The Cedar Falls / Waterloo area has established itself as an exciting destination for trails.
With over 110 miles of hard-surfaced, multi-use trails, an abundance of soft trails, and emerging water trails, it’s no wonder why the Cedar Valley Trails was named Iowa’s Outstanding Tourism Attraction this year! Trails are free and open 24/7/365 for non-motorized and non-equestrian activities such as biking, hiking, cross-country skiing and skating.
Log Your Miles Here!
The National Bike Challenge runs May 1st through September 26th. Join a team by signing up online and earn points to win prizes. Visit the official website for a complete list of rules and all the details!
Choose your Adventure
A unique feature of the Cedar Valley Trails is that it’s a system of loops, allowing visitors to choose their adventure – whether it’s a one mile stroll around the lake, a ten mile run through George Wyth State Park, a 50 mile cruise around the Valley, or a hop from one restaurant or bar to another in historic downtown Cedar Falls, a variety of excursions are here to be experienced. Click on the map icon below to explore the various loops of the Cedar Valley Trails.
We are also Bicycle Friendly!
Cedar Falls was the first Bicycle Friendly Community recognized in Iowa by the American League of Bicyclists in 2009.
Other Great Features
The trails have truly been incorporated into the community lining the Cedar River, looping around lakes, crossing streams, connecting to both downtown entertainment districts, historic museums, hotels, restaurants and bars. Prairie Pathways is a system of 78+ signs that provide way finding and interpretation of significant points along the trails, sharing the story of how the Cedar Valley was settled and grew to one of Iowa’s most prominent metropolitan areas.
A system of emergency signage can also be found throughout the system making it easier to direct emergency services to your specific location should an accident occur.
The Cedar Valley Trails Patrol is a group of 25 members trained in rudimentary bicycle repairs and first aid. These dedicated volunteers serve as ambassadors and collectively provide an average of 300 hours of service on the trails each year.
In addition to the signage provided on the trails, printed maps are available at visitor information centers located throughout the Cedar Valley. Most hotels have brochure racks with maps as does:
The Cedar Falls Visitor Center, 6510 Hudson Road (vestibule is open 24/7)
University Book and Supply, 1009 W 23rd Street
UNI-Dome and McLeod Center, 2401 Hudson Road
A digital version of the map can be downloaded here:
- Biking trails
- Water trails
To have a copy mailed to you, contact us via our contact form, email, or call 800-845-1955.
Cedar Valley MApp
The new Cedar Valley MApp is a smartphone app that will help you find your way around the Cedar Valley Trails System. Download for iPhone, Android, and Windows 7.
Cedar Valley Water Trails Map
To download a digital version of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' Lower Cedar River and Black Hawk Creek Expedition Guide, click here.
Cedar Valley Nature Trail
The Cedar Valley Trails are also connected to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail, a 52-mile multi-use trails which leads to Cedar Rapids. This linear park runs along a converted railroad bed and features beautiful scenery and historical landmarks.
No motorized vehicles are allowed. Call 319-266-6813 for additional information about this trail.
The Cedar Trails Partnership celebrates the trails by hosting the Cedar Valley Trails Festival every August during the second full weekend. A variety of events including the famous candlelit Light Up the Night Ride take place during the festival.
Dirty Rides, daring explorations of the Cedar Valley Soft Trails, depart the Mulligan’s parking lot almost every Wednesday evening during the summer. Contact the Cedar Valley Association for Soft Trails for additional information regarding these events at www.cvast.org.
Safety is an important aspect and can’t be stressed enough. While riding the trails please be sure to:
- Wear a helmet
- Stay on designated trails
- Keep to the right
- Call out when passing
- Keep all pets on leashes
- Keep our trails clean
- Enjoy nature – please tread lightly
Cedar Falls is a Bicycle Friendly Community that embraces cycling as a form of transportation, too, but it’s a two way street! Street cycling is a right but it comes with responsibilities. Cyclists are subject to the same laws as motorists.
The Cedar Valley Trails traverses a number of jurisdictions requiring a lot of collaboration. Local municipalities and organizations include:
- City of Cedar Falls Parks
- City of Waterloo Parks
- City of Evansdale
- City of Hudson
- Black Hawk County Conservation Board
- George Wyth State Park
- Cedar Trails Partnership
- Cedar Valley Association for Soft Trails
- Cedar Valley Cyclists
In addition to the Cedar Valley Trails, exciting cycling opportunities exist throughout the state of Iowa. In fact, we like to think of Iowa as the Trails Capital of the World! Visit www.iowtrails.net to see what we mean!
Let’s Keep in Touch
Trail Closure Information
The City of Cedar Falls and Iowa Department of Transportation have awarded the Highway 58 Corridor Trail Safety Improvements Project to Peterson Contractors, Inc of Reinbeck, Iowa. The project will construct a pedestrian bridge over Highway 58 and an underpass on Greenhill Road. It will also construct trail connections into adjacent neighborhoods.
Beginning Thursday, August 23, 2012, the utility companies will begin locating their utilities north of Greenhill Road and will require the closure of Cedar Prairie Trail from Greenhill Road to South Main Street near Paw Park.
Beginning Tuesday, September 4, 2012, the contractor will begin construction of the Greenhill Road underpass by closing the following trails:
- Cedar Prairie Trail from the south end of South Main Street to South Main Street near Paw Park
- Greenhill Trail from Ashworth Drive to South Main Street
- Prairie Lakes Trail from Nordic Road to Greenhill Road
In order for the contractors to begin work and pavement removal, a complete closure will be required. The closures will be in effect until the completion of the project. The approximate completion is Fall 2013.