Sauk Rail Trail


Length: 33.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: Greenway, Rail Trail
Agency: City, Town, or County
Entry Fee? $1.00
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Bicycling (on pavement)
Dogs - On leash
Motorized vehicles - Snowmobiling
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Roller/Inline Skating
Snow - Cross-country Skiing

See more details.


Location: Lakeview to Carroll, Railtrail connects Carroll to Black Hawk Lake State Park in Sac and Carroll Counties.
State(s): Iowa
Counties: Sac, Carroll
Longitude: -94.85547
Latitude: 42.03933

Driving Directions

Driving directions are not available for this trail. Can you provide this missing data?


The Sauk Rail Trail set the standard by displaying the ability of rail trails to be much more than the proverbial "beaten path." This trail was the first multi-purpose route in Iowa to boast two State Parks as its end points and another conservation area right in the middle. The Sauk Rail Trail is truly helping Carroll and Sac Counties develop a strong greenbelt.

The 33-mile Sauk Rail Trail was completed in 1998. The charge was lead by county conservation boards. A 13 mile midsection of the trail from Maple River to Carnarvon follows a former railbed. The north end of the trail encircles Black Hawk State Park and the southern part of the trail winds through the community of Carroll around Swan Lake State Park.

The Sauk Rail Trail is asphalt from Swan Lake State Park (the southern-most point) to Maple River Junction. It becomes crushed limestone from Maple River Junction to Carnarvon and finishes as concrete from Carnarvon to Lake View - Black Hawk State Park (northern-most point). The trail surface and minimal grade allows for a variety of uses. Cycling, walking, running, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and in-line skating are a few examples of what families and other visitors may enjoy.

The Sauk Rail Trail meanders through Carroll and Sac Counties exposing users to an assortment of Midwest landscapes including rolling prairies, wetlands, farmland, and wooded areas. Hazelbrush Wildlife Area, the midpoint of the trail, offers a spectacular opportunity for wildlife observation and photography. This conservation area is approximately 80 acres and includes wetlands, timber, and meadows.

In addition to connecting three important recreation and conservation areas, the Sauk Rail Trail also connects several communities. Carnarvon, Breda, Maple River Junction, Lake View, and Carroll are all strung together by the trail. Together these towns offer many amenities and cultural and historical attractions.

Additional Details

Primary Surface: Asphalt
Secondary Surface: Crushed Rock

Elevation Low Point: 1,200
Elevation High Point: 1,382
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Document: Brochure
Website: Trail Information

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Mark River
Carroll and Sac County Conservation
22811 Swan Lake Dr
Carroll, IA 51401
(712) 792-4614

Trail Management:
Chris Bass
Carroll and Sac County Conservation
2970 280th St.
Sac City, IA 50583
(712) 792-8078



Sauk Section Wateralls.

Sauk Section Wateralls.


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