With the expanding bike trails available in East Polk County, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation wants to make sure no one gets lost along the way.

The foundation has created a smart-phone app called Iowa By Trail. It’s available in the Google Play and iTunes stores.

The application not only includes maps of trails, the season the trails are open, whether they’re handicap or stroller accessible, if dogs are allowed, fees and what counties trails run through. They also provide current weather conditions and what kind of activities can be done on the trails.

It also will tell you how many miles you’ve ridden, your average speed and how long you’ve been riding.

City officials plan to continue to grow the trails in East Polk County.

Currently, the Gay Lea Wilson Trail connects Altoona to Pleasant Hill, Ankeny and eastern portions of Des Moines. Plans are under way to connect the trail to the city of Bondurant as well.

“The interconnectivity is huge. You can get on your bike and ride all the way from Pleasant Hill to Ankeny,” said Madeline Sturms, senior planner for the city of Pleasant Hill. “Eventually once the Gay Lea Wilson is completed you can ride all the way to Bondurant and do a whole big loop around the region. We are working together as a region to make sure we are closing the trail gap.”

Recently Bondurant became a part of the Chichaqua Trial, with a trailhead located in the city. Officials hope that connecting the city to the Gay Lea Wilson Trail will bring more bicycle tourism to the community.


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