5. Chichaqua Valley Trail
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Baxter to Berwick– 26 Miles
This scenic recreational trail begins just west of Berwick and extends for 26 miles to the Jasper County town of Baxter.
The Polk County trailhead and parking area is on Northeast 88th Street, south of Highway 65 and one mile east of Bondurant. Trail users can also park in Mally's Park in Berwick. Various other access points are available in the towns along the trail.
Motorized vehicles are prohibited on all trails within PCCB lands. The only exceptions are for maintenance, law enforcement, and emergency vehicles. This restriction does not apply to a manual-operated or power-driven device designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability, e.g. wheel chair.
This trail is paved from beginning to end, making it popular with rollerbladers as well as cyclists and hikers. Along the trail, one will spot mile markers showing the distance to Kansas City for this former railroad route. The trail also crosses stone bridges dating from the Wisconsin, Iowa & Nebraska Railroad that built this rail line in 1885.
In later years, the line was used by the Chicago, St. Paul, & Kansas City Railroad (1886-1892), Chicago Great Western Company (1892-1968), and finally the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company (1968-1984). The line was abandoned in 1984, and reopened as a recreational trail in 1987. It includes a scenic crossing of the Skunk River.