National Recreation Trails Database


Trail Description Continued

The Three Rivers Trail is a 33 mile long rail-trail that touches five communities linked along the former stagecoach route. It is the ultimate day trip for families and recreational bicyclists. The trail's historical use implies a gentle grade, attractive to many different users.

The Three Rivers Trail, aesthetically, has a lot to offer; it is Iowa's secret treasure. The trail is the ideal destination for those that are interested in getting away from it all and immersing themselves in nature and Iowa's rural countryside. It offers miles of uninterrupted woodlands, marshes, river valleys, and open prairie. As its name implies, the Three Rivers Trail crosses three rivers. It passes over the Boone River and the east and west forks of the Des Moines River in northern Iowa. Consequently, users will cross over 36 rehabilitated railroad bridges.

In addition to the rich scenery visitors will see, the Three Rivers Trail also hosts many sites that illustrate our nation's history. The Humboldt County Historical Museum is located right off the trail in the town of Humboldt. There, you will find Native American artifacts as well as pioneer history. As users cross the Gotch Park Bridge, they can try to envision what our ancestor's life was like on the Des Moines River. At the bridge the East and West Forks of the Des Moines River meet. Historical accounts of the area claim Henry Lott who was the first man to erect a homestead in Humboldt County built it there.

The Three Rivers Trail has a lot to offer its users whether they are bicyclists, hikers, or snow shoers. The trail is a cherished facet in the communities. It is supported by a variety of local organizations and the Humboldt County Trails Council. Some of the initial funding sources for the trail's development included the Iowa Snowmobile Association and Pheasant's Forever. Support can now be seen throughout the region by means of annual organized bicycle rides, community revitalization, and the simplistic touch of homemade signs welcoming visitors to the area.

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This website provides access to the National Recreation Trail (NRT) database, a collection of information on the various trails which have been designated as NRT's. These trails are located throughout the United States and U.S. territories. The amount of information may vary from trail to trail. If you need more information than is available on this site, please use the contact(s) listed for that trail. (If no contacts, are listed, you may request help from American Trails at

The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails: