Explore the Little Maquoketa River valley as you travel along this almost 30 mile long trail from Dubuque to Dyersville. This portion of Iowa is home to the Driftless Area, a portion of Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota along the Mississippi River that were never glaciated. This area of Iowa is in stark contrast with the rest of the state, with large limestone bluffs and dramatic scenery.
Dubuque itself is a vibrant, thriving river town home to museums, theaters, historic sites, college campuses and Fortune 500 companies. From Dubuque, riders will follow the former Chicago Great Western Railroad line that has been converted into a recreational trail with a crushed limestone bed. Heading north, riders will travel through residential and commercial areas to a greenway leading to the Heritage Pond trail.
On the way to Durango, riders will pass by Little Maquoketa River Mounds State Preserve, a native American mounds site that is open year round to hiking. Continuing 8 more miles until reaching the town of Graf, the trail follows river drainage areas that are great for fossil hunting. Try to spot endangered plants such as prairie dock and Leonard’s skipper as you look for trailside native plants.
By now, riders will be climbing the gently sloping river bottom toward Farley on the final 6 mile stretch to Dyersville, where the movie Field of Dreams was filmed and tourists are now welcome to watch the baseball “ghost game”. Dyersville is also known as the Toy Capital of the World, with two of the town’s five museums centered around farm toys.