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Fairfield Loop Trail bridge over Hwy One

News - Jefferson County Trails Council, Fairfield, IA

The Nady Prairie was opened to the public on June 12, 2021. The Nady Prairie is just west of Pleasant Lake, reached by the Loop Trail, from the parking lot at Pleasant Plain Road. Or use the Loop Trail parking lot on B Street and walk east on the Loop Trail to the Nady Prairie. Read the "Little Prairie on the Trail" article in the June 2021 Iowa Source article.


The upgraded west-side Walking Trail was reopened in December 2020. A small portion of invasive shrubs and trees were removed from the adjoining woodlands around the west side of Pleasant Lake and converted into a short grass prairie mix, which will allow walkers to better enjoy the woodland trails.
West Walking Trail

West Walking Trail

West Walking Trail

The bridge at the east end of Chautauqua Park gets a coating of wood preservative by Chris Hallinger and Jeff Fitz-Randolph. Photo by Ron Blair, Nov 4 2020. The bridge at Pleasant Lake got the same treatment.
Chautauqua Park bridge

The Loop Trail Bridge at Lamson Woods had 24 wooden bridge deck boards replaced by volunteers on Oct 10 & 11, arranged by Ron Blair (Brian Stains not pictured)
Lamson Woods bridge

This second photo shows some of the new boards, which are a lighter color, for now.
Lamson Woods bridge

Two restrooms on the Fairfield Loop Trail had their interiors cleaned by the city park department prior to painting. Then painted by Chris Hallinger and Jeff Fitz-Randolph (shown is the Pleasant Lake restroom). From now on they will be cleaned by a professional cleaning service on a weekly basis (thanks to Kent Rice and Kathy Peck). Click here for more photos.
Pleasant Lake restroom

Read about Bob Hunerdosse hard at work on the Loop Trail in the Southeast Iowa Union newspaper (Sept 29, 2020). See the article here.

   Background of the Loop Trail Closure (press release updated July 2, 2020).
The portion of the Loop Trail between Lamson Woods and Glasgow Rd is now open. (Crews will continue to work on the landscape and seeding along this section of thee trail, but the trail can be accessed.)
However, work has begun on the portion of the Loop Trail between old Highway 34 and the bridge over the BNSF Railroad (Phase 2), which requires the trail to be closed while the construction continues on the sanitary sewer project. See a map and photos on our News page.
The City appreciates the public's continued cooperation with the construction process.

The purpose of this closure is for the construction of new sanitary sewer in the area. The sewer is part of the STEP 2 sanitary sewer project, which involves the construction of 24-inch to 36-inch diameter pipe from Lamson Woods, generally following Crow Creek, to Granville Avenue at MIU. This project is part of the City's compliance order with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to remove sanitary sewer overflows within the system. Maxwell Construction is the contractor for the project.

Construction will begin in February 2020 and continue until summer 2021. Portions of the Loop Trail will be closed as a result of this project.

Please contact Melanie Carlson at 641-472-6193 with questions regarding this press release.

Melanie A. Carlson, PE, LEED AP, City Engineer - City of Fairfield, (o) 641-472-6193 | (f) 641-472-0698, 118 S. Main St. | Fairfield, IA 5255. Email to: | Website:

   Construction on the Loop Trail, Phase 2 - The second section of the construction will close part of the of the Fairfield Loop Trail, beginning in July 2, 2020, and will be completed in the summer of 2021. Construction of a new sanitary sewer in this area will require the trail to be closed, for the safety of everyone. See more details on the map below.

Below: Trail Closure Map, Phase 2 (see the dark-green section of the Trail). See a PDF version here.
Trail Map

Walking east on the Loop Trail from Lamson Woods to Glasgow Road. More work on the wetlands will happen later, but is open now. (08-16-2020).

Walking west from Glasgow Road to the Lamson Woods bridge. More work on the wetlands will happen later.(08-16-2020).

Looking north from where the east Chautauqua Park bridge links to the Loop Trail. Closed now. (08-15-2020).

Looking north on the Loop Trail from the bridge. Closed now. (08-15-2020).

Looking south on the Loop Trail, where the Trail goes under Business 34 highway (not shown). Closed now. (08-15-2020).

Looking north, from Middle Glasgow Road (just off Glasgow Road). See map above for details (07-05-2020).

