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Trails Around the Lake

Many Rathbun Lake visitors have shown a growing interest in land based recreation activities. "Off the beaten path" opportunities may be found in the designated trails located on public lands adjacent to Rathbun Lake.


Rathbun Trails Map


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 Gene Paris Snowmobile Trail

The Gene Paris Snowmobile Trail is a 47 mile trail that circles Rathbun Lake and is maintained by the Rathbun Snow Riders Snowmobile Club.  The trail is currently closed with the exception of the North Shore Trail section from Honey Creek Resort to Prairie Ridge Campground. 

Trail Map

 North Shore Trail

Completed in April 2012, the Rathbun North Shore Trail consists of an 8.2 mile surfaced trail.  The trail connects Prairie Ridge Park to Honey Creek Resort State Park.  Designed for hiking, biking, and snowmobiling, the trail offers vistas of the lake and tours through Southern Iowa prairie and woodlands.

Trail Map


 OHV Trail

Rathbun Lake has Southern Iowa’s only Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Park. Access to the area is approximately 3 miles south of Bridge View Park on Highway S70. Located on the south bank of the South Fork Chariton River, the area encompasses nearly 125 acres in an abandoned rock quarry on government land.

The Rathbun OHV Park is maintained by the volunteers of the South Central Dirt Riders ATV club. The Iowa DNR provides financial support through the disbursement of ATV Registration fees to the club.

The area is open to the public year round. Vehicles are limited to motorcycles, ATVs and UTVs. Full size vehicles are prohibited on the trails.

Regulations require helmets, mufflers, and current Iowa ORV registration. ORV registration can be obtained at county recorder’s offices.

Iowa law states a person under eighteen years of age shall not operate an all-terrain vehicle on public land or land purchased with all-terrain vehicle registration funds in this state without obtaining a valid safety certificate issued by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and having the certificate in the person’s possession.

To check on park open/closed status, go to the Iowa OHV Website at: . For additional information, please go to the IOWA DNR ATV Website

 Rathbun Water Trail

 The Rathbun Water Trail has over 20 miles of water trails mapped for self-guided paddling from beginner to expert level enthusiasts.  The map identifies trail heads and access points or with GPS coordinates and describes amenities available near the trail.  Road signs direct users to the trail heads as well. Users can plan a short outing to an overnight camping trip at one of the park campgrounds.  Appanoose County Trails, Inc. maintains the trail and encourages users to “leave no trace”. 

Trail Map