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A lovely concrete and asphalt path that traverses through a pleasant, tree-lined corridor in the southern edge of Cedar Falls, the Prairie Lakes Trail offers plenty of means of recreation and serves as a great way to experience the small city and its thriving trail network. Start your journey at the Cedar Falls Visitor Center, open seven days a week, to learn more about the history of the area and its natural environment - located on the edge of Prairie Lake Park, the twin lakes and open prairie fields in the park make it an ideal spot for birdwatching and fishing. The trail forms a loop around the lakes, connecting to various businesses in the industrial park that surrounds it, before heading north. An underpass under Viking Road leads into a nice, wooded corridor that feels far-removed from the suburban homes and businesses just a stone's throw away, with gorgeous foliage in the fall season.
Coming to a T-intersection, the trail offers multiple options to continue your journey. Taking the trail west provides access to a nearby suburban neighborhood, and the path turns again to head north up to the Greenhill Trail along the roadway. Taking the trail east, you are able to safely cross the state highway thanks to the Mayors Pedestrian Bridge, an attractive span constructed in 2013 and dedicated to a trio of mayors of Cedar Falls who helped expand the area's trail network and improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. The end of the bridge lies in the small Nordic Ridge Park, which offers a picnic area and restrooms, and serves as a trailhead for the Cedar Prairie Trail, another lovely trail that runs north and south to connect with even more area trails.
Parking is available at the Cedar Falls Visitor Center, located on Hudson Road between Viking Road and Technology Parkway. Additional parking is available in the adjoining Prairie Lakes Park via the park entrance off of Viking Road. Take Viking Road west from State Route 58 for about a mile to reach the park entrance.
Parking is also avaiable at the trailhead in Nordic Ridge Park, located at the intersection of Quesada Avenue and Kael Trail.
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