Thursday, November 01, 2007

West Liberty City Councilman Cites Connection to Hoover Nature Trail as Top-Five Project for City

In a letter to the editor of the West Liberty Index, current (and possibly outgoing) city councilman Chad Thomas outlined five projects that he would really like to see get done in West Liberty. Two of them relate to recreational trails and the HNT:
  • Developing the walking/biking trails identified in West Liberty's comprehensive plan
  • Getting West Liberty connected to the larger Hoover Nature Trail and connected to the trail system in Iowa City
He went on to say "All of these projects are going to require cooperation and input from the City, but when it comes to planning, follow through, and fundraising, I do not believe the City is the best organization to get this done. I can be more effective in advocating for these projects through individual efforts and collaboration with other private and/or non-profit organizations."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Photos of the Hoover Nature Trail on Flickr

More photos of the Hoover Nature Trail, northwest of West Branch.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Photos of the Hoover Nature Trail

Scot Skinner is a photographer who has some really nice photos of the Hoover Nature Trail on his website.

Another (Better?) Interactive Map of the Hoover Nature Trail

I'm not sure who put it together, but this is a pretty good map and guide for anyone who wants to attempt to bike the length of the intermittent Hoover Nature Trail. This resource is along the lines of what I was aiming for with my trail map.

Entire Hoover Nature Trail Now Mapped in Google Earth/Maps

Earlier this year I painstakingly mapped the entire Hoover Nature Trail in Google Earth by simply looking at the satellite imagery. I am just now getting around to posting it here. I started in West Branch, so I ended up with two sections, a north section and a south section. I am not very experienced at Google Earth, KML/KMZ or computer mapping, so I did not know how to link the two sections to create just one continuous trail. If there is someone out there who can "fix" my map or one-up me, please do.

One of the cool things about this exercise is how the route of the former rail line is still fairly evident, even in places where landowners have tried to wipe out any trace of it. If you have Google Earth, you can download my KMZ files, fly over the trail, and see exactly what I am talking about.

Has West Branch Forgotten About the Hoover Nature Trail?

I discovered tonight that the City of West Branch no longer has a page on their website devoted to the Hoover Nature Trail, so I have removed that link to the right. Amazingly, after searching around the city's redesigned website, I can find no mention of the trail at all. Even the map of the city provided as a downloadable PDF just has white space where the trail should be. Makes you wonder how important this resource is to West Branch's leaders.

New West Branch Volksmarch Includes Segment of Hoover Nature Trail

From The Press-Citizen:

The Hawkeye Hikers, an Iowa City-based affiliate of the American Volkssport Association, announced a new Volksmarch walk through West Branch. The 10-kilometer walking route begins in downtown West Branch and includes the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. The route also travels through West Branch's historic commercial district, residential neighborhoods, through the town cemetery, past local churches and along part of the Herbert Hoover Nature Trail. Visitors to West Branch interested in walking the route may pick up directions and a map at Dewey's Jack and Jill grocery store at the corner of Main Street and First Street/Parkside Drive.

For information about Volkssport and Volksmarching, contact Cathy Johnson of the Hawkeye Hikers at 337-5989.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

West Branch Times Editorial Makes Trail Suggestions

In a recent West Branch Times editorial, Rob Poggenklass tossed out a few ideas related to cycling and the Hoover Nature Trail:
  • How about asking Johnson County to add a bike path to the Herbert Hoover Highway?
  • How about connecting the trail from the high school to the Hoover Nature Trail, through the cemetery?
The first suggestion is already in the Johnson County Trails Plan, although I am not certain of its priority or funding. Regarding the second suggestion, I think we are seeing that trail connectivity is important for their use and vitality. I'm not familiar enough with the exact route that Rob was suggesting to make any commentary beyond that.