Iowa Nature October 25, 2021
An Iowa Trail With 3,000 Pounds Of Solar Powered Rocks Is America’s Longest Glow-In-The-Dark Trail
Vinton, Iowa is a small town located between Waterloo and Cedar Rapids that hides a fun surprise: the Nathan’s Miles Trail. What’s so special about this trail? Well, to start, it is fit for an application to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Nathan's Miles Trail is a paved trail that is two miles long. Sprinkled throughout the surface of the trail are 3,000 pounds worth of glowing stones. Appearing off white or slightly yellowish in the day, they look like stars glowing underneath your feet at night.
Its uniqueness is that it glows in the dark, and it’s the longest trail in America to do so!
This is no just-for-a-few-minutes glow, either; a short 15 minutes of sunlight can charge these stones for over 15 hours of luminescent fun. No wires, no electricity... it just runs from the sun!
The stones themselves can charge and glow night after night for decades.
You may agree that they look amazing, but lurking in the back of your mind may be a concern that the stones are somehow toxic or dangerous. The manufacturer - Ambient Glow Technology - is transparent about the ingredients used to produce the photoluminescence; these stones are non-toxic and non-radioactive.
Although the trail would have an appeal year-round, we think it would be great fun to visit this trail in the summer when the lightning bugs are dancing and the trail is glowing! The trail is located on the south end of town near the high school where it continues southward into the countryside before making a loop back toward the baseball complex.
The trail was completed in July of 2021 and is named in honor of Vinton councilmember Nathan Hesson who was a huge supporter of the trail and the economic benefit such a unique attraction might have for this small but charming Iowa town.
Next time you are looking for a night-time adventure, don your best glow-in-the-dark paraphernalia, break open a glow stick or two, and head to Vinton to enjoy the rocks that bring a bit of the sun’s light to the night.
Isn’t this an amazing concept? Have you been to check out Nathan’s Miles Trail for yourself yet? For another unique hiking opportunity, take
Iowa’s 512-mile bit of the cross-country American Discovery Trail. Address: Nathan's Miles Glow Trail, 701 East A Street, Vinton, IA 52349, USA