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Waterloo's Donald Street Trail is a concrete sidepath trail that helps to connect parks and neighborhoods in the city's northern edge with the area's trail network, enabling cyclists, joggers and others to make a trip to Cedar Falls or downtown Waterloo without having to leave a trail. The Donald Street Trail spans from the city's Gates Park and Golf Course in the east to the Cedar River in the west, where it connects to the over 11-mile long Cedar Valley Lakes Trail, a popular and beautiful paved trail that follows the course of the river (and is part of the nationwide Great American Rail-Trail).
On the eastern end, Gates Park offers a variety of amenities including playgrounds, picnic areas, restrooms, tennis and basketball courts, and one of the city's two public swimming pools - making it a happening place on hot summer days (admission prices are charged for pool use). The trail leads out from the park through the neighborhoods along Donald Street, where the US 63 Trail enters from the south to connect to neighborhoods along the highway, then turns south to follow Burton Avenue. Crossing over railroad tracks, you soon encounter a series of baseball and softball fields in the Hoing-Rice Complex, where additional restrooms and water fountains are available. The trail passes right along a local elementary school, making it a great resource for biking or walking to school from the surrounding neighborhoods, before meeting up with the Cedar Valley Lakes Trail. The Donald Street Trail may not feel like much more than a wide sidewalk, but it plays an important role in connecting communities across the Waterloo area.
Parking is available at Gates Park on the trail's eastern end off of E Donald Street just past Mildred Avenue. Follow US Highway 63 north from downtown Waterloo, then take Donald Street east for five blocks to reach the park entrance. Parking is also available at the Hoing-Rice Softball Complex on the trail's western end, on Josephine Street between Burton Avenue and Longfellow Avenue. Additional parking is available at Cedar Bend Park just south of the trail's connection to the Cedar Valley Lakes Trail, located at Longfellow Avenue and Parker Street.
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