Trout Run Trail
The 11-mile loop around Decorah has now been completed with an additional spur to connect the Freeport community. The last piece of the trail was the bridge over Highway 9 and includes special LED lighting lit with different colors depending on the time of year.
There's a reason it's called the "Trout Run Trail!" It runs next to the Decorah Trout Hatchery--the second largest trout hatchery in Iowa. The 11-mile loop crosses trout streams five times. The trail follows the Upper Iowa River for its first two miles. The Upper Iowa River is noted for kayaking, canoeing, tubing and--yes--trout fishing. Of course, your family can stay on dry land and just enjoy the scenery!
As you travel the Trout Run Trail, you might have to remind yourself you're right next to the city of Decorah because of the secluded route the trail takes. But the city is close at hand--and so are restaurants, hotels, gift shops, bike shops--even several ice cream shops!
One of the highlights of the Trout Run Trail is the Iowa DNR Trout Hatchery at Siewer Springs (pronounced "SEE-ver"). Your kids will giggle as they feed the fish at the hatchery (it's just 25 cents for a handful of food!) Siewer Springs is also a great spot for picnics, family photos, trout fishing and bird watching.
While you're on the trail look up! You'll see the famous Decorah Eagle's nest. Mom, Dad and eaglets live in this six-foot-wide nest weighing more than 750 pounds. A webcam placed inside the nest has been capturing footage of the eagles for years. Check out live footage of the "eagle cam" at http://www.raptorresource.org
The Trout Run Trail is full of surprises! Three beautiful art pieces are located along the trail--on Dug Road, just south of Highway 9 and at the Trout Hatchery.
And while much of the trail is flat, there are sharp switchbacks (tight curves along the trail) that weave you back and forth along beautiful Iowa countryside.