History of the Trail
This Flint River Trail project began as part of the Great River Gateway Vision Iowa project, which has provided funding for improvements in tourism attracations in the City of Burlington and Des Moines County - including Big Hollow Recreation Area, Burlington Public Library, Des Moines County Heritage Center, Burlington Memorial Auditorium, Burlington Bees baseball (Community Field) and the Flint River Trail. The City of Burlington and Des Moines County have been working cooperatively to complete all of these projects, including the Flint River Trail, which will be the first significant multi-mile trail planned in Southeast Iowa.
The planned trail is approximately 18 miles and will extend from downtown Burlington to Big Hollow Recreation Area in northern Des Moines County. Once completed, the trail will connect the Mississippi River Trail, downtown Burlington, the Port of Burlington, Riverside Park, Aldo Leopold Recreation Area, Starr's Cave Park & Preserve, Hickory Bend Recreation Area, Historic Zion School, and Big Hollow Recreation Area through the Flint River Valley. The trail will be primarily separated from roadways for safety and enjoyment of the users. Below is a timeline outlining achievements and milestones of the trail project.