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The Charley Western Recreational Trailway provides a useful off-road route around the outer limits of Charles City. Built on the site of the former Charles City Western Railway, the trail runs along the eastern and southern edges of the city, taking you right by Charles City High School and crossing the Cedar River on a historical arched railroad bridge built in 1910, before turning north along the western edge, where the trail ends at Grove Street near Shermans Creek.
Along the way, be sure to check out the Friends Garden Trailhead at the trail's intersection with 5th Street, which provides a place to catch your breath and admire some lovely flowers during the warmer months.
You can also extend your journey with a brief on-road connection using the nearby Gilbert Street Bridge to reach the beginning of the Riverside Trail in Sherman Park, which takes you along the northern banks of the Cedar River through the heart of Charles City.
There are no dedicated parking lots for trail users at either of the trail's endpoints. To reach the northeast endpoint from downtown Charles City, head north on Main Street, then take a right at Richings Street and a right onto Grand Avenue, followed by a quick left onto 9th Avenue. Proceed down 9th and then take a left onto F Street, where the trail begins on the right side.
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