Whether you enjoy camping, swimming, farmers markets, art exhibits, good food or hiking, biking or cross-country skiing, you’ll encounter them all and more along the Wapsi-Great Western Line (WGWL) Trail. Come on, join us – you deserve a little fun!
The Welcome Center is an 18th Century restored pioneer church eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. It houses sculptures of Isabel Moore Kimball and fossils of the archeologist Glenn Crossmann.
The Welcome Center is a cool reprieve on a warm day. Let one of the trail committee members welcome you to the area or catch-up on what’s new with you. Information, trail maps, a gift shop, ice cream sundaes, root beer floats, rest room and gracious hospitality available.
Enjoy your neighbor or a new acquaintance’s company along with a nice slice of homemade pecan, raisin-crème, strawberry-rhubarb, apple, cherry, pumpkin, peach, etc. – you get the picture – PIE!
Farmers Market – Riceville is an enhancement of the WGWL Trail. Find luscious produce, fresh eggs and honey, handmade jewelry and wooden bowls, barn quilts and pastries galore. Support local farmers and producers for a better environment, economy and a healthier you.
Located in the lower-level of the WGWL Trailhead Welcome Center are 12 original painting of Riceville resident Marge Gansen. Come enjoy viewing this hidden though talented and prolific painter in an air conditioned setting. For more information please visit our Featured Artist page.
Saturday, February 16th – Luminary Sweetheart Ski/Stroll 5-8 p.m. | Chili Supper 5-7 p.m.
Bring your family, your sweetheart, your loved ones to the annual Sweetheart Ski at the Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail (WGWL Trail). On February 16th let your feet glide and your heart soar on a groomed rural trail surrounded by trees, waterways and gentle slopes.
Skis and snowshoes are available at the WGWL Trail Welcome Center at no cost courtesy of the Mitchell County Conservation Board or bring your own. Refreshment of hot cocoa available. A Chili Supper fundraiser for the trail of Chili, crackers, salad, bars and beverage will warm your bellies – $5. Carry-outs available!
If the weather is balmy and no snow exists, still come for a nature walk.
Supporters of WGWL come together to plant flowers, clean the Trailhead Welcome Center, mulch, weed and spruce up the trail. Eager hands are welcome to help and are appreciated. Please contact us if interested in being a helping hand anytime during the trail season. To learn more, visit our Contribute page. Thank you!
Friday, March 15th – Private Reservation | Welcome Center: Retirement Party
Saturday, April 20th – Private Reservation | Welcome Center: Family Easter
Saturday, May 4th – IronHorse Half Marathon, 10K and 5K 9:00-Noon
This USTAF sanctioned race takes place on the Northern Branch of the WGWL Trailhead Welcome Center (110 East Main Street, Riceville) and is chip timed. Strollers are not allowed. Register online early for Early-Bird pricing.
Sunday, June 2nd – Golf Cart Day and Pie Sunday at Trailhead Welcome Center 1:00 – 6:00 pm
Opening of Marge Gansen Summer Art Show
Golf cart passes available only for this day ($5 fee) at Welcome Center. Carts must be driven only by a holder of an official car license. Bring your own cart or rent one from Riceville Golf Course (641-985-2447). Begin and end your golf cart adventure at the Trailhead by registering, picking up your pass, and then returning the pass after your ride. Please carry a cell phone so help can be sent in case of an emergency. No golf carts allowed in Lake Hendricks. Registration fee supports Trailhead maintenance.
Summer Saturdays in June – Entertainment
June 8th 7:30 p.m. – Dixie Heart Jubilee
Tickets $3 online or at the door. Size of audience limited to 100. Tickets available online at Eventbrite or at the WGWL Trailhead Welcome Center during weekend hosted hours. Free light refreshments. Questions call 641-220-2685.
June 22nd 3:00 p.m. – Sherrie Hanson, Writer and Chef, will do a public reading from her latest book and program on quilting. Free reading and program. Refreshments for purchase.
Saturday, July 6th – Elma 5K Run Commences on the Southern Branch of the WGWL Trail by Lila’s Marsh and finishes on Elma’s Old Roundhouse Trail’s .44 mile segment. Register at Run Elma or call Marian at 641-393-2539.
