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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 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.
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