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Charles City's Riverside Trail runs for a little over a mile along the banks of the Cedar River, providing gorgeous views and recreational opportunities, as well as access to several city parks.
Starting in Sherman Park on the city's western side, the trail crosses the river via a new pedestrian suspension bridge; the trail formerly used a historical 1906 bridge, but sadly that bridge was damaged by flash flooding in 2008. After the bridge, turn right onto Illinois Street to pick up the trail again by the river, where it continues into the charming center of Charles City, providing access to Riverside Park and the city library before ending in Merten J. Klaus Park. Functional public art sculptures adorn part of the trail, providing users with something to contemplate as well as sit on.
While there is no direct off-road connection yet, users can take the Gilbert Street Bridge and a short series of side-streets from the trail's western endpoint to connect with the 4-mile Charley Western Recreational Trailway.
There are no dedicated parking lots for trails users, so trail users should utilize street parking if necessary. To reach the eastern endpoint from downtown Charles City, start out heading north on Main Street, then take a right onto Clark Street, followed by a left onto Hawkins Avenue.
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