Chuggin’ Along the Chichaqua
This route was scouted by: Bob Morgan, Biking Iowa
Length: 20 Miles
Surface: Paved Roads and Trail
Parking and Restrooms: Trailheads in Baxter, Ira and Mingo
You can do this one as a loop, or complete as an out-and-back on the Chichaqua Valley Trail between Baxter and Mingo.
Starting in Baxter gives you a mainly downhill ride on low-traffic roads with a gentle climb back on the rail-to-trail conversion. To make it a loop, start at the trailhead in Baxter and ride the trail to the first road, State Hwy 223/ F17; take that west about two-thirds of a mile and turn south on S52. Cross the trail and keep going until you hit F24, then turn west again to go through the tiny town of Ira (portable toilet and soda machine). Cruise through Ira and enjoy some easily pedaling to Hwy 117. Turn left, then bear right on East Street into Mingo, home of Ozzy’s Tavern (limited menu). You can’t miss the trailhead for the Chichaqua Valley Trail.
Back in Baxter, O’Kelly’s Steak and Pub and the Goat Ranch Saloon are adjacent to the trail. Both are popular.
Bob Morgan, a freelance writer from Cedar Falls, is author of Biking Iowa, which includes 50 well-documented rides throughout the state. He’s active in the Cedar Trails Partnership and leads evening bike rides during Bike Month.