Cedar Valley Nature Trail (Southeast B.H. County)

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail is a 52 mile long trail leading from Evansdale to Hiawatha.  This GPS location marks the trailhead at Brandon, Iowa. The nature trail runs through Black Hawk, Buchanan, Benton and Linn counties.  Along the 52 mile stretch you will find everything from restaurants to several bed and breakfasts.  The scenic trail offers views of river bottomlands, rock outcroppings, and open grassland.  Along the way you can expect to encounter deer, wild turkey, songbirds and many other types of wildlife found throughout the state. The CVNT has been identified by the Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area.

The trail winds through lowland forest, upland forest, and prairie.  The stretches of prairie will often provide trail users sights such native prairie flowers in bloom.  Along with the flowers of the prairie those who use the trail may see native grasses also that once represented the majority of Iowa's historical landscape.  Quite often the trail will also provide views of the Cedar River and other wetland formations.  The trail utilizes an old railroad bed and consequently those who bike, hike, skate or ski the trail will encounter a relatively flat slope with very little incline. In addition to hiking and biking the trail you can utilize the trail for x-cross country skiing in the winter. Portions of the trial are asphalt while other parts crushed limestone. 


The Black Hawk county portion of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail ends at the border of Buchanan and Benton counties. To access the trail in Buchanan county, take Exit 49 off of I-380 and follow the signs into Brandon to the trailhead.


Bird watching
Cross country skiing
Scenic views

Operating Hours & Seasons

Contact Us:
Black Hawk County Conservation
1346 West Airline Hwy
Waterloo, IA 50703
Phone: (319) 433-PARK (7275)
Fax: (319) 433-7276