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TRAIL TOWNS

Jefferson (County seat of Greene County)

Population: 4,182
Services for trail users: Trailhead parking, restaurants, convenience stores, motels
Nearest public restroom: Jefferson Depot at the trailhead. 
Don’t miss: An elevator ride to the viewing deck of the Mahanay Memorial Tower, which has a playing carillon.
Most famous son/daughter: American pollster George Gallup; 1972 Olympic gold medalist in archery Doreen Wilber; former Des Moines Register political columnist David Yepsen

Cooper

Population: 30 
Services for trail users: Trailhead parking, shelter house, picnic tables. 
Nearest public restroom: Cooper Way Station, trailside. 
Don’t miss: Monument outside old gymnasium heralds Johnny Carson as Cooper’s “Honorary 51st Citizen,” decided at time of 1981 centennial celebration. The story is told in the historical sign located at the trailhead.  
Most famous son/daughter: Terry Rich, former CEO of the Iowa Lottery, Chuck Offenburger, former Des Moines Register columnist and long-time RRVT supporter

Herndon

Population: 25 
Services for trail users: Trailhead parking 
Nearest public restroom: Cooper (5 miles north), Yale (5 miles south). 
Don’t miss: The intersection where the current Raccoon River Valley Trail will be crossed by the east-west American Discovery Trail in years to come.
Most famous son/daughter: Jerry Kinney, legendary Iowa school band director.

Yale

Population: 267
Services for trail users: Trailhead parking, restaurant  
Nearest public restroom: Trailhead south end of town. 
Don’t miss: The old round gym where in its heyday, it was home to boys’ and girls’ basketball teams and even the Harlem Globetrotters. Check out the flag pole in the middle of the main street in the business district; terrific mini-murals have been painted
on it. 
Most famous son/daughter: Frank Moore, Class of 1942 at old Yale High School, went on to Yale University, where he wound up teaching. He is the only known person to go Yale to Yale!

Panora

Population: 1091
Services for trail users: Trailhead parking, restaurants, convenience stores, motel
Nearest public restroom: Businesses, if you buy something. 
Don’t miss: Guthrie County Historical Village
Most famous son/daughter: Kip Janvrin, Olympic decathlete and Drake Relays champion.

Linden

Population: 226 
Services for trail users: Trailhead parking, drinking fountain. 
Nearest public restroom: Portable toilet is trailside. 
Don’t miss: The baseball diamond, where Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller once played, is visible from the trail.
Most famous son/daughter: Travis Geopfert, assistant coach of track & field at the University of Arkansas, and an All-American track man during his student years at UNI.

Redfield

Population: 833 
Services for trail users:  Trailhead parking, restaurant, convenience store, kayak and canoe service for river floats. 
Nearest public restroom: Redfield Depot and a City Park on the trail.

Don’t miss: Note the roller dam on the Middle Raccoon River, also follow signs to “Hanging Rock Park,” Be sure to see the restored GAR Hall — that was a lodge for veterans who fought in the Grand Army of the Republic in the Civil War. GAR Hall is only open by appointment. 
Most famous son/daughter: Rex Harvey was an American decathlete and also holds patents of several nozzles for aircraft engines. In addition he helped design several nuclear reactor power plants.


Adel

Population: 6,153 
Services for trail users: Trailhead parking, restaurants, convenience store, bed and breakfast
Nearest public restroom: Businesses near the trail 
Don’t miss: The Dallas County Courthouse modeled after a French castle, Freedom Rock near the trail, the lighted bridge, and the new Rotary Plaza on the trail.
Most famous son/daughter: Nile Kinnick, 1939 Heisman Trophy winner in football for the University of Iowa. Van Harden, former co-host of the morning show on Des Moines radio station WHO.

Waukee

Population: 23,904 
Services for trail users: Trailhead parking, restaurants, convenience stores, motels

Nearest public restroom: Restroom facilities at trailhead, northwest corner of town. 
Don’t miss: Variety of restaurants in strip malls along the trail, the connecting point where the “North Loop” of the RRVT exits northwest for Dallas Center 
Most famous son/daughter: Hal Manders, major league baseball pitcher in the 1940s for the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs.

Dallas Center

Population: 1,901
Services for trail users: Trailhead parking, restaurants, convenience store

Nearest public restroom:  Restroom facilities on the trail
Don’t miss: Annual Fall Festival
Most famous son/daughter: Former major league baseball pitcher, Tony Watson.

Minburn

Population: 325
Services for trail users: Trailhead parking, restaurants
Nearest public restroom: At renovated depot building on west side of U.S. Highway 169
Don’t miss: Outdoor roller-skating rink and Freedom Rock near the trail

Most famous son/daughter: Billionaire Harry Stine, seed genetics entrepreneur and owner of Stine Seed Company; Warren Allen Smith, author and journalist in New York City.

Perry

Population: 7,836
Services for trail users: Trailhead parking, restaurants, convenience stores, hotels and motels
Nearest public restroom: Restrooms at converted depot on the trail
Don’t miss: Formerly a major railroad junction, Perry is home to the historic Hotel Pattee, with themed rooms including many related to the railroad. The hotel is fully restored, caters to trail users, and includes interior art collections and unique outdoor
public art spaces. Located just east of the caboose & trailhead, on Willis Avenue.

Most famous son/daughter: Dwight D. Opperman (1923-2013), CEO of West Publishing; V.T. Hamlin (1900-1993) cartoonist, creator of “Alley Oop.”

Dawson

Population: 116
Services for trail users: Trailhead parking, pop machine near the trailhead
Nearest public restroom: At the Dawson Depot, a restored Milwaukee Railroad Depot, adjacent to trail, restrooms and water there
Don’t miss: Sportsman Park cabins east of Dawson one block from trail.
Most famous son/daughter: Colton Morman, who was 18 at the time, won the 2009 election for mayor of Dawson.

Jamaica

Population: 224
Services for trail users: Trailside parking, restaurants,
Nearest public restrooms: Two restaurants in town, one right next to the trail
Don’t miss: Near Jamaica is an octagonally-shaped barn built in 1881, one of seven in Iowa to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The metal band Slipknot filmed the music video “Psychosocial” and recorded their fourth album “All Hope Is Gone” at the barn.
Most famous son/daughter: The Corn Kings, a local band who played toe-tapping music atop a Model T Ford in parades across Iowa and the U.S.

Jefferson
Cooper
Herndon
Yale
Panora
Linden
Redfield
Adel
Waukee
Dallas Center
Minburn
Perry
Dawson
Jamaica

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As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Raccoon River Valley Trail Association relies on the support of individuals and organizations to keep our historic trail in good shape. Our partners and sponsors understand the value of having scenic, historical and nationally recognized opportunities for Iowans and tourists to enjoy our state while supporting our local businesses. We hope you'll consider joining us by partnering with us financially as a friend or sponsor!

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