PERRY – The Iowa Transportation Commission recently approved $1,500,000 for four State Recreational Trails Program projects, including the High Trestle Trail extension to the Raccoon River Valley Trail in Dallas County.


The State Recreational Trails Program was created in 1988 with the purpose of developing and maintaining recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized trail users. This funding is available to cities, counties, state agencies, local governments and nonprofit organizations through an annual application-based program. Projects funded this cycle include the Raccoon River Valley Trail to High Trestle Trail Connector, Iowa River Trail, Heart of Iowa Nature Trail and Tatonka Ska Trace Rail Trail.


The $392,610 State Recreational Trails funding for the Dallas County Conservation Board is designated for Phase III trail construction. Phase II construction, partially funded with a $322,208 Federal Recreational Trail Grant, will start in 2020 at the western city limits of Woodward at S Avenue and move west to R Avenue. Phase III will continue westward to Quinlan Avenue. Phase I, a 1.5-mile paved path running east from Perry, was completed in October of 2018.


Moving forward, the Conservation Board still needs essential private and corporate donations to make this overall $5 million project a reality. With the latest State Recreational Trail Grant, nearly 75 percent of the funds have been raised. Private and corporate donations are used as matching dollars for the major grants. Contributions of $1,000 or more, are eligible to receive recognition on trailhead signs. This project goes as fast as the funding allows. To make a contribution to our Raccoon River Valley Trail to High Trestle Trail Connector project you can go to www.letsconnectdallascounty.com or contact Director Mike Wallace at the Dallas County Conservation Board office at 515-465-3577.