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Discovering Iowa’s Miles of Hiking Trails

June 3, 2008

Des Moines, IA – This weekend will be a particularly good time to get the kids out of the house and away from the electronics. Saturday is "National Trails Day," designed to celebrate the miles of trails through the nation's parks and wilderness. The National Trail System in the U.S. has 60,000 miles of hiking and biking trails in all of the 50 states.

Gail Barels with the Lynn County Conservation Department in Iowa is sponsoring two events on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail to mark the day, an early-morning bird-watching hike and a family biking event.

"We just want to get people out to realize that there are a variety of things you can do on the trails, hiking, biking, walking, those kinds of things, and of course even bird watching."

One of the earliest trails in Iowa was the Wabash Trace Nature Trail in the southwest part of the state. Rebecca Castle with Southwest Nature Trails says many Iowans don't even know it exists, especially the southern end of the route.

"You'd be surprised how many don't know the trails exist, but we're trying to draw more attention down to the southern end."

One of the events planned for Saturday in that area involves an Ankeny scout troop that will be picking up trash along Carney Marsh and removing overgrown brush from the trail. For a complete list of events go to
www.americanhiking.org.

Dick Layman/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - IA