Grant Wood Trail (Linn County Segment)


7 Reviews

View Trail Map
View Map
Send to App

Register for free!

Register for free with TrailLink today!

We're a non-profit all about helping you enjoy the outdoors
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your own favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Leave reviews for trails
  • Add new and edit existing trails

Grant Wood Trail (Linn County Segment) Facts

States: Iowa
Counties: Linn
Length: 14.3 miles
Trail end points: Council St NE, Cedar Rapids and the creek just west of Linn Jones Rd (near Martelle)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Grass, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6304531

Grant Wood Trail (Linn County Segment) Description

Running along a former railroad corridor in Linn County, the Grant Wood Trail is being developed in phases. The trail is named for the early 20th-century Iowa artist, perhaps best known for his painting "American Gothic."

A 10-mile segment runs east from Council St NE in Cedar Rapids and heads through Marion to Oxley Road on the eastern edge of the city. In Cedar Rapids and in downtown Marion, the trail is surrounded by busy metropolitan neighborhoods. Between Cedar Rapids and downtown Marion, it runs through a green corridor sheltered by trees. On the eastern outskirts of Marion, the route passes through forests, fields, and farm land. The trail serves as a vital transportation link for the surrounding communities, providing a safe and efficient route for pedestrians and bicyclists to access businesses, shops, restaurants, schools, parks, community facilities, and more.

In the southwest outskirts of Springville, a roughly 2-mile trail segment meanders between Creekside Road and Springville Road. Following a creek, the trail is surrounded by fields and farmsteads.

In the southeast outskirts of Springville, the eastern-most trail segment runs about 2 miles between Alderman Road and Elbow Creek, where the it comes to an abrupt dead end in the woods about a half mile east of Taylor Road. 

There are plans to eventually link the segments. The trail is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.

Pick up the Jones County portion of the Grant Wood Trail in Martelle.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at several points along the route. Visit the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.

Grant Wood Trail (Linn County Segment) Reviews

Out of Date Details

In 2021, the longest segment of the trail was extended further west within Marion and now ends at 7th STREET. That stretch is about six miles long from the east endpoint at Oxley Road. The trail goes underneath Highway 13/151.

There is also another segment of trail within Marion that is about 1.3 miles in length. The western endpoint is just east of C Avenue NE. The trail has a high bridge over Indian Creek, and the trail dead ends just west of Marion Blvd. When I visited on 10/04/2021, there was construction underway to complete the 4/10's of a mile gap between the two sections described above. Hopefully, my review will also soon be out of date, and the connected stretches making one eight-mile trail.

The middle 2.3 mile stretch from Creekside Road to Springville Road is primitive, but passable. I would describe that stretch as grass growing through a narrow, gravel footpath. The grass is kept mowed. That stretch is scenic, with full-sized trees. However, with the primitive surface, I had to carefully watch where I was riding, instead of being able to gaze around.

The eastern-most stretch, between Alderman Road and Martelle should not be listed as a trail. It is not maintained, and there are multiple places with trees blocking the abandoned right of way.

Great job of clean up on the east end since last fall. Grass area west of Springville is a nice ride even on a hybrid. Last September it was largely impassable with downed trees from the derecho, but looks good now.

Great job of clean up on the east end since last fall. Grass area west of Springville is a nice ride even on a hybrid. Last September it was largely impassable with downed trees from the derecho, but looks good now.

Peaceful, but not perfect

The first two segments of the trail between Highway 13 and Springville Road are well-maintained, pretty straight, and void of much in elevation change. The last segment of trail is requires riding a section of highway with a narrow gravel shoulder and a section of gravel road. When you get to the last segment of the trail (between Alderman Road and Martelle), you will find an unmaintained trail with vegetation growing is obvious that no one has touched this part of the trail in 2020.

Grant Wood Trail (April 2020)

As a previous review noted, this is definitely more of a primitive bike path. Nonetheless, my ride was an enjoyable one: nearly uninterrupted solitude. The surface varies from crushed limestone to grass (as the trail continues further eastward). There is a brief segment (0.8 miles) where county highway E45 connects the two segments of the trail in Linn County, and this county highway has a paved shoulder. I found the trail surface to be manageable on 28mm tires when it has been dry for a day or two. Otherwise you may want to consider beefier tires for riding on this path.


Rustic, quiet, partially abandoned, still enjoyable !

You may not want to try this on a narrow-tired road bike, the surface is largely either turf, sand, or rocky turf :)

The Westernmost segment is about 3.2 miles long, somewhere in the middle there is maybe 50-75 yards of boggy (wet) grass from a spring, your tires may cut in a little.

It's about .7 miles of surface roads to the Center segment, which is about 2.3 miles long.

The Easternmost segment appears to have been abandoned. The TrailLink map shows the West end of this segment beginning at Alderman Rd, but, I don't think that the trail is accessible there unless you ride a fat bike and enjoy serious boon-docking. There -is- access to the Easternmost segment at Linn Grove Rd, (about 3.3 miles of Gravel roads from the East end of the Center segment), but, it's only passable going East, and then only for about .25 miles of nearly knee-high grass, until it dead-ends into a fence.

A different kind of ride.

A great trail if you want to try a more primitive bike ride.I used a mountain bike and glad I did.This is mostly a grass trail with a gravel rut to run on,I saw a few walkers with dogs but no other bikers.It has great potential! Rode 1st 2 segments starting from Highway 13 going east and ran out time as I averaged about 8 mph because it's a little slower going.A cool change of pace from the normal Cedar Rapids paved trails!

Nice, straight, easy, quaint

I love to run on grass, and there's still some to run on here.

Nearby Trails

Go Unlimited Today!

  • FREE Account
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Post your trail reviews
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Get a free map in the app!
Register for FREE
Purchase Unlimited

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Log in with Google

Log in with Apple


Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 40,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google

Register with Apple


Your account has been deleted.