A wonderful way to explore the scenery, wildlife and wildflowers in Eastern Iowa is to hike the miles of hiking trails in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the surrounding area.
Several city parks offer smaller hiking trails that are ideal for taking young children out to explore the great outdoors. Consider visiting Beaver Park, Ellis Park, Noelridge Park or Jones Park all located within Cedar Rapids.
For those looking for a more challenging hike, some of the best hiking trails in Cedar Rapids are outlined below.
Sac and Fox National Recreation Trail – Great Cedar Rapids Hiking Trail
A great hiking trail in Cedar Rapids is the Sac and Fox National Recreation Trail. This hiking trail was Iowa’s first recreational trail making it a favorite among hikers in the city. The seven-mile hiking trail is easy to hike as the trail is relatively level with a crushed limestone surface.
Much of the trail follows the Indian Creek and provides scenic views of the stream and wooded forest. Other parts of the trail follow the Cedar River. The trail was damaged during the historic floods of 2008, but many parts of the trail have been restored. Hikers can access the trail from various locations in the city with parking lots on Cole Street, Indian Creek Nature Center and Bertram Road. If you go, consider joining the trail at Indian Creek Nature Center located just off Highway 13. The center frequently hosts activities and has over trails to explore as well.
Morgan Creek County Park
Get out and explore the great outdoors with the hiking trails in this Cedar Rapids park. Located on the western edge of Cedar Rapids and just off of Stoney Point Road, Morgan Creek County Park features three hiking trail loops and a winding trail that connect the Prairie trail to the Arboretum trail. Hikers can enjoy a variety of scenic views of Morgan Creek, rolling prairies and wildflowers. In the winter, the trails are groomed for cross-country skiing.
Hiking Trails Located Near Cedar Rapids
More hiking trails can be found just a short drive from Cedar Rapids. With even more miles of hiking trails to explore, hikers can find hiking trails for day-long or shorter hikes at parks located in Linn County. A few favorites are identified below. Additional hiking trails in the area can be found on the Linn County Parks web site.
Squaw Creek Park
With just over 7.8 miles of hiking trails, Squaw Creek Park in Marion provides a variety of terrain and scenery for great hiking. Hikers can enjoy a mixture of rolling hills with upland timbers, creeks and quiet meadows. The hiking trail system is made up of three individual trails including the Meadow Trail, South Loop Trail and Woodland Trail. Squaw Creek Park is just minutes from Cedar Rapids and conveniently located just off of Highway 100 and Highway 13 intersections.
Palisades-Kepler State Park
Just a short drive from Cedar Rapids, Palisades-Kepler State Park is located near historic Mount Vernon, Iowa. With six miles of hiking trails, hikers can explore rocky terrain, bluffs and breathtaking views of the Cedar River. For hikers who wish to explore the hiking trails for a couple days, the park also has 44 campsites and four family cabins.
Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center
A hiking treasure located just outside of Cedar Rapids in Toddville is the Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center. The center features miles of hiking trails that encourage hikers to explore wildflowers and prairie, a pond full of frogs, turtles and fish or trails lined with trees for a rewarding hike. Trails range from flat and easy to moderately hilly for a more challenging hike. If you go, be sure to stop into the interpretive learning center to view the educational and archaeological items on display.
Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area offer miles of hiking trails for hikers to explore the beauty of Eastern Iowa. From forests to rolling meadows, hikers can get some exercise and take in wonderful scenery and many local hiking trails.