Looking north-west toward the Chautauqua Park bridge (East entrance of the Park). (07-05-2020)

Looking east to the Chautauqua Park bridge (east entrance of the Park) and the Loop Trail under construction. (07-05-2020)

Looking south from the Loop Trail bridge over the BNSF Railroad tracks. (07-05-2020)

   2020 Scavenger Hunt results, July 3, 2020

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's Scavenger Hunt (and thank you for bearing with us through technical difficulties). We had 133 completed punch cards turned in. Here are the winners for this year:
Rebekah Gerdes-$50 Chamber Bucks
Balen Boatright-$50 Chamber Bucks
Eric LaFollette-$50 Chamber Bucks
Sam Garchick-$50 Chamber Bucks
Rita Copeland-$100 Gift Certificate to The Ride.
   Sponsors: Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Fairfield 1st Fridays, Art Walk, AJ's Bicycle Shop, & SE Iowa Cyclists

   Photos of the new connection from the Loop Trail to The Cider House 1949 (April 30, 2020).

Looking south at the new connecting trail to the The Cider House 1949.

Looking southeast on the Loop Trail, east of Mile Marker 10 (east of Pleasant Lake).

Looking west toward Pleasant Plain Rd and Pleasant Lake.

Looking east on the Loop Trail.

   Construction on the Loop Trail, Phase 1 - A portion of the Fairfield Loop Trail was closed to the public (Feb 2020 to July 2020), from Glasgow Road and west to Park Ave, due to the construction of a new sanitary sewer in this area. See details on the Home page.

Looking west toward Glasgow Road. (Photos dated 04-05-2020).

Looking west toward the Neff Wetlands.

Looking north from Glasgow Road, at the Neff Wetlands. The stacked pipes are on the Loop Trail.

Looking east towards the Lamson Woods parking lot, at the intersection Park Street and Fillmore Ave.

Looking east towards the Loop Trail bridge over Crow Creek, entrance to the Neff Wetlands.

   Notice - The Walking-Only Trail on the west side of Pleasant Lake will be impacted by construction, until further notice (dated Aug 28, 2019).

From the City of Fairfield - "Native prairie restoration continues on the 48-acre plot of land between Waterworks Park and Pleasant Lake. The land is known as the Nady property because it was donated to the city by the Nady family. This area is being converted into native prairie grass, wetlands, and forest and will provide access to the west side of Pleasant Lake."

This work will impact the Walking-Only Trail on the west side of Pleasant Lake. The trail may be closed during this time.
Nady Park

   Nov 16, 2019 - Photos of Bob Hunerdosse removing invasive plants on the Fairfield trail system on Aug 25, 2019 - Thanks to Werner Elmker.

Bike Station

Bike Station

   Congratulations to the Jefferson County Trails Council 2019 Scavenger Hunt Winners!

$20 Gift Card to Ila - Gina Pool
$20 Gift Card to Dairy Bar - Anya Busscher
$30 Gift Card to Brown's Shoe Fit - Laney Bowers
$100 Gift Package from AJ's Bicycle Shop - Emily Fotis

The fifth annual Jefferson County Trails Council (JCTC) Scavenger Hunt ended on July 5, 2019, which featured a Steampunk Theme.

Participants were able to collect clues at 10 locations along the trail to be entered in drawings for prizes. Drawings for prizes took place the evening of July 5 at Central Park during Fairfield First Fridays.

The Scavenger Hunt was a great way to get out and see all the trails in Fairfield and Jefferson County have to offer. JCTC Chairman Stephen Pedrick explains the 2019 theme was Steampunk.
“With RAGBRAI stopping overnight in Fairfield in 2019, we wanted to play off the Steampunk theme and get people excited before the largest bicycling event in the state spends the night in July. Scavenger hunters will see a strong railroad presence in the clues for this year’s event.”

Participants picked up and returned scavenger hunt punch cards at AJ’s Bicycle Shop (123 North Court Street). (See the punch card as a PDF).

The 30-plus mile trails system is an asset to Fairfield and Jefferson County. The Scavenger Hunt took participants on much of the trails system, but as Pedrick adds, “our hope is this event will inspire people to explore more of the trails in Fairfield.”.

