Flint River Trail


This project began as part of the Great River Gateway Vision Iowa project, which is providing funding for improvements to the City of Burlington and Des Moines County community and tourism attractions - including Big Hollow Recreation Area, Burlington Public Library, Des Moines County Heritage Center, Burlington Memorial Auditorium, Burlington Bees baseball (Community Field) and the Flint River Trail. The City of Burlington and Des Moines County have been working cooperatively to complete all of these projects, including the Flint River Trail, which will be the first significant multi-mile trail planned in Southeast Iowa. 

The planned trail is approximately 20 miles and will extend from downtown Burlington to Big Hollow Recreation Area in northern Des Moines County. Once completed, the trail will connect the Mississippi River Trail, downtown Burlington, the Port of Burlington, Riverside Park, Starr's Cave Park & Preserve, Thye Woods Habitat Preserve, Historic Zion School, and Big Hollow Recreation Area through the Flint River Valley. The trail will be primarily separated from roadways for safety and enjoyment of the users.

Current Trail Phase Map


  • 2015 - Phase III completed
  • 2014 - Start of Construction for Phase III
  • 2013 - Opening of bike and pedestrian ramp from Riverwalk Park to Bluff Road Phase III
  • 2012 - Opening of a portion of Trail, Phase II completed (Tama Road to Mill Dam Road access)
  • 2011 - Construction of a portion of Flint River Trail in Burlington
  • 2011 - Groundbreaking of a portion of Phase IV in Burlington
  • 2010 - Groundbreaking of northern portion of Flint River Trail in Des Moines County
  • 2009 - Brush clearing (Wal-Mart Volunteers) on a portion of Phase IV, located north of Tama Road
  • 2009 - Completed reconstruction of former rail bridge over Flint River, north of Case Company
  • 2009 - Portion of trail has been filled and graded from Tama Road, south to Flint River Phase IV
Riverfront Trail


The cost to complete the 20 mile Flint River Trail is expected to be near $6.45 million dollars. To date, over 60% of the funds have been secured by Des Moines County, the City of Burlington, and through various state and federal grants as seen below. To complete the trail more grant funding will be needed, as well as local support from the community. A goal has been set to raise $645,000 in local funding from the community.

Des Moines County                      $379,000
Des Moines County (FY09-11)     $379,000
State Rec Trails                            $360,000
Federal Rec Trails                        $220,000
LAWCON                                      $17,000
Statewide Enhancement              $555,745
Statewide Enhancement              $474,345
City of Burlington                             $315,434
Vision Iowa                                      $521,000
BRTA                                               $697,036
DMC Transportation Alt                   $823,465
REAP ('07, 08, 09, 12, 13, 14)         $900,000