April 2023 Trails Talk
2023 TRAIL PROJECTS GET ROLLING
Now that the weather is warming up, trail projects around the Iowa Great Lakes are getting into gear. Maintenance work will start in the next week that involves crack sealing and surface preservation on the Spine Trail beginning at the south end of Milford and going north through Henderson Woods in Arnolds Park. Asphalt sealing will also take place on the Nature Center Trail and northern portions of the Spine Trail.
In addition, over eight miles of concrete crack sealing will take place on the West Okoboji, Pioneer Beach and Silver Lake Trails. It is especially important for trail users to avoid these areas when the work is going on. We will post regular updates on our website and Facebook page so be sure to check those sites before trekking out on the trail. The work is scheduled to be complete before Memorial Day weekend.
Work has started again on the section of Tatanka Ska Trace that begins at Market Street in Lake Park and travels east 3.8 miles to 170th Avenue. Cold weather and snow halted the project late last fall when it was nearing completion. With only a few small sections to pave and dirt work to finish, we anticipate the trail to be open for use by mid-spring. The DCTB is excited to provide residents of Lake Park the opportunity to experience the rail trail as we work to complete the final link with the entire trails system. The trail offers open spaces with views of rolling hills, prairie and wetland vistas as well as river crossings and areas of tree-lined canopies for shade. It truly is a spectacular way to explore northwest Iowa!
TRAIL ETIQUETTE & RULES
Multi-use paths are more popular than ever and e-bikes are making them more accessible for more people. This is a great thing but inexperience and crowding can lead to conflict. To stay safe and make the experience more pleasant for everyone, here are a few guidelines for enjoying bike paths with fellow cyclists, joggers, dog walkers, and everyone else.
- Mind your speed: Note that the speed limit on the trails is 20 MPH. Slow it down when terrain changes and there are other users around.
- Ride right, pass left: Act like a car in these situations. Right for travel, left for passing. In addition, obey all traffic signals.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when others are around: People are unpredictable. Kids and pets especially but anyone can be so involved in their own activity or thoughts that they will make a bad choice even if they hear you coming. Slow to a walking pace and keep your hands on your brakes.
- Make some noise well before passing: A bell is more charming (and less startling) than “on your left!” but either is preferable to a stealth pass. Make some noise and make sure you are heard well before you reach the person you’re passing.
- Look around and signal before passing or stopping: Before you swing left to pass or hit the brakes to stop, throw out a hand signal and take a look behind you for oncoming traffic.
- Don’t stand in the path: Sometimes it is nice to stop, look around and take a drink. Pull off the path when you do so you don’t block the way for everyone else.
- Be kind: It is the most important thing. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Be friendly, wave, say hello. It will make all of our time on these super paths a little more fun.
ATV’s ON TRAILS: While ATV’s are allowed on most roads throughout the Iowa Great Lakes, they are not allowed on Dickinson County Trails. The Trails Board has a motorized vehicle policy that allows the use of small vehicles for those who need assistance. There is a permit required for these vehicles that can be found on our website at www.dickinsoncountytrails.com/motorized. For the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, refrain from riding unpermitted vehicles on the trails.
As always, Happy Trails to You and Yours.
Erin Reed, Executive Director