   New lookout on the Loop Trail. From Ron Blair, Dec 18, 2018: Two photos of the new observation platform that MIU built on the Loop Trail, west of the University. The platform gives a stunning view of the new MIU solar array. Troy and Amy Van Beck are creating educational signage that will eventually get attached to the platform. Allison Construction did the work! More about the Solar Array on the MIU website.

MIU Solar Array
MIU Solar Array

   In August 2018 a Bike Maintenance Station was installed in the parking lot at B Street and Zimmerman Blvd, near MIU. The Fixit includes all the tools necessary to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. The tools are securely attached to the stand with stainless steel cables and tamper-proof fasteners. Hanging the bike from the hanger arms allows the pedals and wheels to spin freely while making adjustments. The Air Kit bike pump lets you keep your cyclists' tires topped up and ready to roll.

Bike Station

   Winners of the 2018 Scavenger Hunt, which ended on July 6 at 7pm where:
  First prize - $30 Gift Card to the Ila Restaurant, Jerrie Noyes.
  Second prizes - $10 Gift Certificates for the Sweet Spot in Fairfield - Diane James, Jennifer Clements, Roberta Schafer. Pat McAvan, Lillian Frescoln, and Aria Reiter.
Jerrie Noyes wrote to us - "I received the gift certificate/prize I won in the drawing for the Scavenger Hunt!  I was so happy and surprised.  I loved that event, spent a lot of time enjoying the trails and finding the clues.  It was so much fun and I really appreciate all the time and effort you and your team put into it.  I'm always amazed at the dedication and creativity of people in Fairfield who help make this such a nice place to live.  Thank you again, I am thrilled".
 See the 2018 Scavenger Hunt Brochure as a PDF.

   Thanks to everyone who participated in the 2017 Scavenger Hunt and made this 2017 event a success! Prizes will be mailed to winners who were not present at July's Fairfield First Fridays.
Ninety-three people entered the 2017 annual Jefferson County Trails Council Scavenger Hunt. The person who traveled the farthest to complete the hunt was from Creston, Iowa.
Winners of the drawing (and their prizes) include - Dylan Fisk-FitBit, Emily Fotis-Bicycle Computer, Eric Henderson-$10 Sweet Spot Gift Certificate, Aria Reiter-$10 Sweet Spot Gift Certificate, Brandon Nelson-$10 Sweet Spot Gift Certificate, Noah Gerdes-Water Bottle Infuser, Deborah Arnold-Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Cage, Marion Pollack-Hand Painted Bicycle Bell, Ethan McReynolds-$30 Brown's Shoe Gift Card, Roger Peck-$30 Ila Gift Card.
(For details of the Hunt, see 2017 JCTC Scavenger Hunt, which began May 27, 2017 at sunrise).

   Kent Rice built a new door for the restroom at Pleasant Lake.  Photo taken July 26, 2016, supplied by Frank Broz.

Restroom door

   Winners of the 2016 annual Jefferson County Trails Council (JCTC) Scavenger Hunt were announced.  Held from May 28 to July 1, 2016, drawings for prizes took place July 1 during Fairfield's 1st Fridays Art Walk.

   Community 1st Credit Union employees volunteered on the Fairfield Loop Trail, Oct 12, 2015.  See details here.

   Drive on the Loop Trail, Sunday, Oct 18, 2015.  See details in this PDF, and on this PDF.

   Maintenance Day, Saturday, Oct 10, 2015.  Details in this PDF.  All welcome.

   Ride the Trails with Werner Elmker - watch it on You Tube here.  This video was recorded June-July 2015.  Most of the footage was taken riding a bike.  The video shows segments of the 16-mile Fairfield Loop Trail, Neff Wetlands, Lamson Woods, Whitham Woods, Chautauqua Park, Cedar View Trail and Jefferson County Park.

   New - Aerial photos of the Loop Trail here. Photos from an airplane.

   JCTC 2015 Scavenger Hunt.  News about it, and the results are here.

   Spring Maintenance Day took place on Saturday, May 16, and included updating our Loop Trail maps.  See photos of our maps and a press release here.

   See Upcoming Summer Trail Events on this PDF.

   The Trails Council had displays at two events (Sat, April 18, 2015)See photos here.

