Raccoon River Valley Trail

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Eighty-Nine Miles of Paved Trail Passing Through Fourteen Communities in Three Counties

2020 Trail Maintenance Information
Trail work is scheduled from March 2020 through midsummer. Click here for full press release.  


A user permit is required for all trail users 18 and over who are using the trail for walking, skiing, skateboarding, jogging, biking, snowmobiling, etc.  Permits can be obtained online, at the office, by mail, or with envelopes available in the yellow tubes at the trailheads on the trail.

Annual permit: $10.00 per calendar year     Daily permit: $2.00 per trail user

Click here to see all the options for obtaining your RRVT Annual Permit 

Grade: The Raccoon River Valley Trail asphalt and concrete and is mostly flat, with only 1% to 2% grade and travels through Dallas, Greene, and Guthrie Counties. 


North Leg:

  • Jefferson: Restored railroad depot at Co. Rd. E53 (old Hwy 30) - restrooms, water, vending, shelter house, historic interpretive displays.
  • Cooper: Center of town, in scale house of former elevator, just off Co. Rd. E57 - water, restrooms, shelter house.
  • Herndon: Center of town, park on street - Portable toilet. 

Loop - South Route

  • Yale: SE edge of town on Co. Rd. F25 - restrooms, water,shelter house.
  • Panora: SE 6th St. just off Hwy. 44 - water, portable toilet, shelter house.
  • Linden: Jct. of Co. Rd. P30 & city park-- water, portable toilet, shelter house.
  • Redfield: Redfield Depot parking lot, north of Hwy. 6 - restrooms, water, shelter house, seasonal concessions.
  • Adel: 18th St. parking lot just north of Old Hwy. 6 - water, portable toilet, shelter house.
  • Waukee: Corner of Hwy. 6 and R22 - water, restrooms, picnic tables.


Loop - North Route

  • Jamaica: Corner of South Main and Van Nest - Shelter house
  • Dawson: Restored depot at 307 Railroad Ave. - water, restrooms, vending.
  • Perry: Restored depot at corner of 1st St. (Hwy 144) and Willis Ave. - water, restrooms, bike storage, picnic tables. 
  • Forest Park Museum: south of 144 on K Ave. - water, restrooms, vending, picnic area, museum.
  • Minburn: Restored depot on corner of Hwy 169 and Chestnut St. - water, restrooms, shelter.
  • Dallas Center: On Walnut St. across from library - water and picnic tables.
  • Waukee: Corner of Hwy. 6 and R22 - water, restrooms, picnic tables

rrvt trail map 2013

The Making Of The Trail

The Raccoon River Valley Trail is built on a former railroad right-of-way. A number of railroad companies owned the right-of-way over the years. The following is a condensed time line of rail and trail activity on this corridor of land:

•August 5, 1871: The Des Moines Western Railway Company was incorporated and site of right-of-way was located that year.
•1878: First trains began operating between Waukee and the east bank of the Raccoon River
in Adel.
•Late December 1879: Right-of-way extended from Adel to Panora. Paving RRVT
•September 27, 1880: The railroad company name was changed to Des Moines Northwestern Railway Company and the line was eventually extended to Spirit Lake.
•April 12, 1952: The last passenger train ran from Des Moines to Spirit Lake and back.
•December 28, 1987: Central Iowa Energy
Cooperative purchased the line from the Chicago
and Northwestern Transportation Company and
entered into a management agreement with
the Iowa Trails Council and the Dallas and
Guthrie County Conservation Boards to construc
and manage a multi-use recreational trail 2010 RRVT const.
on the right-of-way.
•1989: The original 34 miles (Waukee to Yale)
of the Raccoon River Valley Trail were opened for use.
•1990-2000: The RRVT was extended from
Yale to Jefferson and from Waukee to Clive.
The Dallas, Guthrie, and Greene County
Conservation Boards purchased the right-of-way.
•Summer 2004: A surface overlay was done on
a section of the original trail in Dallas County from
County road P58 west to the county line.
•Summer 2005: A surface overlay was completed
east of P58 to Waukee.
•2008-09: Construction began on phases of the
Herndon to Waukee addition. The bridge
west of Perry was completed.
•2009-10: Trail was completed from
Dawson to Forest Park Museum in Perry.
•2011: Trail from Dallas Center to Waukee
is completed.
•2012: Trail from Forest Park Museum to
Minburn is completed.
•2013: Trail from Minburn to Dallas Center
and Dawson to Herndon is completed.

Printable RRVT Map

RRVT Snowmobile Policy

Raccoon River Valley Trail Video: 
Broadband (WMV 17.5mb) 
Dial-Up (WMV 2mb)