Impromptu roadside stops are so much fun! While on a recent trip to Northeast Iowa, we stumbled upon the town of Elma. A quaint covered bridge over the road in the center of town caught my attention. A row of flags and an old school house near the bridge heightened my curiosity. I just had to explore this town of nearly 600 people by foot rather than from car window! Although we were anxious to reach our destination, we enjoyed our unplanned stop.
We discovered that this nicely landscaped area on Busti Avenue is Elma’s Old Roundhouse Trailhead & Welcome Center. The trail is a part of a larger trail system connecting many counties. Signage on the grounds explains more about the trail and where it leads. Had we had more time or bicycles, we would have loved to check out the trails ourselves! The Welcome Center had a well-kept bathroom, vending machine full of snacks, as well as a covered seating area for those using the trails.
The School House Museum and the nearby Depot Museum are full of Elma history and memorabilia. They are open on Sunday from 2-4 or by special appointment. We weren’t able to see inside either building, but if you plan to be in the Elma area, call ahead to make arrangements. The buildings look fascinating and fun.
My girls loved all the statues and benches located on the grounds and insisted on having pictures with all of them. The trail led us to the covered bridge, which was fun to walk through and watch cars drive below. The bridge, complete with window boxes of flowers, is full of charm. A beautiful Veteran’s Memorial sat on the other side of the bridge.
Elma also has a well-kept ball field and city park. The park looks perfect for picnics and playing. If we find ourselves in this area again, we will definitely pack a picnic and plan to stay awhile to find adventures and create memories.
Elma’s motto is ‘A Great Place to Visit… A Better Place to Live…’ It is apparent that community members are proud to call Elma home and do a wonderful job making the town a great place to visit. We sure enjoyed our little stop there! Check out the City of Elma website and Facebook to learn more about what the town has to offer. Elma is full of Small Town Iowa fun!