The Raccoon River Valley Trail is owned and managed by the Conservation Boards in Greene, Guthrie and Dallas Counties.
The Union Pacific's abandonment of its railroad line in Guthrie and Dallas Counties opened the way for a 33-mile "north loop" addition to the Raccoon River Valley Trail.
This will add Jamaica, Dawson, Perry, Minburn, and Dallas Center to the list of communities accessible to trail users.(Click on the map for a larger version)
How Will the RRVT Benefit Dallas Center?
The many benefits of recreational trails to users and trailside communities have become obvious over the the last few decades.
In November 2006, Chuck Offenberger, secretary of the Raccoon Valley River Trail Association, met with the Dallas Center Rotary Club and shared his expectations of the Trail's eventual impact on Dallas Center's economy:
"Don't look at it as just a trail that you're going to get in Dallas Center. Look at it like a new industry that's coming to town.
We used to estimate that 70,000 people per year were on the RRVT, but since the connection was made into the trails of the Des Moines metro area, the surveys now indicate there are 100,000 people per year.
And when we get the new 'north loop' completed and get our marketing and promotion plan going, we think those figures could triple or quadruple. So, even by a conservative estimate, you can probably look at 200,000 people a year coming through Dallas Center on the RRVT.
Think of the economic benefit of that! What else do you have that brings that many people to Dallas Center, except for Highway 44?"
The City of Dallas Center is responsible for supporting the two-mile long, 10-ft wide portion of the concrete or asphalt trail across our city limits, and has received two $75,000 REAP Grants for the project.
The first grant was used for the city's acquisition of the portion of the railroad line within the Dallas Center city limits, and the second one will be used for the development of the portion of the trail through the city.
Additional funding will be sought from multiple agencies, organizations, and private sources to complete the Dallas Center part of the project.
The DC Economic Development Committee and the Facilities Committee are working together to make the RRVT's Dallas Center trail head a harmonious part of Dallas Center's concurrent Revitalization Project.
Current planning calls for the trailhead to be located near the intersection of 14th Street and Walnut St.
Below are different options being considered for the design and location of Dallas Center's Raccoon River Valley trailhead, and you can click on each of the images below for a larger version. (The drawings can also be viewed at City Hall.)