Welcome to the Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

The Wapsi-Great Western Line (WGWL) Trail is an 18.5 mile paved hiking and biking trail located in northern Iowa.  The majority of the trail runs on abandoned railroad beds and winds through rural countryside.  Less than one mile is on shared roadway.  You will traverse through five biospheres:  prairie, wetland, farmland, marsh and woodlands.  You will cross three waterways: Wapsipinicon River, Watson’s Creek, and Lake Hendricks.  You may encounter white tail deer, muskrat, otter, turkey, pheasant and numerous native species.


“Modest places, rarely spectacular, but lending a measure of freedom and wilderness to landscapes that are part of our Midwest . . . some of the best escape routes from the soul-bruising press of modern living.” – John Madson, Author of Where the Sky Began”WGWL Trailhead Clocktower


EVENTS CALENDAR (click on any of the events below for more details)

Ongoing Events

Trailhead Welcome Center Open – Saturday & Sunday from 2-5 p.m. Memorial Day – Labor Day

Pie Sunday at Trailhead Welcome Center – 1st Sunday of June, July, and September from 2-5 p.m

Farmer’s Market - Saturdays May 31th – September 13th from 9:00-11:30 a.m.*  Located at 203 West Main Street, Riceville, IA (one block from the WGWL Trailhead) *Time change for Wapsipinicon Day (Saturday, August 2nd), market will run 8:00-10:00 a.m.

Summer Art Show Featuring Best-in-Show Iowan Connie Mohr - Memorial Day – Sunday, Sept. 7th

Community Walks – 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of May, June, July and August at 7:00 p.m.  Default starting location is the Trailhead, but subject to change to other points on the trail.  Call Shary at 641-985-2329 to confirm meeting point.


Special Events


Saturday, April 26thTrail Work Day April 6-12 and April 13-17 Earth Weeks. Trail work to prepare for the season. Volunteer opportunities to be announced or call 641-220-2685 to volunteer.

Saturday, May 7 Bike to School and Work Day/Walking Wednesday th

Saturday, May 10thCounty Line Fun Run/Walk (a Relay for Life Cancer Benefit) Registration 9-10 a.m.  Run/Walk at 10 a.m. To download a registration form, click Memorial for Leona Schreiber. Call Betty Borchardt 985-2104 for registration info.

May 31 Welcome Center officially opens 2-5pm. Open during the summer every Saturday and Sunday from 2 pm. to 5 pm with a Host/Hostess. Information, maps, ice cream sundaes, root beer floats, rest room and gracious hospitality available.
Summer Art Show opens. Connie Mohr of Fredericksburg, Iowa is the featured artist. Her paintings will be on display on the lower level of the Welcome Center through September 7, 2014. th

Saturday, June 1

Saturday, June 7thFishing Clinic at Lake Henderick (sponsored by HCCB) Brownie ice cream sundaes at the Trailhead Welcome Center 9:00am Gift of a .50 cent coupon for participants given by WGWL Committee toward 1.50 ice cream sundae at the Welcome Center to be used on this day from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Fishing Clinic sponsored by Howard County Conservation. Call Lake Hendericks 985-2127 or Conservation Nature Center 563-547-3634 for details on the Clinic.

Saturday, June 21thButterfly Garden Party  Reservations required 10:30 am. Reservation required for the limited number available. Cost: $10 Call 982-4910 Dedication of Garden Gazebo at 12:00 pm. noon followed by free lemonade and cookies. Everyone welcomed to the Dedication.

Saturday, July 6th – PIE SUNDAY 2:00 – 5:00 PM. at the Trail Head

Saturday, July 19thElma 5K Run Commences on the southern portion of the WGWL Trail by Lila’s Marsh and finishes on Elma’s Old Roundhouse Trail segment

Saturday, August 2rdWapsipinicon Festival Activities: All activities are located at the Trailhead
5-6 p.m. Friday, August 1nd – 5K Pre-registration Pick-up
7:00 a.m. Saturday, August 2rd – 5K Registration   To download a registration form, click Wapsi 5k 2014 Registration.
8:00 a.m. – 5K Race
7:00-10:00 a.m. – Community Pancake Breakfast (open to the public, not just racers)
9:00 a.m. – Kid Fun Run
8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – Silent Auction (a WGWL Trail Benefit)
2:00 p.m. – Community Sing

Saturday, August 6rd – Trees Forever and DNR presentation to the public 6:30 pm. Free

Wednesday, August 13thRiceville Family Care and Therapy Center Golf Cart Day Closed to the public

Saturday, August 24 – Bike to Bailey and Back

Sunday, September 7th – Golf Cart Day Public is welcome, but reservations are recommended and registration required

Sunday, November 9thAnnual Trail Committee Meeting

Thursday, December 11thChristmas Tea at Noon and Twilight (5:30 p.m.). Reservations required.

Friday, December 12thChristmas Tea by Candlelight (6:00 p.m.). Reservations required please call (641)220-2685