   Fairfield achieves Certified Blue Zones Community Status (April 10, 2015)

From the Blue Zones Project press release: "Fairfield has demonstrated its dedication to improved well-being and is well deserving of Blue Zones Community certification," said Katrina Worlund, Healthways senior vice president, Blue Zones Project.  "This community has begun to see positive results, including a significant decrease in tobacco usage at a large worksite and an increase in trail usage (emphasis added).  Fairfield’s citizens will reap benefits from these changes for years to come."  Read the entire story here.

   JCTC & CVB at Bike Expo (Jan 24, 2015)

The Jefferson County Trails Council (JCTC), in partnership with the Fairfield Iowa Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), attended the Iowa Bike Expo in Des Moines on January 24.  Read Stephen Pedrick's report and see photos here.  This free one-day expo hosts over 4,500 people shopping for destinations, gear, bikes, and more.

   Fairfield Loop Trail Use Tops 25,000, according to Iowa DOT count.  Read the report here. (Jan 14, 2015)

   Winner of the first annual First National Bank and Jefferson County Trails Council “Trailing Nature” photo competition was announced.  See the story and photos here. (Dec 2, 2014)


   More Trees Planted on Loop Trail (Oct 2014)

Crab apple trees were planted next to the Loop Trail section along the east side of Hwy 1, across from the Jefferson County Health Center  These match the 25 trees planted on west side last year.  Funded by Trees Forever Branching Out grant.  See photos and more of the Trees Forever story here.


   Report on Fall Maintenance Day, Saturday, Oct 4, 2014

See Chris Meyers' report and photos here.


   Report on Spring Maintenance Day, 2014

It had been a wet spring/summer and the trail was in need of a little work.  We had a great turnout for the Spring Maintenance Day and we hope to accomplish even more on Saturday, October 4th.  More details here on a PDF.


Photography Classes Held Sept 28, 2014 (click on photo for more photos)
Photo class

Landscape and Macro Photography Classes were given by Radim Schreiber along the Loop Trail. There were 8 students in the Advanced Class, and 6 for the Beginners. Stephen Pedrick reports, "In all, the classes went very well. Jami Johnson and Darin Hayne did a great job organizing the event, and it was well received by the students. Radim also had a good time teaching the class. Everyone involved is looking forward to another class in the future."


Commemorative Plaque Added to Loop Trail markers (Aug 23, 2014) -   Photos here.
Commemorative Plaque
A JCTC Commemorative Plaque was added to the Fairfield Loop Trail markers near the Maasdam Barns.  These markers indicate the beginning and the end of the Fairfield Loop trail.


Report on Kiosk Upgrades (July 8, 2014)
The kiosks along and near the Loop Trail were repaired and refurbished by a crew of volunteers, and new single-panel kiosks were built and installed.  New maps will be added soon.  See photos here.


New article about the Loop Trail by Ron Blair (June 6, 2014)
Ron Blair on Hwy 1 bridge
See an article by Ron Blair in the June 2014 issue of The Iowa Source magazine about the history of the Fairfield Loop Trail.


   Report on Loop Trail Maintenance Day (May 3, 2014)

Chris Meyers, our Maintenance Chairperson, wants to take time to thank everyone for all of their hard work on Saturday, and report on the accomplishments.   See his report here.


   Loop Trail Maintenance Day (May 3, 2014)

Join us for a fun day to spruce up the Fairfield Loop Trail and keep it in great shape!  See details on this PDF.


   JCTC & CVB at Bike Expo (Jan 25, 2014)

The Jefferson County Trails Council (JCTC), in partnership with the Fairfield Iowa Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), attended the Iowa Bicycle Summit and Expo in Des Moines on January 25.  Read Stephen Pedrick's report and see photos here.  The Bicycle Expo is a trade show for bicycle manufacturers, performance-food companies, and trail advocacy groups, held every January.

   Older news:

      Click here for "News 2010-2013"

      Click here for "News 2001-2009"

   Other trail news:

      Click here for "News about Mile Markers"

      Click here for "Building the Loop Trail"

Below: Loop Trail - photo by Werner Elmker
Loop Trails in the fall

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The mission of the Jefferson County Trails Council is to build, construct, and maintain a network of trails for public use and enjoyment, and to promote, inform, and educate the general public about the trail system.

Every effort is made to ensure accurate information is posted to the site. However, Jefferson County Trails Council does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of the content on this site or content which is referenced by or linked to this site. © 2001-2021 Jefferson County Trails Council, Fairfield, Iowa.  Updated 06-21-21