Pedaling to Perry

The Trail

With it’s 89 miles of trail The Raccoon River Valley trail is a great trail for putting significant mileage in on the bike.  Trailside towns are less than 10 miles apart and provide good options for where to start/stop a ride or to take a break.  The newest segment runs between Waukee and Perry with the towns of Dallas Center and Minburn in between.  This link of trail is very flat and in super condition. Between Waukee and DC it is more out in the open but once past Dallas Center trees flank the trail for the remaining ride.

Trail Map

Trail Information

The Ride

The plan for the afternoon was to bike from Waukee to Perry, take my time and  just enjoy the ride.   

A thunderstorm had come through the night before leaving some debris on the trail.  Not to worry though, because only a short distance from Waukee an employee from Dallas County Conservation was sweeping the trail with a blower from the bed of his truck.

As many times as I’ve ridden the link from Waukee to "DC" you’d think it would get boring.  Nope! There’s always something to notice along the trail.  The changing seasons always provides the scenery with a new look and the different times of day shines light on things that had previously gone unnoticed.  For example, the truck abandoned along the trail was up to the wheel wells in weeds and the blue and white paint boldly stood out against the surrounding greens.

Another example of new sights along the trail was a newly constructed hog confinement.  This trailside addition will prove to be interesting on days where the wind is coming from the wrong direction!

Riding through Minburn I was pleased to see work on the the trailhead was underway.  The 100 year old depot will be moved and renovated to house a cafe and museum.  Great news for this little community!  Minburn is always fun to ride through because I get a kick out of waiving to the angler trying his best to get a bite.  Sure enough, he was still at it as I rode past.

Right before reaching Perry I took the trail spur to the Forest Park Museum and Arboretum and spent some time looking at the displays.  Read about my visit here.  

After getting my fill of local history, I decided it was time for a snack.  Downtown Perry I stopped in at Firehouse Ice Cream and was excited to see a soda fountain and jukebox inside.  

My trip to Perry went as planned.  It was a lot of fun visiting new places and enjoying another Iowa bike ride!

Happy Riding



  • Cyclists 18 and up are required to purchase a user fee of $2 a day or $10 for a year.  Strong boxes are located at trailheads for purchasing trail permits.
  • Use caution when crossing 4 lanes of highway when reaching Perry.
  • Keep an eye open for green painted trail arrows on sidewalks downtown Perry.