“Converting an abandoned rail corridor into a trail is not always an easy task, but it is one whose rewards to your community and region will continue far into the future.”
~ Peter Harnick, Converting Rails to Trails, 1989 ~


Tatonka Ska Trace field area

Tatonka Ska Trace – Phase III


At the end of each year, DCTB goes through strategic planning that involves consideration of trail development and maintenance priorities.  The process also includes going through what grants the board will apply to which projects.  DCTB will be taking on several projects next year that comprise of a substantial extension of the rail trail Tatonka Ska Trace and filling in a number of gaps throughout the Iowa Great Lakes Trails system.  Other significant plans include new surface overlays for over 4 miles of the Nature Center and Spine Trails along with several necessary maintenance projects that will improve drainage.  We will also continue to work with Imagine Iowa Great Lakes to enhance beautification along areas of the trails.  DCTB is excited to bring forth these significant improvements to the trails system and we look forward to seeing the growth of our beautiful trails.



driveway trail

Oh Shucks Driveway

The biking season is slowing down and trail projects are wrapping up for a winter break. Construction of the Jones Pasture Trail is complete and the trail is now open for use.  Unfortunately, the weather this fall slowed work on Phase II of Tatonka Ska Trace and it will not be finished until this spring due to cold temperatures.  Additional trail work that was completed last week includes a joint project with the city of Spirit Lake and DCTB that involved removing the railroad tracks on Peoria Avenue and replacing them with a full-depth concrete section.  This provides a much safer condition for bicyclists using the trail and eliminates the rough ride that resulted from crossing the tracks on the road. DCTB also paved the West Okoboji Trail through the driveways at Oh Shucks along the southwest corner of Highway 86 last week.

another driveway

Peoria Avenue








Iowa great lakes trails crestFALL FUNDRAISER

The DCTB has garnered a number of state, federal and local grants in order to continue all of this exciting work in 2020, however, local matching donations are the key component in supplementing the grants we receive. We are now in the midst of DCTB’s Fall Friends Campaign and we hope you consider joining Friends of the Trails.  Your gift will enable us to enhance the quality of life in the Iowa Great Lakes while making a significant contribution to the area’s economy. You can find information about donating to the trails at our website  We truly appreciate the community’s support in the work we do to improve the trails system.


As always, Happy Trails to You and Yours.
Erin Reed, Executive Director