Biking the Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail in Shelby, Iowa

Several weeks ago I rode the Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail near Shelby, Iowa. The official trail is just 3.75 miles. After riding this short trail, I did a little more riding in Shelby and took a different path back to where I parked my car.

The trailhead starts near The Cornstalk Cafe and a Shell gas station. There is a nice trailhead with artwork and a garden before you start down the crushed stone trail. There is a somewhat steep hill to get you down to the water level.

Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail, Shelby, Iowa
View from water level of the Shell gas station and restaurant.
Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail, Shelby, Iowa
Old windmill on the Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail in Shelby, Iowa.
Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail, Shelby, Iowa
Trail view with blue skies.

The trail turns from crushed limestone to pavement.

Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail, Shelby, Iowa
View of one of the interstate billboards from behind.
Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail, Shelby, Iowa
Old train car in Shelby, Iowa.
Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail, Shelby, Iowa
Shelby is celebrating 150 years.
Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail, Shelby, Iowa
The old stone arch.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 35-foot stone bridge (built in 1883) is said to have been the first railroad structure built in Shelby County.

Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail, Shelby, Iowa
Bridge at the end.
Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail, Shelby, Iowa
View from the bridge at the end.
Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail, Shelby, Iowa
The trail continues as a grassy path that loops around and brings you back near the bridge.

I did take my fat bike on this grassy path in the woods to loop back around.

Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail, Shelby, Iowa
My fat bike is a 2021 Salsa Mukluk Deore 11. Check them out here.
Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail, Shelby, Iowa
The old stone arch again on the way back.

You can check out this ride on my Strava account. This was my first fully completed rail-trail in Iowa.

To plan this trip, I used the the book: Rail-Trails Iowa & MissouriThe definitive guide to the state’s top multiuse trails.

The Blooming Farmhouse is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Debbie Gordon says:

    Wow!!! I do enjoy your travels.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely. I haven’t done a bike ride in such a long time. It looks like a beautiful path and destination. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s