Waverly Rail Trail


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Waverly Rail Trail Facts

States: Iowa
Counties: Bremer
Length: 7.6 miles
Trail end points: Second St. NW and Sixth Ave. NW and US 63/Larrabee Ave. south of SR 3/Denver-Jefferson Trail and Readlyn Grump Trail (Waverly)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015659
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Waverly Rail Trail Description

The Waverly Rail Trail offers a pleasant, small town–meets-rural experience as it travels for 7.6 miles from downtown Waverly to its eastern endpoint north of Denver. It is also part of the Rolling Prairie Trail system, which—when complete—will travel nine communities and three counties. Beginning in Waverly at the western endpoint, you may want to take a detour about eight blocks south to explore the Bremer County Historical Society Museum, located on West Bremer Avenue and Fourth Street. Here, you’ll also find a variety of small businesses, chain restaurants, and bars.

The best place to park is at the small lot on the northern end of Kohlmann Park at the intersection of Fourth Avenue Northwest and First Street Northwest. Here, you’ll find picnic areas, restrooms, water fountains, and a structure that doubles as art and an amphitheater.

The trail begins approximately two blocks north and one block west (outside the gates of a Nestle factory) and heads southeast, crossing over the Cedar River to East Bremer Avenue—the town’s main drag—and the quaint downtown area. Here, you’ll find more restaurants—including a sandwich shop inside an old train station—shops, lodging, and a refurbished movie theater with an old-style neon sign displayed prominently overhead.

About a mile into your route, you’ll pass several large, painted concrete planters. Leaving town, the trail becomes more wooded, with trees covering a majority of the remainder of your route and providing welcome shade in the summer months. Park benches are located throughout the trail for periodic rest stops.

The trail ends at US 63/Larrabee Avenue. From here you can continue on the Rolling Prairie Trail system by heading south on the Denver-Jefferson Trail for about 2 miles to Denver or straight on the Readlyn Grump Trail, just east of the US 63 underpass, 6 miles farther east to Readlyn.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking near the western endpoint in Waverly is available at the northern end of Kohlmann Park at Fourth Ave. NW and First St. NW (about two blocks south and one block east of the endpoint). To reach the park from US 218, take Exit 203 for SR 3 toward Waverly/Shell Rock, and head east on SR 3. Go 2.6 miles, and turn right onto W. Bremer Ave. After 1.2 miles, turn left onto First St. SW. Go about a quarter mile, and turn right onto Fourth Ave. NW. Look for parking on the right. To reach the trail’s endpoint, head west on Fourth Ave. NW for one block, and then turn right onto Second St. NW. The trail begins about two blocks north, just past Sixth Ave. NW.

Another small parking area is located several blocks southeast on the northern side of Second Ave. NE between Second St. NE and Cedar Lane NE.

To reach parking near the eastern endpoint from SR 3, head south for 1 mile on Killdeer Ave. Look for a small parking area on your right just after passing the Waverly Trail. The trail endpoint is located just under 1 mile east at Larrabee Ave.

Waverly Rail Trail Reviews

First time to try this trail- definitely will not be our last!! Nice surprise that we were able to make a 32 mile ride by staying on the trail all the way to Readlyn and then the leg to Denver. If you are looking for a place to stop- I would highly recommend The Sweet Spot ice cream shop In Denver-what yummy and unique treats!!!

Picked this trail for an afternoon ride in August 2013 as we traveled from Wisconsin to Iowa, selecting our driving route to take advantage of attractive sounding trails. After riding some park trails on the west side of the river in Waverly, we crossed the old single lane bridge to the east side and found our way to the trail over some city streets to where access directly to the trail is available just a block south of Brenner Avenue and the original train depot. It would be helpful if the city would post signs directing to the new trailhead sign that was just being placed the day of our ride. Once on the trail, it proved to be an excellent ride surrounded by 100+ year old hardwoods near the river as we headed southeast.

"This is indeed a fine trail. Peddled it on my tadpole Tri-Cruiser on Aug 29, 2006. Started from East side of Cedar River with good parking. Great River Bridge and real Country Vistas."

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