Thursday, June 20, 2013
Bike Iowa: Trout Run Trail, Decorah
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to stay overnight in Decorah for work. I woke up early the next day so I could check out the new Trout Run Trail, an 11-mile bike trail that circles Decorah. I took the photo above at the unofficial entrance to the trail. This gorgeous work of public art is one of many along the trail route.
I read this terrific review of the Trout Run Trail on the Bike Iowa website a few days after I visited there. It does a great job of summing up what it's like to ride the trail. Like the reviewer, I was surprised by how scenic, and hilly, the trail is. (And I can say that the hills aren't any better going clockwise!) I usually do pretty good going up steep hills, but I had to get off my bike and walk a couple of them, because I didn't know they were coming and didn't have enough "steam" to get up them. But don't let the hills discourage you. I met a group of kids, who looked like they were part of a summer camp group, along the trail. So it's very family-friendly.
There are several scenic outlooks and trout fishing spots along the trail. Check out these gorgeous views!
Along the trail, you'll also pass by the DNR's fish hatchery and the former home of the Decorah eagles, which gained worldwide fame a couple years ago when their nest was filmed by web cam.
It was also neat to see that the trail cut through farmland. At one point, the trail bumped right up next to a dairy farm. I just had to take photos of the cows!
Another highlight of the trail is the $2 million bridge that spans over Highway 9. The bridge is lit up in colorful LED lights at night.
Once I crossed the bridge, I rode past the Decorah bluffs. Such a beautiful part of the state.
I'm already making plans to come back to Decorah again in the fall -- for fun, not for work! This trail is worth the four-hour drive to northeast Iowa.