The portion of the Hoover Nature Trail that runs from Cedar Rapids to Ely is both the northernmost section of the proposed 115 mile trail and the most developed. The trail runs between 76th Avenue Drive SW on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids to Ely City Park in the small town of Ely. At the northern endpoint, the trail seamlessly connects with the Cedar River Trail
, allowing for a longer ride or run deeper into the heart of Cedar Rapids. Like the Cedar River Trail (but unlike some other completed portions of the Hoover Nature Trail), the trail stretching from Cedar Rapids to Ely is paved.
When completed, the Hoover Nature Trail will run through 6 counties and 16 towns between Cedar Rapids and Burlington on an abandoned Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad right-of-way. Along its journey, the trail will pass through a variety of landscapes, including woodlands, farmland, prairie and urban areas. Part of the trail will follow a bluff above the Iowa River.
The trail is named for President Herbert Hoover, who was born in West Branchone of the many towns the abandoned corridor passes through. The trail currently includes 6 open sections, as well as the Flint River Trail
, which occupies the southern portion of the corridor in Burlington for part of its route. For a complete overview of the trail, see the Hoover Nature Trail (Overview)
Parking for the Cedar Rapids to Ely section of the Hoover Nature Trail can be found at the trail's southern endpoint at Ely City Park in the town of Ely. The park is located at the intersection of Highland Road and Hillcrest Street.
The paved trail's north end connects with the Cedar River Trail in a very smooth trasition and runs into the town of Ely. There are a couple of highway crossings, but the traffic is usually light. The surface is smooth and runs through some farmland as ...