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Dwaine's passion was working on the Cinder Path. His leadership and unselfish commitment towards conservation and recreation stewardship played a major role in his ability to convert the abandoned Burlington Northern Railroad into the first Rails-to-Trails area in the State of Iowa. Dwaine Clanin's dedication to the Lucas County Conservation Board will be forever appreciated and never forgotten.
The first rails-to-trails project in Iowa was the Cinder Path when it was built back in 1974. Back then it was a real challenge when land owners were upset that long-haired and dangerous hippies might be passing near their property. Others wanted the trail diced up into small strips so they could own the land and keep the unwanted out. The first settlers would have been appalled at the idea of owning the woods and hills, prairies and river valleys. Mother Earth owned herself, they thought. Differences of opinion such as these resulted in much conflict and many sorrows and we still hear some of it today.
Redwood benches with concrete bases, outhouses and small shelters were scattered along the trail. Rubberized matting was laid across bridge planks so bicycles could negotiate them more easily.
Below is a map of the Cinder Path.