Mark C. Ackelson Trail
The 6.2 mile Mark C. Ackelson Trail winding around Easter Lake provides an ideal place for outdoor recreation and scenic views for park visitors. Cycling, skating and hiking opportunities along the trail lie adjacent to playground equipment, fishing complete with an accessible pier, boat ramp and several picnic areas. The trail rides through Owen's Covered Bridge on the southern lake shore, Polk County's only covered bridge. Parking and trail access is available from any of the shelters and parking lots located throughout Easter Lake Park as well as at the beach. The north side of the trail is accessible from Ewing Park.
The trail's namesake, Mark C. Ackelson, served as president of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation for 18 years as well as provided leadership in several conservation coalitions and alliances. Ackelson's devoted passion for land, water and wildlife served in helping the INHF to protect and restore 145,000 acres of Iowa's natural areas in addition to providing hundreds of miles of trails in an effort to support local trailside communities and get Iowans outdoors.
Phase I and II of the Mark C. Ackelson Trail are complete. Phase III is tentatively expected to reach completion in 2017 dependent upon progress within the larger Easter Lake restoration project. This section of the trail will connect the north and south sides of the lake, will traverse the dam and connect Easter Lake to Ewing Park. If funding becomes available, Phase IV will consist of connecting Easter Lake Park and the trail to Indianola Avenue by way of a crushed limestone trail spur.
View Full Size