Fairfield Loop Trail

The Fairfield Loop Trail forms a 16-mile ring around the town of Fairfield, mostly in the outlying areas of the countryside. The trail links two major preserves and connects city and county parks. Along the way you’ll pass through woodlands, meadows and prairie, and hilly sections.

Most of the trail surface is crushed stone, but there are about 2.5 miles total of concrete surface in four different locations. A 0.8-mile on-road segment follows Mint Boulevard (a gravel road) southward from Lamson Woods toward the trail section that parallels US 34. Other trails, such as the 7.5 miles in Jefferson County Park, connect to the Fairfield Loop Trail.

The most spectacular feature of the trail is the BNSF bridge over the railroad tracks near Walton Lake. The bridge features 171 ceramic tiles created by high school art students, which are inset into the bridge’s concrete curb. Many small bridges, some with artistic enhancements, cross brooks on the Fairfield Loop Trail.

Because the 15.9-mile-long Fairfield Loop Trail was built one segment at a time over 14 years, names were given to each segment.  The segments are presented in a clockwise direction, starting with the DOT-South segment in the southern part of Fairfield, Iowa.

The Loop Trail officially begins (and ends) next to the Maasdam Barns at Mile Marker Zero.  Mile Markers occur every 1/4 mile along the Loop Trail.  The Maasdam Barns are next to the Jefferson County Health Center (at the interchange of Hwy 1 & US 34).

The DOT-South segment, built by the Iowa DOT, parallels the new US Hwy 34 bypass from Mint Blvd in the east to Whitham Woods in the west.  This 5.7-mile segment is hilly, with curves and woods, and partly in wetlands.  It intersects with the Cedar View Trail, which leads to Jefferson County Park.  The Loop Trail officially begins (and ends) next to the Maasdam Barns at Mile Marker Zero.  Mile Markers occur every 1/4 mile along the Loop Trail.

The Whitham Woods segment uses part of an old 1858-1901 railroad bed, then travels up and down hills through the woods, and then follows a concrete section along Burlington Ave to Brookville Road.  The trail within Whitham Woods was upgraded in September 2010.

The Northwestern segment travels northeasterly from Brookville Road to Grimes Ave and Dexter Soccer Park, then crosses the BNSF railroad track through a pedestrian maze (for safety) and continues to the Rock Island Railroad segment at 8th & Gear.  Most of the surface is concrete.

The Rock Island Railroad segment uses the roadbed of the Rock Island Railroad, which was in use from 1945 to 1980 (replacing a 1871 alignment).  Our trail bridge replaces the railroad bridge, which was removed in 1985.

The B Street segment travels along B Street on a concrete-surfaced sidewalk for 4/10ths of a mile to connect to the Lakes segment.  The sidewalk continues southward to Waterworks Park and Stone Ave.

The Lakes segment connects three lakes, Bonnifield Lake, Pleasant Lake, and Walton Lake, with a trail that meanders along fields and through wooded areas.  These lakes are retired reservoirs, being converted for recreational usage.

Leaving Walton Lake, the Louden Bridge segment travels through woods, then crosses the BNSF Railroad tracks on the 246-foot Louden Bridge to connect with Chautauqua Park, where it meets the Crow Creek segment.  The Louden Bridge displays 171 ceramic plaques of images from old Louden Machinery Company blueprints, made by a Fairfield High School art class.

The Crow Creek segment follows Crow Creek from Chautauqua Park to the Neff Wetlands.  A concrete-surfaced section connects to a crushed limestone surface in a wooded low-land, where three bridges cross creeks in the Fry property.

The Neff Wetlands section of the Loop Trail begins as you cross Glasgow Road from the Crow Creek segment, heading west across the wetlands dike.  The Lamson Woods boardwalk/bridge then takes you the parking lot at Mint Blvd.  A walking-only trail joins the boardwalk near the creek.  Lamson Woods is a State Preserve.

The Mint Blvd Link connects the Lamson Woods-Neff segment to the DOT-South segment, using Mint Blvd, the only shared-road section of the Loop Trail.  Part of Mint Blvd is steep, with a gravel surface.  Improvements may be made in the future.

Download a trail map JCTC TrailsMap

Main Location


Fairfield, IA 52556 

Website

Parsons College Alumni Hall

The Parsons College Alumni Hall is located in the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts lobby located within the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.  Parsons College was a four year lieral arts college founded in 1895 by General Lewis Baldwin Parsons.  The college remained as a small school until the mid-1950's when a new direction by the board of directors was found.  They hired Dr. Millard G. Roberts from upstate New York to guide the college's future growth.  When Dr. Roberts arrived total enrollment was 500 students.  In the Fall of 1966 total enrollment exceeded 5,500 students.  The college closed with its final grgaduation, June 3, 1973.  The spirit lives on with our alumni and a focal point is our Parsons College Alumni Hall.

The students, faculty and friends of Parsons College have donated in excess of $200,000 to have the naming rights for this portion of the reception area of the Center.  John Blackstock, class 1964, provided the challenge and the vision to establish a "Parsons College Wall of Honor" at the dedication of the Alumni Hall in 2008. October of 2009 found the inaugural class being inducted.  Teh students and alumni of Parsons College have gone on to make their mark in society, Locally, Nationally and internationally.  This provides us a way of honoring and remembering the nurturing and education the students and alumni of Parsons College received during their time attending classes in Fairfield.

The Alumni Hall features rotating displays highlighting the accomplishments and memories of various activities of the college.  The east wall provides an area for displaying photographs, highlighting some of the distinguished visitors tot he college during the 1950'5 – 1960's, the heyday of Parsons College.

