One of America's Best Recreational Trails

Raccoon River Valley Trail Association

14581 K Avenue

Perry, Iowa 50220 | 515-465-3577

Dallas • Guthrie • Greene Counties in Iowa


DAWSON, Iowa, June 30, 2012 – Sportsman Park, one of the developing jewels along the Raccoon River Valley Trail, just got better.  The 40-acre park, located a half-mile east of Dawson and just north off the RRVT, is ideally located under tall shade trees and overlooks the North Raccoon River.  For the past year, it has offered two comfortable camping cabins that are both heated, cooled and have kitchenettes, and there is also tent camping.  And now just completed and available for rent is the handsome new “Sportsman’s Lodge,” a fully-equipped meeting facility with room for 120 people.

You can exterior and interior photos of the lodge, and get additional details and rental information by clicking here.

The new lodge “is insulated and is proving to keep the heat out very well,” said Mike Wallace, the Dallas County Conservation director.  “It’s a great place for a bike club to meet!”

Wallace’s agency operates the park, camping cabins and now the lodge, too.

Besides the improvements at Sportsman Park, the Conservation Board also did the total renovation of the old Dawson Depot.  The depot now offers new public restrooms, space to relax and interesting railroad memorabilia to browse.  In addition, the depot has a west room that is being reserved for more railroad and community history.

All that work has helped position Dawson, a town of only 131 people, very well once the work on the new “north loop” of the RRVT is completed.  The trail is now open from Perry to Dawson.  Work is expected to start soon on extending the trail west from Dawson to Jamaica, and then it will be completed next spring from Jamaica to Herndon.  That’s where the new loop will connect with the existing RRVT.  Meanwhile, there is talk in Dawson that private interests are considering opening a new snack shop in the community, as the trail development continues.

For more information on the camping cabins at Sportsman Park, click here.




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  • Welcome is your online guide to an 89-mile-long paved trail along the branches of the beautiful Raccoon River through Greene, Guthrie and Dallas Counties.

    You will experience the communities of Jefferson, Cooper, Herndon, Yale, Panora, Linden, Redfield, Adel, Waukee, Dallas Center, Minburn, Perry, Dawson and Jamaica. And, going east from Waukee, the RRVT connects with the extensive trail system in Iowa’s capital city of Des Moines.

    Thus, your trail experience will take you from a very vibrant metropolitan area out into some great small towns, which are located in one of the most productive agricultural regions of the world.

    Along your way you’ll find the food, beverages, entertainment, scenery, accommodations and ambience that will make every visit to the RRVT a memorable one.

    In May 2013, we completed a new 33-mile-long “north loop,” to bring our total mileage up to 89 from the original 56. We are already proclaiming the RRVT’s new status as one of the longest paved trails in the United States, and one that has the longest interior loop on a trail in the nation at 72 miles.

    All that is why we believe the RRVT has now become “one of America’s best recreational trails.”
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    RRVT Association
    14581 K Avenue
    Perry, Iowa 50220
    Email your questions or comments.