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Raccoon River Valley Trail Inducted into Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s National Hall of Fame

WAUKEE, IA — Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) announces the induction of the Raccoon River Valley Trail into its Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. The Rail-Trail Hall of Fame inductee is selected during a public vote each year; more than 38,000 votes were cast in the 2021 Rail-Trail Hall of Fame contest, marking a record-breaking number of votes overall for the nationwide event.

RDG Planning & Design worked closely with the Raccoon River Valley Trail Association on the development and expansion of the trail, engaging with the broader community to best understand how the trails could increase tourism dollars, build community connections, and promote public health. In the years since, the trail has become a tourist attraction and embraced as an asset for health, wellness, and connections among the region and state. Plans are in the works to eventually connect the Raccoon River Valley Trail to the High Trestle Trail Bridge.

The 89-mile path connects rural communities to larger cities, including Jefferson, Des Moines, and Perry, offering views of woodlands, prairies, and incorporating trail-wide art installations designed by the Art Studio at RDG. These installations, including “Waukee Railroad Pergola: In the Shadows of the Rails,” leverage creative placemaking to integrate story, site, and structure to develop a common theme across the trail system, highlighting the region’s railroad history and creating a destination for bicyclists and pedestrians alike.

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