Elma, Iowa

Elma City Park

Elma City Park

The Elma City Park is located at 400 east Maple Street (directly behind the Elma Community Complex).  The park is home to a unique covered grandstand, ball diamond, new playground equipment, new handicap-accessible restrooms, food stand & concession stand as well as picnic area and three shelters.  The stone entryways at the park and stone fireplace in the park's center are historic WPA projects from the 1930's During the summer, the park is host to youth and adult ball leagues (complete with concession stand), the town festival Elma Trail Days in July,  as well numerous family reunions.   In late 2015, outdoor fitness equipment was added as an initiative of the "Fit for Life" group who utilized a $10,000 grant for fitness improvements to the area. Spring/Summer of 2018 the rock garden on the west end of the park was removed due to safety issues and a new park shelter has been erected on the west end of the park.  Completed in 2021 is a new children's Splash Pad on the park's west side, free to the public and open Memorial Day-Labor Day annually.

Outdoor equipment instruction

Elma Museums

Elma Railroad Depot & Schoolhouse Museums

Elma Museums

Elma's two museums are now under the direction of the Elma Museum Board and are open for visitation annually 2:00-4:00 p.m. Sundays beginning in June through Labor Day with the Depot Museum additionally open some Saturday afternoons.  Viewing is also possible by appointment at phone number(s) 641-393-2539 or 641-393-2679. The Depot Museum is located on south Busti Avenue (south of the covered bridge; east of the former Elma School).  It contains a history of the railroad industry formerly in Elma, including the roundhouse,  as well as other historical artifacts unique to the Elma area. The Schoolhouse Museum is located on north Busti Avenue (north of the covered bridge and across from the water tower).  It contains memorabilia from Elma area schools; including the Elma Lutheran Church School, Elma I.C. Church Academy, Elma Public School, Our Lady of Lourdes Church School, and local country schools.

The Trailhead-Welcome Center will be open Spring/Summer 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. 7 days a week.  By early Fall, hours will vary and be on weekends only.    The Welcome Center offers public restrooms and tourism information.

Old Roundhouse Recreation Trail

Elma portion of Wapsi Great Western Trail

Old Roundhouse Recreation Trail Old Roundhouse Trail


The Old Roundhouse Trail is a hard surfaced, .44 mile trail from the Elma Trailhead Visitor's center to the Elma City limits. The Old Roundhouse Trail now connects to the Wapsi-Great Western Trail for a 27-mile trek northwest of Elma; past Lylah's Marsh, the ghost town of Acme, and through the communities of Riceville & McIntire.  Plans are still underway to  further extend your riding/walking adventures going on to Austin MN, making it a roughly 77-mile long trail system once merged.  Currently, only 1 mile separates the Wapsi-Great Western & Shooting Star trails, so watch for future news on the progression of merging these two trails as well.


Click on the links below for more information about the Wapsi-Great Western Trail system including newspaper articles about it's progression, also a link to the Shooting Star Trail which is yet to be connected to the Wapsi-Great Western Trail.




Wapsi-Great Western Trail Shooting Star Trail Trail Progress in 2017 July 2016 news June 2017 news