation Commission’s priorities, key issues listed for bike and pedestrian considerations as part of the State Long-range Transportation Plan as well as the Iowa Bicycle and Pedestrian Long Range Plan’s overarching goals for a connected network  and recommendations to “expand connected bicycle and pedestrian networks in rural areas to increase access and improve safety” and the “use of abandoned railroads for rail-to-trail conversions.”



Contact: Craig Markley, Systems Planning Bureau, 515-239-1027 or

Iowa highway in the evening