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City of Eldridge Bike Trail

Located in Eldridge, IA

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The City of Eldridge in southeastern Iowa had desired for almost a decade to convert an unused section of railroad that ran through the town into a bike trail. The railroad company was reluctant to let go of the land in case it was needed for future use. However, when the City of Davenport to the south built new railroad infrastructure, the tracks were re-routed and the land deeded to Eldridge, clearing the way to add the two-mile section along First Street as an extension to an existing trail system to the north.

The former railroad bed is now a 10-foot-wide concrete trail that starts by the high school and ends at Blackhawk Trail Road to the south. A special feature of the trail is a 14-foot-wide railroad bridge that was re-fitted for pedestrian use. New wood decking and wooden railings were added for safety and structural work underneath the bridge fixed erosion issues. Benches and a drinking fountain – complete with a dog drinking spout – add more aesthetics for trail users.

With this two-mile section completed in the fall of 2020, a trail that begins in Long Grove has now nearly reached its ultimate goal: connecting to the Davenport trail system, which reaches the Mississippi River. Since most of Eldridge is former farmland converted to residential housing, this new section of trail is the only forested area in the City, providing a shady respite for trail users in the summer. And with the trail running through the heart of the City, residents – including the high school’s sports teams – have easy access to new recreational opportunities.

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