The small city of West Liberty in Muscatine County, Iowa, is home to a short segment of the Hoover Nature Trail. The paved pathway parallels Elm Street and is anchored at its southern end by an old railroad depot built in 1897, which offers a museum with historical photographs and artifacts of both West Liberty and the railroad. From this endpoint, trail-goers can travel east just two blocks to N. Clay Street to enter the community's historic district, where quaint shops and restaurants await.
Continue north on the trail and you'll pass an outdoor fitness park recently installed by the city. There are open fields to the west and tree-lined neighborhoods to the east. The trail also passes through the campus of West Liberty High School, providing students with a safe route to school. The segment ends at US 6.
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)
The trail begins at the West Liberty Railroad Depot at the intersection of W. 4th Street and N. Elm Street. There is a small parking lot located here.