Soft Surfaced Trails
Getting off the paved path is the way to see acres of scenic parks and public spaces in the Cedar Valley. Bike, hike, snowshoe or just find a quiet place to rest and take it all in. There are a lot of places to choose from with more than 100+ miles of trails!
Choose your Adventure
The Cedar Valley Trail system is unique in that trails are interconnected, making it easy to access our soft trails. Plan to explore both soft and paved trails. With hotels, restaurants and other essential amenities close by, bikepacking may be just the ticket.
Click the map below to explore the various loops of the Cedar Valley Trails. To receive a hard copy of our Cedar Valley Trails & Recreation Guide, call the Cedar Falls Visitor Center at 1-800-845-1955 (319-268-4266) or stop the Cedar Falls Visitor Center at 6510 Hudson Road. Soft trails are indicated with a dotted line.
Or, the Cedar Valley Association for Soft Trails (CVAST) also has an online map of our local soft trails. You can find the map on their website.
We are Bicycle Friendly!
Cedar Falls was the first Bicycle Friendly Community recognized in Iowa by the American League of Bicyclists in 2009. A Bicycle Friendly Community welcomes bicyclists by providing safe accomodations for bicycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation.
Cedar Valley Nature Trail
The Cedar Valley Trail system is also connected to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail, a 52 mile multi-use trail 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 319-433-7275 for additional information about this trail.
Bike Tech (217 Washington Street, Cedar Falls) offers bike rentals. Europa Cycle & Ski (4302 University Avenue, Cedar Falls) rents showshoes and skis and The Runner's Flat (120 Main Street) rents snowshoes and ice skates for your winter activities.
In 2015, we welcomed a new bicycle endurance event called Gran Fondo Cedar Valley. This event was held in conjunction with the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, Cedar Falls Community Main Street and Panthers on Main. Participants chose a 100 mile, 60 mile or 30 mile course. In 2016, Fondo Fest and Gran Fondo Cedar Valley will be held Saturday, August 20.
Several organizations and local businesses offer annual and weekly events on the trails:
- Cedar Trails Partnership has a comprehensive monthly calendar of trail events. If you have a trail-related event to add, please click here.
- CVAST (Cedar Valley Soft Trails) hosts several weekly events with local businesses including Two Wheel Wednesdays, Monday Night Mayhem Trail Runs and Fat Tire Saturdays.
- The Runner's Flat (120 Main Street, Cedar Falls) hosts Thursty Thursdays, Saturday TRF Breakfast Club, Monday Night Mayhem with CVAST and other various runs throughout the season.
- Bike Tech (217 Washington Street, Cedar Falls) hosts the Hammer Ride on Tuesdays and Two Wheel Wednesday with CVAST.
- Cedar Valley Cyclists hosts W.O.W. (Wednesday on Wheels) at 6:15 pm most Wednesdays beginning in May. Meet at the corner of 4th and Main Street in Cedar Falls and choose either a trail ride or a road ride. All skill levels are welcome. Check their calendar for additional events.
- Europa Cycle & Ski is also host to their weekly Gal's Ride. Every Tuesday at 5:30 pm, start and end at Europa. Enjoy a quick-paced 15 to 30-mile ride.
- Bike Iowa is another great source for finding bike events in Iowa.
- The Iowa Games offers a Snowshoe Race (and family hike) and Fat Bike Race in January.
Run and ride events in 2016 include:
- Fool's 5K run by Trekman Racing on Sunday, April 3, at George Wyth State Park
- 9th Annual Shamrock Shuffle 5K and Fun Run on Saturday, April 9, hosted by St Patrick School in Cedar Falls
- Great Strides Walk on Friday, May 6, benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Evening includes a 1-mile walk at Gateway Park, a brief program and dinner
- Furry 5K Run/Walk at Big Woods Lake on Sunday, May 15. This will the the Cedar Bend Humane Society's 7th annual run/walk and benefits the humane society
- 2016 Cedar Valley Heart Walk will be held Saturday, May 21, at Mudd Advertising in Cedar Falls
- Pedal for Paws Poker Ride will be Saturday, June 4, at Gateway Park in Cedar Falls and is hosted by the Cedar Bend Humane Society
- Sturgis Falls Half Marathon and 5K Runs will be Sunday, June 26
- Cedar Valley Pedal Fest July 2-3 will be filled with a multitude of bike rides for you and your family to choose from, and all the rides are free!
- Grand Fondo Cedar Valley is a bicycle endurance event taking place in Cedar Falls and traveling to surrounding communities, August 20.
Log Your Miles
The National Bike Challenge is a free, online program that encourages biking for transportation, fitness and recreation. Although you can join and log your miles throughout the year, the challenge officially runs May through September. You can join by visiting their website. It's free and a great way to challenge yourself. Join and then log your miles and monitor the leaderboard of your city, team or workplace.
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.iowatrails.net to see what we mean!
Trail Closure Information
The Cedar Trails Partnership maintains their Facebook page with up-to-date information about trail conditions due to weather damage, flooding and construction. You will also find helpful information about the trails, events and the trails patrol on their website.