The Wall of Honor is on the west wall, honoring distinguished Parson graduates.

Main Location

200 N. Main St
Fairfield, IA 52556 

Fairfield First Fridays

Fairfield First Fridays, is a fusion of all types of art and entertainment held the first Friday of every month, regardless of the weather. Over 25 galleries and art venues featuring over 300 artists, musicians, actors, writers, poets, and dancers are free and open to the public. The First Fridays offers a remarkable variety and quality of art and entertainment as it highlights Fairfield's arts, culture, unique shops, and entrepreneurial spirit. There is something different every month, something fun for everyone.

For more information about the Fairfield 1st Fridays Art Walk, and a complete list of each month's themes, visit their website.

Main Location

PO Box 632
Fairfield, IA 52556 

Website

Fairfield Farmers Market

Farmers Market

Fairfield’s Farmers Market is a popular and festive summer event where fresh local produce catches your eye in every direction you look. All the items sold at the Farmers market are home grown and produced right here in Jefferson County. Alongside the array of fruits, vegetables, and baked goods, local vendors provide a vast selection of handmade arts and crafts Located in Howard Park, which is close by the new Fairfield Arts and Convention Center, the Farmers Market begins the first Saturday of May and continues until the last Saturday of October. The park offers a well-equipped playground for the kids to run around while you handpick your goodies. The Farmers Market is open Wednesdays and Saturdays May through October.

Main Location

Howard Park
Fairfield, IA 52556 

Abundance Ecovillage

Abundance Ecovillage

Abundance Ecovillage is a place where village design, energy, shelter, water, gardening, farming, waste recycling, and landscaping are done in a way that is in tune with natural law. In tune with natural law means, at a minimum, that the systems we use to obtain the services listed above do not destroy or damage the larger systems of the earth that maintain a hospitable environment for life on our planet. Wherever possible, these services are provided in a way that not only sustains but enhances the ability of the earth to clean our air and water, maintain the balance of gases in the atmosphere, and in general provide a beautiful and safe place to live.

Main Location


Fairfield, IA 52556 

Website

Carnegie Library Museum

Carnegie Library Museum

This Iowa Century Museum dates back to 1877 and is housed in Fairfield’s former library building, the first of 1,689 endowed by Andrew Carnegie. The Library and its third-floor Museum Opened in 1893 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Click here to take a 3-D tour of the many exhibits!

Exhibits include;

Civil War
Militaria
Ethnic curios
Native American
Roman
Birds
Natural History
Pioneer Artifacts

Native American pottery, the seated monkey & other examples of 19th century taxidermy remain on display.  Most of the taxidermy was donated by the Smithsonian at the request of Senator James F. Wilson, a Fairfield native.

112 South Court, Fairfield, Ia.

Hours of Operation:

Tuesday – Friday  12:00pm – 4:00pm

Saturday 11:00am – 3:00pm

Fairfield 1st Fridays Art Walk night 6pm – 9pm

Main Location

112 South Court
Fairfield, IA 52556 

Website

Maasdam Barns

Maasdam Barns

This historic site tells the story of early agriculture from the 1900s. Many of the exhibits chronicle Jefferson County’s industrial enterprises in the 19th and 20th century, including the Maasdam draft horse breeding business, Louden manufacturing, and their agricultural inventions, and Turney Wagon Works, manufacturers of rugged farm wagons and advertised as “Built for Wear and Savers of Horse Flesh”

In 1906, Jacob Maasdam made a two-day journey bringing 47 Percheron horses and one Shetland pony from Pella to Fairfield, turning Jefferson County into one of the great original horse markets of the country, including many world champions, the most notable being Louis d’Or, reportedly the world’s largest Belgian horse.

The historic Maasdam Barns at the Evergreen Ridge Stock Farm are a significant illustration of an early 20th-century draft-horse breeding business. From 1910 until 1938 award-winning Percheron draft horses were raised and sold by J. G. Maasdam. The two 1910 barns were designed by the Louden barn design division. They used modern barn construction methods, such as poured concrete walls, and featured Louden barn products.

The Maasdam Barns are open from mid-April  to mid-November
Hours are 1-4pm Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10am-4pm on Saturdays.
In addition, tours are available by appointment.

Located on Hwy 1 south, just past the hospital.
Read more about this historical location

 

Main Location

2000 S. Main St
Fairfield, IA 52556 

Website

ICON Gallery

Icon Gallery
58 N. Main Street
Bill Teeple
641-469-6252
Cell: 641-919-6252

This large gallery features museum quality contemporary artists and is an integral part of the cultural life of the Fairfield and Eastern Iowa art scene. In addition to group and individual shows, ICON conducts workshops and lectures.

Main Location

58 N. Main Street
Fairfield, IA 52556 

Fairfield Art Association Galleries & Studio

Fairfield Art Association Galleries & Studio
Fairfield Arts and Convention Center
200 N. Main, Fairfield, Iowa 52556
www.fairfieldacc.com/artgallery.html

FAA Volunteer Director Suzan Bates Kessel
Phone: 472-2000 FACC, or 472-5374 Home
suzan1252@aol.com or faa@fairfieldacc.com

Founded in 1966 to foster art in Fairfield and the surrounding area, the FAA is a membership non-profit organization. This Art Association curates exhibits year around in the FACC. The Main Gallery features works of Iowa, regional, national amp; international artists, and the Corridor Gallery presents the FAA "Permanent Collection" featuring well known Iowa Artists since the 1960's. There is also a "Fairfield Artists' Studio Gallery" where local artists can sell original art work. A spacious Studio Workshop provides regular art classes for children and adults, beginners and professional artists in a variety of media.

Main Location

200 N. Main
Fairfield, IA 52556