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News 2013 to 2010-Jefferson County Trails Council

   Award Received (Nov 2013)

The Fairfield Loop Trail recently received an award at the Mid America Trails and Greenways Conference (MATAG). The bi-annual conference is sponsored by an affiliation of trails and greenways planners and promoters representing nine states in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys.  See more details here.

(From Left to Right) Mary Patchin (Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau), Stephen Pedrick (Jefferson County Trails Council) receives award on behalf of the Fairfield Loop Trail, John Wilson (Lansing Park District)


   Photos from the Loop Trail, Colorful Observations, in Thin Slices (Nov 2013)

From one side to the other.

Paul Siemsen has been taking photos, many from along the Loop trail.  View them on our website.


Walton Road Bridge Update (Nov 23, 2013)

Walton Road Bridge

The small bridge project at Walton Road, next to Walton Lake, is almost complete.  See construction photos and details on the Walton Road Bridge page.

   Fall Loop Trail Maintenance Day (Oct 19, 2013)

We accomplished a lot, thanks to our volunteers.
See details on the Work Day page.

New Bike Racks on the Loop Trail (Oct 17, 2013)
Bike Racks in Chautauqua Park

The Jefferson County Trails Council (JCTC) recently facilitated the installation of eighteen bike racks along the Fairfield Loop Trail. The bike racks were funded in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the Community Transformation Grant (CTG) and Jefferson County Public Health; Fairfield RAGBRAI 2013; and the JCTC.

More details and photos on the Bike Racks page.

   Fall Loop Trail Maintenance Day (Oct 19, 2013)

JOIN the Fun!!!  See details on this PDF.

   Spring Loop Trail Maintenance Day (May 18, 2013)

See photos and a KTVO-TV story and interview with Stephen.

Snake on the Trail (May 05, 2013)
Snake on the trail

According to herpetologist Alan Marks, it's a Fox snake.  The photo was taken on the Loop Trail near Matkin Bridge, to the west.  These snakes have been seen here before.

   Coming Up -
Trail Maintenance Day, May 18, 2013

Here is your chance to help keep the Loop Trail in shape.  See the Trail Maintenance Day flyer (PDF) for details.

   Apr 14, 2013...Walking Trails at Pleasant Lake

Volunteers did maintenance on the Walking Trails around Pleasant Lake.  See some photos here.  Our thanks to all who have helped through the years.

And please note, the trails council is grateful for volunteer workers.  We are always looking for new people to pitch in with muscles and/or fresh ideas.  Please contact us for more information on becoming more involved.

   Mar 20, 2013...RAGBRAI news

Fairfield will be an overnight town for the 2013 RAGBRAI XLI (Registers Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) on July 26, 2013.

   Jan 28, 2013...Bike Expo & RAGBRAI news   More here.

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 25-26

The event concluded with the 2013 RAGBRAI route announcement.  Fairfield was selected as an overnight city for the sixth night of the ride from the Missouri to Mississippi River.  This is the fourth time RAGBRAI has passed through Fairfield.

   Dec 27, 2012...Four-miles of the Loop Trail re-surfaced

Stephen Pedrick, Chairman of Trails Council, wrote the following Letter to the Editor to thank those involved.

The City of Fairfield recently completed a major trail maintenance project.  The City Streets and Park and Recreation Departments worked with Bob Brown Excavating and The Jefferson County Roads Department to complete the project.

The project consisted of laying a new two-inch lift of granular surfacing on segments of the Fairfield Loop Trail from 8th and Gear Streets east to Walton Road.  In total, four-miles of the Loop Trail were re-surfaced.

A second portion of work on the route includes installing water bars on steep hills and will be completed this Spring.  Water bars are important components of the trail which divert water and help reduce erosion.

The collaborative effort of several entities allowed this project to be completed.  Support for the project by the City and County shows the Loop Trail has been embraced as a vital part of our community.  The Jefferson County Trails Council (JCTC) is thrilled to see the City take initiative in maintaining and improving this community asset.

The JCTC applauds the City, County, and Bob Brown Excavating for working together to complete this project in a timely, cost effective, and workmanlike manner.  I look forward to enjoying this section of trail for years to come!

