Iowans will be able to hit the trail in every part of the state this weekend as part of an effort to let people see the beauty of the natural resources around them and to get healthy. Cathy Engstrom, spokeswoman for the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, says today is National Trails Day. Events are underway on eight trails in the state — in all regions of the state. They include: the Wabash Trace Nature Trail (Council Bluffs to Blanchard), Sauk Rail Trail (Sac County), Heart of Iowa Nature Trail (Story County), West Des Moines trails (centered at Raccoon River Park), Kewash Nature Trail (Washington County), Cedar River Trail and Cedar Greenbelt Trails (Cedar Rapids). Engstrom says Iowa ranks number-six in the nation for most miles of “rail trails” — meaning trails for biking and hiking made on old railroad beds which are very flat and easy-going. The events range from a bike and hike event on West Des Moines trails to a naturalist-led walk on the Cedar Greenbelt Trail to a progressive breakfast along the Cedar River Trail. There will also be an off-road bike and equestrian ride on the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail, a family bike ride on the Sauk Rail Trail, a pancake breakfast on the Wabash Trace Nature Trail and a trail maintenance day along the Sugar Bottom trail system. Engstrom says hiking and biking along Iowa’s trails promotes a healthy lifestyle, from reducing weight to reducing pollution. The I-N-H-F is a statewide, nonprofit foundation that has helped volunteers and county conservation boards establish more than 400 miles of trails, helping Iowa become one of the leading trail states in the United States. Visit http://www.inhf.org/trailsdayevents.htm to learn more.
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