Sunday, July 7th – Pie Sunday at Trailhead Welcome Center 2:00 – 6:00 pm
Saturday, July 13th – Private Reservation | Welcome Center: Wedding
Saturday, July 20th – Private Reservation | Welcome Center: Wedding Shower
7:00 a.m. Saturday, August 4th – 5K Registration form or register online.
7:30-10:00 a.m. – Community Pancake Breakfast Open to the public, not just racers
8:00 a.m. – Wapsi Wiggle – Social 5K Race Registered participants receive a free breakfast. Medals awarded according to age group with two championship trophies for the fastest time for male and female. See Race Results.
9:00 a.m. – Kid Fun Run
9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. – Treasure Hunt
11 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – Silent Auction (a WGWL Trail Benefit) Last bid prior to 5:00 p.m. Pick up items after 5:00 pm. Gifts of new and slightly used auction items are welcomed for support to help maintain the trail. Please donate by July 21. Bring to the Welcome Center on summer weekends. (Sat. and Sun From 2 – 5:00 pm. when a Hostess in on duty)
2:00-3:00 p.m. – Community Hymn Sing Sit and enjoy an hour of music in air-conditioning on the busy Festival day. Song leader TBA.
Sunday, August 4th – Pie Sunday at Trailhead Welcome Center 2:00 – 6:00 pm
Wednesday, August 14th – Senior Citizens Golf Cart Day
Sunday, August 18th – Border Bike – The Official Bike to the MN Border and Beyond
Start in Riceville; follow WGWL Trail’s Northern Branch through McIntire to Bailey to MN and return to Riceville for 26+ miles. Then for those wanting more, bike the WGWL Trail’s Southern Branch pass the ghost town of Acme and Lilah’s Marsh. The WGWL Excursion’s registration, the start and the end point occur at the WGWL Welcome Center, 110 East Main Street (U.S. Hwy #9). Registration is from 9 a.m-5 p.m. Ride is from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Registration $10 prior to August 1st, $20 following. Heavenly Apples included with registration and served at Bailey station from 2-5 p.m. Ice cream sundaes/floats for purchase at WGWL Trailhead Welcome Center 2-6 p.m. Further refreshments available at bike sponsors along the route. Map to be provided.
Sunday, September 1st – Golf Cart Day and Pie Sunday at Trailhead Welcome Center 2:00 – 6:00 pm
Passes available only for this day ($5 fee) at Welcome Center. Carts must be driven only by a holder of an official car license. Bring your own cart or rent one from Riceville Golf Course (641-985-2447). Begin and end your golf cart adventure at the Trailhead by registering, picking up your pass, and then returning the pass after your ride. Please carry a cell phone so help can be sent in case of an emergency. No golf carts allowed in Lake Hendricks. Registration fee supports Trailhead maintenance.
Saturday, September 7th – Children’s Multi-Sport Challenge
Youth are invited to experience varied physical challenges of an obstacle course. Youth will be divided into age categories and courses.
Saturday, September 21st – DeRailed Adventure 9:00 – 11:40 am
This is an adventure style race with multiple disciplines including running, biking, a water event and mystery challenges.
Sunday, November 10th – Annual Trail Committee Meeting The WGWL Trail Committee’s annual meeting is a time to reflect on the year’s events and the trail’s mission for the upcoming year, to thank our “Friends of the Trail,” to gear-up volunteers for the Christmas Tea events, and to share a potluck meal as a volunteer organization that is working toward the betterment of our community – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 4th – Christmas Tea at Noon Call 641-985-2524. Reservations required.
Thursday, December 5th – Christmas Tea at Noon Call 641-985-2524. Reservations required.
Friday, December 6th – Christmas Tea by Candlelight (6:00 p.m.) Couples encouraged to attend. Call 641-985-2524. Reservations required.
The Trailhead Welcome Center lower level is festooned in Christmas splendor for this annual event of culinary perfection and merry entertainment. Families and close friends are invited to share in this wholesome event that will have you leaving with your reservation made for next year. Meal, merriment and entertainment – $15 per person.