Northern Branch: From Riceville and the Trailhead, the WGWL’s Northern Branch proceeds northwesterly 14+ miles in Mitchell County to within 1 mile of Minnesota (last mile has been purchased and is unpaved).
Southern Branch: The WGWL Southern Branch proceeds southeasterly 12+ miles in Howard County passed the ghost town of Acme to the city limits of Elma where it meets a .44 mile of the Old Roundhouse Trail segment.
The majority of the 27+ mile 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.
The WGWL Trail has been designated as the interstate connecting trail between Iowa and Minnesota. Only 1 mile is unpaved in Iowa before connecting to Minnesota’s Shooting Star Trail in southern Minnesota.
“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
EVENTS CALENDAR (click on any of the events below for more details. For a complete listing, visit the Events Page)
Ongoing Events 2017
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, August and Sept 9th from 2-6 p.m
Farmer’s Market – Saturdays May 26th – September 8th from 9:00-11:30 a.m. Located at 203 West Main Street, Riceville, IA (One block west from the Trailhead at 203 West Main Street along Hwy #9) Farmers Market – Riceville is an enhancement of the WGWL Trail.
Summer Art Show Featuring LaVerna Kruse, Painter – Sunday, June 4th – Sunday, September 9th