   Oct 16, 2012...Elections Held

A new slate of Jefferson County Trails Council officers was elected at the October 16.  Chairman - Steven Pedrick,  Vice-Chairman - Ryan Meyers,  Treasurer -Bob Hunerdosse,  Secretary - Jeffrey Fitz-Randolph.

   Oct 3, 2012...Volunteers Needed

Stephen Pedrick, Co-Chairman of Trails Council, announced the First Annual Trail Maintenance Day, to be held on Saturday, Oct 20, 2012.

Join us for a fun day to spruce up the Fairfield Loop Trail and keep it looking in tip-top shape.  The work we will do consists primarily of trimming weeds and cutting back tree sprouts.  We will also be varnishing benches.

Sept 30, 2012...Pedestrian Crossing Updated (Click on photo to enlarge)
Pedestrian Maze at 28th Street

From Ron Blair - "Kudos to Judy Bales!  Great project.  Great enhancement to the 28th St. railroad trail crossing.  Using a modest amount of material we got the biggest bang for the buck!"  Installed Sept 30, 2012.


   Aug 29, 2012...Fairfield on NPR

Fairfield, Iowa: Where 'Art Belongs To Everyone', part of NPR's Destination Art series, is on the NPR website.  Several visitors and residents wrote in to recommend Fairfield.

   May 22, 2012...New Trail Group Forming

A second generation trail group is in the offing, dedicated to enhancing and expanding the trail experience through events, art, the web, education, and community-involvement.

"After 15 years, the Loop Trail is complete," says retiring Trails Council Chairman Ron Blair. "It's time for new energy and new creativity." With that in mind, the Jefferson County Trails Council is calling for the formation of a new Friends of the Trail group. A public meeting, open to all interested persons, was held at the Fairfield Public Library on Tues, May 22nd at 7 PM.

As Steve Pedrick, new Co-Chairman puts it, "Although the community is celebrating the completion of the Loop Trail after fifteen years of work, the work of advocating for and, most importantly, enjoying the trail is just beginning." His fellow Co-Chair Ryan Meyers adds, "It is impressive to realize how much time and effort was put in by the citizen volunteers of the Jefferson County as they brought the Fairfield Loop trail to fruition! I am excited to be part of the next chapter in the story of the trails of Jefferson County!"

   Apr 22, 2012...Earth Day Tree Planting

Trees were planted next to Chautauqua Park to create a community orchard.  Over 250 volunteers arrived on Sunday to help - about 150 trees were planted.  See photos here.

Apr 19, 2012...Bridge Built
Small Bridge

A small bridge was built by volunteers on the new walking trail spur east of Chautauqua Park.

   Apr 17, 2012...Elections Held

A new slate of Jefferson County Trails Council officers was elected at the April 17 meeting.  Co-chairmen are Ryan Meyers and Steven Pedrick, Secretary is Jeff Fitz-Randolph, and Treasurer is Bob Hunerdosse.

   Jan 30, 2012...Maps Updated

Now that the Fairfield Loop Trail is complete, updated Jefferson County Trail System maps are on this website.  Updated brochures will be available.

   Jan 07, 2012...National Guard competes on Loop Trail

A 9-mile march, as part of a National Guard competition, took place on part of the Loop Trail on Saturday.  Real guns were not used.  Photo essay & more here.

   Dec 30, 2011...Interpretive Trail now in Whitham Woods

A Self-Guided Interpretive Trail was created by Mitchell Burnstedt, Troop 24, for an Eagle project in Whitham Woods.  Identification labels were placed next to trees and a kiosk display provides information.  See photos here.

   Dec 23, 2011...Loop Trail History Presented

The 14-year adventure of building the Fairfield Loop Trail is presented on a new JCTC website page.

   Nov 7, 2011...JCTC Receives Award from FCA

The Trails Council received the 2011 Cultural Contribution Award from the Fairfield Cultural Alliance during the 2nd Annual Networking Gala and Award Ceremony.  You can read the entire press release, with photos, here (PDF file).

Oct 23, 2011...Annual Fall Trail Drive
Car on Trail Drive

This year the Jefferson County Conservation Board Annual Trail Drive Through was expanded to include part of the Loop Trail, creating a 3.2 mile drive.  It ended at the Maasdam Barns, which was open for this event.   Photos are here.

