Cedar Valley Nature Trail
The Cedar Valley Nature Trail is one of the pioneer "linear parks" in Iowa. It is managed jointly by the Black Hawk and Linn County Conservation Boards. It was built on the abandoned Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Northern (WCF&N) railroad right-of-way in the early 1980's. Spanning four counties, the 52-mile trail meanders from Hiawatha to Evansdale, passing through Robins, Lafayette, Center Point, Urbana, Brandon, LaPorte City and Gilbertville. When you factor in the trail through Cedar Rapids to the Johnson County line, the trail spans 68 miles. Originally having a crushed limestone surface, there is a hard surface from Johnson County to Urbana.
During the spring, summer and fall, the Cedar Valley Trail is a great trail for walking, running, bicycling, and rollerblading. In the winter months, the trail can be used for snowshoeing, hiking and some times fat tire biking. However, there is no snow removal service.
REOPENED: The 1.2 mile stretch of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail reopened on May 26 between Lafayette Road and East Otter Road. A replacement steel beam bridge over Fishel Road was replaced.
The trail is accessible from several locations. A southern trail-head is located on Boyson Road in Hiawatha, IA. Another good access point in Linn County is from the historic Center Point Depot in Center Point.
- Boyson Road: Access to the Hiawatha Trail-head parking area for the Cedar Valley Nature Trail is from Kainz Drive - just south of Boyson Road. From this juncture, you can access the Cedar Valley Nature Trail to the north and the Cedar River Trail (managed by the City of Cedar Rapids) to the south.
- County Home Road: Access to the Cedar Valley Trail is available at County Home Road, to the east of I-380.
- Center Point Depot: The historic depot and associated parking lot/trail access is located between E. Washington and E. State Streets in Center Point.
- Historic Center Point Depot - trail rest stop and Historical Museum. Modern restrooms closed at sunset.
- Modern restroom at Hiawatha trailhead
- Three primitive restrooms
- Trail connects to Cedar Rapids, to Ely, then to the Johnson County line, where the connection continues to Solon.
Trail Safety & Enjoyment
The following guidelines will help you have a safe and enjoyable trail experience:
- Be considerate of other trail users
- Wear a helmet and other safety equipment
- Keep to the right to allow others to pass - when in a group, don't block the trail
- Always pass on the left after checking both directions to be sure it is safe to pass
- Announce your presence to other users when approaching them from behind ("pass on the left" alerts them)
- Obey all traffic signs at road intersections
- Rest frequently to avoid fatigue and carry plenty of fluids
- Use front and rear lights after dark
- Maintain your equipment in good repair
- Don't wear headphones as it may limit your ability to hear other trail traffic
- Carry identification with you
- Dogs must always be on a leash (less than or equal to 6' long)
Operating Hours & Seasons
4 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
There is no snow removal performed on the trail and the County Home Road parking lot is closed during the winter months.