BURCHINAL, Iowa - A Cerro Gordo County trail is adding on.
The Prairie Land Trail, which runs from just south of Mason City to 190th Street just south of Burchinal, currently runs for 6 miles on a former Union Pacific railroad bed, with a compacted lime chip surface and signage.
Beginning next month, Cerro Gordo County Conservation will be developing 2 more miles of the trail, by developing it from the old railroad bed to compacted lime chip, as well as modifying two bridges. The completed section that will now stretch from 240th Street to 170th Street, marking about 8 miles officially completed out of a 21-mile development project that runs to the county line (100th Street) at Meservey.
Brett Bates lives near the trail in Burchinal, and regularly uses it for exercise. He appreciates seeing old infrastructure being given new life.
"It's a good deal. It's either that or give it back to the farmers. And if the bed's already set, you might as well use it for biking or something."
Even though the trail has only been developed for a short stretch, he still sees many riders, and is encouraging more to check out a scenic part of the county.
"Quite a few that go through there. For this little town and that it's all not yet completed, there's quite a few."
Additional sections of the trail will continue to be developed as funding becomes available.