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CEMAR Trail Facts

States: Iowa
Counties: Linn
Length: 5.4 miles
Trail end points: 7th St & 6th Ave to Indian Creek (Marion) and Cedar Valley Nature Trail to 33rd St Dr SE (Cedar Rapids)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 11324199


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CEMAR Trail Description

The CeMar Trail between Cedar Rapids and Marion, in eastern Iowa, continues to take shape. As of 2023, there are over five miles open for use. The trail was pitched in 1992 and it took a decade to see the first mile completed. Changes in transportation funding priorities for the state helped the trail rise to the top of the pile, adding momentum to the efforts of trail groups and municipalities to see the trail complete.

In Cedar Rapids, the trail runs 2.7 miles between the Cedar Valley Nature Trail at Cedar Lake and 33rd St Dr SE by the Mount Calvary Cemetery. Along the route, two spur trails provide neighborhood access and connections to nearby parks. Heading east from the lake, the trail passes by Daniels Park (940 Oakland Rd NE), which has sports fields, a playground, restrooms, and parking. Heading east along 16th Street, the trail curves north as it parallels F Avenue to 17th Street. Beyond that, it enters the Robert W. Plaster Athletic Complex, which includes facilities for softball, baseball, and track & field events. The athletic complex is part of the nearby Mount Mercy University campus. Crossing the complex to Prairie Street, a spur trail branches off along K Avenue. The main trail route continues along a former railroad right-of-way to the city limits by Mount Calvary cemetery. 

In Marion, the trail's southern end picks up by Indian Creek. Access to this end of the trail is available via a narrow concrete pathway on Menard Lane, between Oakbrook Drive and IA-100. The route winds north through fields and tress as it somewhat parallels the creek. It follows the creek more closely as it meanders through Thomas Park (343 Marion Blvd), which a disc golf course, an ice rink, a splash pad, a playground, picnic tables, restrooms, and parking. Continuing to follow the creek, the trail goes under Marion Boulevard and does a little loop before crossing the water via a pedestrian/bicyclist bridge. From the bridge, the trail briefly heads east before coming to an end at 7th Street and 6th Avenue. This section of the trail shares its route from its southern endpoint to the bridge with the Boyson Trail, which continues north while the CeMar Trail heads east.

Someday, the CeMar Trail will stretch a continuous seven miles between the two cities, from the Cedar Valley Nature Trail at Cedar Lake to the Boyson Trail in Marion.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at several locations along both segments of the trail, including at Thomas Park (343 Marion Blvd, Marion) and at Daniels Park (940 Oakland Rd NE, Cedar Rapids).

Visit the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.


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