Cedar Valley Nature Trail

bikers and walkers
bikers and walkers
trail head
near Robins
near Lafayette


Cedar Valley Trail
The Cedar Valley Nature Trail is one of the pioneer “linear parks” in Iowa. 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. It is managed jointly by the Black Hawk and Linn County Conservation Boards. Originally having a crushed limestone surface, Boyson Rd North to the Grubbs Creek Bridge north of Center Point have been hard surfaced with asphalt (concrete in town).  In Black Hawk County about 16 miles of trail have been asphalted.

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 and snowmobiling (on designated unpaved surfaces), as there is no snow removal service. Nature study and photography are activities are popular year-round.

Additionally, there are  many points of interest along the trail. Stop in Center Point to visit the Center Point Depot and Historical Museum. Or stop in one of the many restaurants in the communities located adjacent to the trail.

Location

The trail is accessible from several locations.  A southern trailhead 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.  For a map of the trail, click here (includes parking options) or see below.


View Cedar Valley Nature Trail in a larger map

Parking Details
Boyson Rd: Access to the Hiawatha Trailhead 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 Rd: Access to the Cedar Valley Trail is available at County Home Rd, to the east of I380.

Center Point Depot: The historic depot and associated parking lot/trail access is located between E. Washington and E. State Streets. The trail runs parallel to N. Center Point Road and Central Avenue - located in approximately the middle of the block between.

Features

- Historic Center Point Depot - trail rest stop and Historical Museum
- Modern restroom at Hiawatha Trailhead
- 3 primitive restrooms
- Trail connects on the south with the Cedar River Trail through Cedar Rapids (Cedar River Trail connects with Hoover Trail to Ely south of Cedar Rapids)

Activities
- Biking
- Walking/Running
- Cross-country skiing
- Rollerblading
- Snowmobiling (on designated limestone portions)
- Nature Study
- Photography

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 am – 10:30 pm

Closures

The trail is currently closed at the following locations: 

Black Hawk County (northern end) reports the following two closures:

1)Wolf Creek Bridge at La Porte City is closed.

 

2) There is a 150-foot blowout located ½ mile north of the Gilbertville Depot. There is no detour for this blowout, but people are finding their way around it. This is damage from the 2016 flood. There are 12 other edge washouts associated with that flood damage but those are flagged and can be ridden around. FEMA has come through with funding for the 2016 damage. We have signed contracts to begin repair and the preconstruction meeting is set for May 29th. They have 40 working days to complete the project.  There will likely be closures as the work is being completed.  

Linn County (southern end) reports:

1) The East Blue Creek Bridge replacement project ?is underway. This will involve a closure of the trail for 80 working days.  Trail users are welcome to determine their own detour route if they want to go around the closed section. 

There is no snow removal performed on the trail and the County Home Road parking lot is closed during the winter months.