The Shooting Star State Trail is currently paved for about 29 miles, between LeRoy and Austin. It begins in the city of LeRoy, travels north through Lake Louise State Park, then west toward the communities of Taopi, Adams, and Rose Creek. There is a short break in the trail in Rose Creek between City Hall and Rose Creek Wayside Park. It picks up again in Rose Creek Wayside Park and travels west and north, primarily in state and county highway right-of-way, until it reaches the intersection of 28th Street NE and I-90. Just across the 28th Street bridge over I-90 is a paved path connecting to the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center in Austin. When complete, the trail will also connect with the community of Lyle (south of Austin) and the Wapsi-Great Western Trail in Iowa (south of Taopi).
Current and future portions of the trail will parallel Highway 56, also known as the Shooting Star Wildflower and Historic Route Scenic Byway. The native wildflowers and grasses are a highlight of this byway and trail. Most tallgrass prairie has been taken for agricultural use, but prairie remnants are places where you can find prairie smoke, rattlesnake master and wild indigo, sunflowers, asters, goldenrods, and blazing stars.
The trail connects to Lake Louise State Park. When the Upper Iowa River was dammed to provide power for a grist mill, a lake was formed. The mill was eventually abandoned, and the site first became Wildwood Park, and then became the state park.
Explore along the trail
- Jay C. Hormel Nature Center
- Shooting Star Prairie Scientific and Natural Area
- Taopi Prairie Interpretive Area
- Mower County Natural and Scenic Area
- Lake Louise State Park
- Shooting Star Scenic Byway
- Trail uses
Accessible Outdoors (electric wheelchairs allowed)
- Trail events
Events CalendarScroll table right to see more »
There are currently no event listings.
- You will need a vehicle permit to park in a state park.
- No other fees or passes are required to use the trail.
Do not leave valuables in your vehicle!
- In LeRoy: east of County Road 14 on Lowell Street
- At Rowe Pit: north of LeRoy off County Road 14
- In Lake Louise State Park: (vehicle permit required)
- In Taopi: south side of Highway 56, between Maple and Main Streets
- In Adams: south side of Highway 56 (West Main Street) just west of 5th Street
- At Rose Creek in Wayside Park: from 4th Street or from Highway 56
- At J.C. Hormel Nature Center: off 21st Street
- Adams City Park: Located on the south side of Highway 56 (West Main Street) just west of 5th Street
- Jay C. Hormel Nature Center: off 21st Street
- Lake Louise State Park: Lake Louise picnic area and swimming beach (vehicle permit required)
- Rose Creek Wayside Park: from 4th Street or from Highway 56
- City of Taopi
Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking are permitted winter uses. Trails are not groomed or packed. There is no snowmobiling on the trail.