Cedar Valley Nature Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way of the old Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern, an interurban railroad system established in the early 1900s. The 52-mile trail is a linear park that courses through the Cedar River bottomlands among forested riverbanks, rolling farmlands and open vistas. The northern 16 miles of the trail and the southernmost 4 miles are asphalt; the rest of the trail has a limestone-chip surface.

Occasional stream valleys and small towns break up the route, and the trail is an excellent place to spot wildlife, including deer, badgers, wild turkey and song birds. You'll also find wildflowers and historical landmarks, archeological sites and two restored depots.

At the southern end of the trail just north of Cedar Rapids, you can pick up the Cedar River Trail and continue your journey south.

Parking and Trail Access

The northern 26 miles of the trail which is managed by the Black Hawk County Conservation Board, does not charge a trail user fee. The southern 26 miles managed by the Linn County Conservation Board does require a trail user fee. Contact the Linn County Conservation Board at 319-892-4650 for fee information.

Reviews

Cedar Rapids to Cedar Falls - Pretty but a hard 70 + miles

   April, 2014 by slawson612

Cedar Rapids to Cedar Falls IA, 70+ miles average speed 9.8 mph. Overnight trip on recumbents. Our first long distance ride of the season to get ready for Germany 2014. The description says 52 miles however it is very hard to tell where that measurement ...read more

So far so good

   July, 2013 by paulcr

This summer I’ve been exploring the Cedar Valley Trail system to practice with my new helmet cam prior to a Colorado trip. So far I've got videos of most of the trail except for the section between Urbana & McFarlane Park and I've been very impressed. ...read more

Great Ride

   July, 2013 by bsuek

In June we rode from Cedar Rapids to Cedar Falls via the Cedar Valley Nature Trail (and back...2 day trip). When the paved trails ended we were expecting crushed limestone, but by Urbana the trails turned to hard dirt and sand in some places. It was slow ...read more