When I was driving back from my visit to the western Iowa goat farm, I decided to stop and check out the T-Bone Trail, which runs underneath Interstate 80, at the Atlantic exit.
I travel quite a bit with my bike. It's not uncommon to see bike trails when I'm driving through Iowa's countryside. Iowa has become a biking mecca. Many miles of abandoned railroad tracks have been turned into bike trails across the state. When I travel, I keep a copy of the Iowa bike map from the Department of Transportation in my car, which is how I discovered the T-Bone Trail. It's named "T-Bone" because the trail ends in Audubon, a little town famous for its giant "Albert the Bull" statue.
Since Audubon was a little out of my way, I decided to get on the trail close to Interstate 80. I stopped at the trailhead at Old Glory Park in Brayton. There was a very clean restroom facility there where I changed into my biking clothes.
Let me tell you, the T-Bone Trail did not disappoint. You'll often find native prairie wildflowers along railroad trails like this one. And there were several newer wooden bridges, which are always fun to roll over on a bike.
I was surprised to see little benches all along the trail, even in spots that were a couple miles outside of town.
I didn't bike too far down the trail -- my husband always cautions me not to travel farther than I can walk if my bike breaks down -- but I would love to go back on the trail sometime and check out the other little towns along the way.
If you're ever driving west of Des Moines on Interstate 80, be sure to check it out, even just for a walk to stretch your legs. There's a trailhead at the intersection of Interstate 80 and Highway 71, next to a gas station.