The Railroad was first constructed by the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Norther Railway in 1876.  This railroad was said to be the first tracks to span across Iowa. The railway was the main way to get across the state until it merged with Union Pacific Railroad Co. in 1995. This railroad was later abandoned and purchased by the Dickinson County Trails Board and Osceola County Conservation Board in 2017.

Rail to Trail

Q's & A's on the Rail Trail

Where is the trail located and how long does it run?

The trail connects to the Ed Winkel Trail near Sibley and runs 37 miles through Allendorf, Ocheyedan and Harris in Osceola County.  In Dickinson County the trail travels through Lake Park, Montgomery, Spirit Lake and Orleans, ending just west of Superior.

What is the timeline for construction?

2015: 1st segment was constructed in Spirit Lake that rerouted a section of the Spine Trail from Peoria Avenue and heading east to 15th Street.

2017-2018: Renovation of 9 significant structures (4 bridges and 5 culverts) to preserve and prepare them for trail construction.

2019: 1 mile of construction in Spirit Lake going west from Peoria Avenue to Hudson Avenue.

2020-2024:  Spirit Lake to Lake Park (11.2 miles)

2025-2035:  Lake Park to Sibley (21 miles) and Orleans to Superior (6.3 miles).

How is this project being funded?

Over $4 million has been secured from federal and state grants to purchase the rail right of way, complete structure renovations and to construct the first 4 phases of trail development.  Local donations, Imagine Iowa Great Lakes and Dickinson County Trails Board development funds are also providing match dollars for the trail.

What does Tatanka Ska Trace mean and how did it get it's name?

A "Rail Trail Rally" was held in June 2017 and votes were cast to name the new line Tatanka Ska Trace which is Sioux for white buffalo.

What will the trail surface be?

As the trail gets developed it will be paved with a concrete surface.

What is a rail trail?

A trail that is constructed over an abandoned railroad.

What will the trail uses be?

The trail will be used for walking, biking, in-line skating, assistive electric mobility devices and will be ADA compliant.  The trail is also be available for snowmobile use in the winter time.

How can I donate to the rail trail?

Click Here: DONATE