Here is an update on the Raccoon River Valley Trail as we head into an unseasonably warm weekend when there is expected to be heavy use of the trail. Some public restrooms are not open yet, others are, so plan ahead on the stops you will need. And you’ll want to be carrying your trail permits, too!
COOPER, Iowa, March 30, 2012 – With a summer-like weather forecast for this weekend of March 31 & April 1, it is expected there will be heavy use of the Raccoon River Valley Trail.
The RRVT is clear and open all the way from Waukee to Jefferson, using the traditional south route. In addition, there are two portions of the new north loop that are open — between Waukee and Dallas Center and between Perry and Dawson.
People will notice some additional progress underway on the north loop. The new concrete surface is being poured and set between Minburn and Perry, although it is not open now for public use. Work will be starting this spring or summer on the two other stretches of the north loop yet to be paved — between Dallas Center and Minburn and between Dawson and Herndon.
This weekend, trail users will discover that not all the public restrooms on the trail are open yet, since it is so early in the season. The restrooms are open at the Dawson Depot, at the Cooper Way Station and on the south end of the Jefferson Depot. No portable toilets are yet placed at the locations along the trail that usually have them. In Jefferson, the Trailhead Campground just south of the Depot is available for camping, however the restrooms & showerhouse at the campground is not yet open.
Mike Wallace, conservation director and trail manager in Dallas County, said he’d like to remind people that permits are required for trail use for persons 18 and older, unless you are just using the portion of a trail within the city limits of the trail towns. Those permits are available at tube dispensers at most of the trailheads, and also at the Conservation Board’s offices in Dallas, Guthrie and Greene Counties. The permits cost $2 per day or $10 for the calendar year. You can buy a trail permit online with a membership in the Raccoon River Valley Trail Association on this Internet site, making the purchase in the “RRVT Store.”
Wallace also urged people to “start out the biking season in a safe way. Obey ’Stop’ and ’Yield’ signs and be courteous of others on the trail.”