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Ellis Trail gets you as close to the Cedar River as you can get without getting your feet wet. The paved path traces the west bank of the river, running for over three miles one-way, with a sidewalk connection in between its two trail segments.
The trail begins in Manhattan Park on the south shore of Robbins Lake. The actual start point is the corner of Edgewood Road and Ellis Boulevard, which lends the trail its name. (Another trail continues adjacent to Edgewood from that point). Trail users are treated to scenic views of Robbins Lake right away, which is popular with anglers. Next up is Ellis Harbor, where neighborhood of colorful boathouses are docked. The trail continues into Ellis Park along the water's edge, providing panoramic views of the Cedar River, which plays host to exciting water-ski stunt performances in the summertime. Most of Ellis Park's 416-acres can be found across Ellis Boulevard, including the swimming pool, golf course, ice-rink, and sports fields.
The trail comes to an abrupt end and sidewalks must be use to connect to the other segment of the trail. To do this, continue along Ellis Boulevard and then turn left on Penn Avenue. At the end of Penn Avenue, the trail picks up again, paralleling First Avenue until Riverside Park near the F Avenue/ I-380 Bridge. Benches are provided at intervals, inviting trail users to pause and enjoy the river a little longer.
There are several spots that trail visitors can park in. These include:
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