January 2024 Trails Talk

TST grass trail

Phase IV(b) of Tatanka Ska Trace west of Montgomery


On January 11, the Enhance Iowa Board awarded a Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant of $200,000  to Phase IV(b) of Tatanka Ska Trace. The grant adds an additional funding source for the remaining segment that will connect Lake Park to the Iowa Great Lakes Trails system. This phase starts in Montgomery and goes west for 2.5 miles where it connects to the trail leading into Lake Park that was completed in 2023. Construction started last November and has a final completion date of July 26, 2024.

Along with the CAT grant, this trail segment is funded by grants from the Federal Recreational Trails program ($395,000), Iowa DNR REAP ($75,000) and the Okoboji Foundation ($50,000). Additional support to complete the project came from Imagine Iowa Great Lakes and the many supporters that donate to the Dickinson County Trails. The support and enthusiasm for this entire project from our donors and the various grant programs has been remarkable and the DCTB looks forward to finalizing the connection with Lake Park this summer.


Cross Country Skiing: The cold and snow can limit opportunities to get on our bikes and enjoy the trails, however, we are fortunate to have great cross country skiing trails in the Iowa Great Lakes to enjoy during the winter months. Groomed trails are available at Brooks Golf Course up to the Dickinson County Nature Center and at Kettleson Hogsback WMA on the west side of Big Spirit Lake. If you are out walking in these areas, please help protect the ski trails and walk along the edge of the groomed trail. Look for updates on trail conditions on the Trails Facebook page.



Hiking Trails: Winter is a wonderful time to hike nature trails in the Iowa Great Lakes. A couple of our favorites include the Barney Peterson Memorial Trail across the road from Gull Point State Park and Henderson Woods adjacent to the trail bridge at the Lake Minnewashta boat ramp. Bundle up this winter and enjoy exploring some new scenery where you will discover a few surprises along the way as well as abundant wildlife.





Snowmobile Trails: There are several places where we share trail space with our local snowmobile trails. The Dickinson County SnowHawks groom segments along the Spine Trail and several stretches of state highway right of way where we also have trails. The Iowa DOT has given permission for both trail systems to use their right of way and the Spine Trail has a long-standing history of being a shared use trail with snowmobiles. Trail users should refer to the SnowHawks trail map and note that only groomed DCTB trails are open for snowmobile use. For more information about the SnowHawks and to view their trail map visit www.dickinsoncountysnowhawks.com.

NOTE: Per Iowa statute, ATV/UTV/OHV vehicles are not allowed on the Dickinson County Trails. However, these vehicles can use nearly every road and highway in Dickinson County. Please review state regulations regarding the use of ATV’s on state highways here www.legis.iowa.gov/all-terrain-vehicles.pdf as well as any applicable local ordinances.

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