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Soft Trails

The Cedar Valley Trail System is unique in that it covers both hard (paved) and soft (unpaved) trails -- perfect for a workout on your mountain bike or your favorite hiking shoes.  Much of the soft trail system is marked with rudimentary signs, and serve as the gateway to hidden, picturesque routes throughout Black Hawk County. Head out on your own (or with a group of friends!), and experience the natural beauty of outdoor Iowa.

Find more details about soft trails on the CVAST (Cedar Valley Association for Soft Trails) website.


 Visit restored prairie and cycle along open spaces and residential areas, the bank of the Cedar River, Cottage Row’s homes, and Island Park on your return to downtown Cedar Falls.

17.1 Miles -- This loop passes by fields, along rolling hills, residential areas, shopping centers, industrial areas, the Cedar Valley Soccer Complex, the Katoski Greenbelt, and beside Black Hawk Creek.

16.4 Miles -  Connecting the downtown areas of Cedar Falls and Waterloo, this loop skirts Washington Park in Cedar Falls, the floodplain forests in George Wyth State Park and Hartman Reserve, and runs through the industrial area in northwest Waterloo, while providing views of the Cedar River.

52 miles -  Cedar Valley Nature Trail connects Waterloo/Cedar Falls with Cedar Rapids and many towns in between. Surfaced with asphalt from Evansdale to McFarlane Park east of La Porte City and then compacted limestone, the trail follows the floodplain of the Cedar River. A campground is located along the trail at McFarlane Park. Motorized vehicles and horses are not allowed on the trail. 

9.1 Miles -- Take a trip to Prairie Lakes Park and enjoy views of the lakes, native prairies, and associated wildlife. Stop by the Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau and pick up a souvenir! Then head to Pfeiffer Park and continue your journey through Rownd Park and by sparkling Dry Run Creek.

4 Miles - Welcome to downtown Waterloo! Whether it is a concert at the amphitheater, a splash in Mark’s Park, a stroll through the river plazas and overlooks, a visit to many of the cultural venues, or a great meal at one of many locally owned restaurants, Waterloo’s downtown Riverfront Renaissance offers it all! Did you know? The section of trail from US Highway 63 to 4th Street is the final segment of the American Discovery Trail to be completed in the metropolitan area!

2.6 Miles - Travel along babbling brooks and prairie preserves before entering the University of Northern Iowa campus. You’ll also pedal through Rownd Park and past The Falls Aquatic Center. Take time out to visit the College Hill art galleries, bookstores, coffee shops, and the Hearst Center for the Arts’ sculpture garden.