The Heritage Trail is a former rail line converted to 29 miles of recreational trail from Dyersville, Iowa (of Field of Dreams fame) to Dubuque. Over the course of this rural trail, the terrain changes from open fields to river valleys to bluffs. The trail traverses the Maquoketa river multiple times via bridges, and wildlife, such as rabbits, turkey, deer, hawks, and eagles, can frequently be seen.
The trail surface is mostly crushed limestone and dirt road, with portions at the west and east ends in pavement. There are a couple outhouses along the route. There is no water available. Supplies are easily cacheable at various trailheads along the route or at the handful of country road crossings.
Trail passes are required for this route. A list of purchase locations is here: https://www.mycountyparks.com/county/dubuque/Park/Heritage-Trail.aspx
Start and end points
Like many rail trails, this one has been growing in sections at each end. Consequently, there is some trail beyond each of these end points.
- Western terminus in Dyersville: in line with the three flagpoles at the "Heritage Trail" shelter on Beltline Road at 11th Street. If starting here, look for the trail to the right of (and parallel to) Beltline Road, a few dozen yards on from this location.
- Eastern terminus in Dubuque: western edge of 22nd Street, adjacent to a small trailside parking lot.
I am attempting this FKT going from Dyersville to Dubuque (same direction as Michael Ko) on Saturday 4/24/2021