Oct 8, 2011...Loop Trail Dedication

The Loop Trail dedication was held today.

Now, the full 16-mile Loop Trail can be used to circle Fairfield.
Because a few sections of the Northwest segment are not quite complete, the trail user may have to temporarily use the adjacent street surface.
  See photos on the Maasdam Barns website.


   Sept 30, 2011, dedication to be held.

The Jefferson County Trails Council and Maasdam Barns Preservation Committee proudly announce and invite the entire community to the public dedication of the Fairfield Loop Trail and Maasdam Barns.  After many years of planning, construction and hard work, the Loop Trail will be completed this Fall, and the Maasdam Barns and Welcome Center will be open to the public.  The Dedication will be held on Saturday October 8, 2011 at 1:30 PM just north of the Maasdam Barns (located on Highway 1 next to Jefferson County Health Center).  Everyone is invited to the Dedication.  Parking is available in the Jefferson County Health Center parking lot.

   Sept 29, 2011...Updated book of trail photos
A new second edition of the book, Fairfield Trails, by Werner Elmker, contains photos taken along our trail system.  You can see a preview of it on the booksellers website.  Click on the "Preview Book!" banner.


Sept 27, 2011...Northwest segment construction progress

Much of the Northwest segment has been paved -- it is getting closer to opening. More news to come.


   July 11, 2011...South Loop Bridges Transformed
Judy Bales' project of artwork on the two little bridges on the IA DOT-South segment is complete.  Judy writes, "I am so pleased and excited with them!   My first thought was just how cheerful they looked as I walked down the trail, and I think they will really add to the experience of trail users."  See photos on Judy Bales website.

June 24, 2011...Brookville Bridge progress

Construction continues on the long-awaited Brookville Bridge, a vital link in the Northwestern section of the Loop Trail. Watch for more progress soon!  Latest photos here.


   May 3, 2011...Loop Trail featured on KTVO
Bob Rutt was interviewed about the Loop Trail for the news on KTVO-3 from Ottumwa/Kirksville. See the clip and/or read the text here on the KTVO website.

   Oct 7, 2010...Trees planted along the Loop Trail, on the Railroad segment
To screen Ferrellgas from the trail, trees were donated by Bob & Rebecca Hougher.
They were transplanted by Steve Miller of Cedar Valley Sod & Seeding, and water was supplied by Ferrellgas.  See photos here.

   Oct 7, 2010...B Street sidewalk almost completed
The B Street sidewalk was extended northward.  A short section at the north remains gravel - it will be paved in the spring.  See photos here.

   September 24, 2010...Whitham Woods segment
The Loop Trail through the cow pasture and Whitham Woods has finally been surfaced, but grass still needs to be planted.  The trail along Business Hwy 34 requires two bridges, which may not be completed until Spring 2011.
See photos of the Whitham Woods segment section.

   July 17, 2010...Loop Trail in Whitham Woods
Construction of the Loop Trail in and around Whitham Woods continues, but is slow because of the constant rain. See photos here.

   June 22, 2010...New book of trail photos
A new book, Fairfield Trails, by Werner Elmker, contains photos taken along Jefferson County trails. You can see a preview of it on this website. Click on the "Preview Book!" banner.

   May 30, 2010...Matkin Plaza Dedication
The Matkin Plaza has been completed.   See photos here.

   May 24, 2010...Trail Adopters Needed
The Jefferson County Trails Council is looking for an individual or group to adopt portions of the Loop Trail. Trail work would involve weeding around benches, minor branch removal, and reporting to the JCTC any major branch removal or work. Help the JCTC preserve the great shape of our trails! Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should contact Bob Rutt at or 469-6322.

   Apr 26, 2010...B Street sidewalk continues northward
The B Street sidewalk is being extended northward.  See photos here.

   Apr 15, 2010...Loop Trail construction has resumed
Construction of the Loop Trail in and around Whitham Woods has resumed. See photos here.

   Mar 31, 2010...Matkin Plaza construction progressing
The components for the Matkin Memorial Plaza are being molded. See photos here.

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