The Sauk Rail Trail begins and ends at two beautiful state parks, Swan Lake State Park and Blackhawk State Park, both of which contain lakes with many recreational activities. Its 33-miles consist of natural prairies, wetlands, farmland and timber areas and is mostly built on abandoned rail bed. The trail surface is concrete. The trail is managed by both the Sac and Carroll County Conservation Boards. It is the first recreational trail in the state of Iowa to connect two state parks.
A section of trail runs from Maple River to Carnarvon along an old railbed. This section goes through the Hazelbrush Wildlife Area, an 80-acre county park. The trail provides users with a quality outdoor recreation area, while preserving habitat for game and non-game species of wildlife and preserving some of our native vegetation.
The trail surface and minimal grade allows for a variety of uses. Bikers, walkers, horseback riders, and inline skaters gather on this trail during the warmer months. Cross-country skiiing and snowmobiling are popular on many sections of the trail during the winter.
The Sauk Rail Trail is truly helping Carroll and Sac Counties develop a strong greenbelt.