• Posted Apr 18, 2011

Looking for a weekend bicycling destination in Central Iowa? Check out these new cabins for rent along the New North Loop of the Raccoon River Trail

Sportsman Park Cabin Rental
One block from the Raccoon River Valley Trail near Dawson.

Central Iowa is poised to be a Bicycle Tourism mecca as the final trail connectors are put in place over the next couple of years. Once in place, there will be two One Hundred Mile Loops (200 miles!) which is an amazing number of continuous miles for a trail system. There are very few places in the United States that have this much continuous miles of trail. And don't forget... We are in Iowa. Towns in Iowa are nicely spaced out, so you'll most likely see a town ever 7-15 miles. In the near future, you'll see more and more bicycle facilities and amenities popping up in these small towns where the trail runs through.

Dallas County Conservation, the Raccoon River Trail Association, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and many other communities, organizations and volunteers have been working for years on this trail system.

Cabins for Rent

Be one of the first to stay at the new Sportsman Park Cabins one block off the new North Loop of the Raccoon River Valley Trail near Dawson. We recognize that not everyone wants to stay in a hotel and as the same time, not everyone wants to lug a tent around.

The cabins offer the best of both worlds. While they are not as elegant as a hotel room, they certainly offer more amenities that a tent.

“These cabins will be great for RRVT users who will be passing by on the trail,” said Mike Wallace, the Dallas County conservation director.

Each cabin is 18' x 14' and sleeps 5 people.

Both cabins are brand new, air conditioned and heated with a bathroom, shower, refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, one bunk bed and another bunk bed with a futon below.

The cabins are rented all seasons. All you need to bring is your pillows, towels, linens, camping supplies and the spirit of adventure!

How to Get there

by car
Turn north off Hwy. 141 onto County Road P46. Proceed ½ mile into Dawson and turn east (right) on E. Railroad Avenue. (E. Railroad becomes 130th St. as you leave town). The road will bend to the north and the park entrance is found at the point where the road turns back east. You can park in Perry or Dawson and ride the trail in too.

by bike
From RRVT: You can take the RRVT trail to Herdon, then take county roads to Jamaica and Dawson where the trail picks up again.
You can take county roads right to to Sportsman Park near Dawson or you can the new trail from Perry to the park as well.

Feeling more adventurous? Ride the new High Trestle Trail to Woodward. Take County Roads to Bouton, and then take gravel into Perry (6 miles). I'm sure there are other ways, but this is a favorite route of (note: we are on
our tour/cross/mtn bikes for this route. Take the paved roads if you are on road bikes.

This will be a great place to rent over the BRR Ride! Make those reservations now.

What to Do when we get there?

Different folks will want to spend their evenings differently. Some will want to relax in and around the cabin and maybe explore Sportsman Park.
Others may want to use the cabin as homebase for the weekend and explore the trails and as many small towns as they can.
Some may just ride into Perry for ice cream. Some may stay for lunch/supper and refreshments for a "Brr-esce" time in the summer!


Cabin rates are extremely reasonable
  • In-season (May 1 - Oct 31) $40-50/night
  • Off-Season (Nov 1 - Apr 30) $30/night

(see website for all details. Some holidays and weekends require 2-3 night minimum stays)

Making Reservations

There are only two cabins and bookings will happen fast as the nicer weather approaches.

Call now about open dates. Tell them BIKEIOWA sent ya.

For more information or to make a reservation, contact: Dallas County Conservation Board 515-465-3577

Office hours: M-F 8:00am – 4:30pm

Nearby Amenities

Dawson: Restored depot, restrooms, vending machines
Perry: Restored depot, restrooms, parking, lodging, shopping, food establishments, recreation center, medical care.
There are many other amenities on the Raccoon River and High Trestle Trails (see links below)

About Sportsman Park

Sportsman Park is about one city block north of the new North Loop of the RRVT and has 40 acres of oak and hickory timber overlooking the North Raccoon River. You might enjoy fishing, hiking along the nature trails, picnicking or camping. The actual address is 13821 130th Street, Dawson 50066 MAP

Sportsman Park is located a half-mile east of the Dawson trail-head, and about six miles west of Perry.


Trail Fees: Be aware that the Raccoon River Valley Trail has a user fee of $2 per day, or $10 for the year. All proceeds go to the Conservation Boards in Greene, Guthrie and Dallas Counties and are used for trail maintenance and improvements. You can purchase annual memberships here or watch for the "permit tubes" near the trail-heads.

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  • Modified: Jul 16, 2012 by ss





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