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Built along the side of the roadway, the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Trail takes you from right outside the heart of Waterloo's urban riverside area into acres of beautiful, open Iowa farmland, providing a total shift in scenery over the course of it's three and a half miles. The concrete trail runs adjacent to the road for the entire duration; the road is mainly used as a route for trucks to reach the large distribution centers on the eastern end, but the industrial goings-on don't distract from the gorgeous landscape surrounding the trail.
Beginning in the west, the trail starts just past the high school track and field area on Vine Street and quickly ascends to a bridge over the railroad tracks on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. A short spur leads off to a neighborhood to the north (giving residents a highly convenient means of getting across the barrier created by the rail yard and tracks), but the main trail follows the road to the east. Homes and buildings quickly start to thin out as you continue on the trail, and before you know it you enter into acres of sparsely wooded farmland. Another sidepath on Bishop Avenue intersects the trail from the south, allowing for access to Independence Avenue. The trail comes to an end near where some of the city's largest factories and distribution centers are located - there's not really much for trail users to do on this end except to turn back around. The nature of the trail makes it perfect for runners and cyclists looking for some decent outdoor mileage on pretty flat terrain, and it even offers surprisingly decent views for a sidepath trail.
No parking is available at the eastern end of the trail. The western end of the trail does not have dedicated parking, but the parking lot for the high school is located right next to the start of the trail on Vine Street; be sure to follow any posted parking signs. Vine Street is located just off of Walnut Street on the eastern side of the river in Waterloo.
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