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Water Trails

The CTP actively supports Black Hawk County's state-designated water trail -- the Cedar River Water Trail.  Development of additional water trails on Black Hawk Creek and the Wapsi River are also currently under development. 

While many waterways in Iowa can be travelled by canoe or kayak, a designated water trail stands apart by having clearly-marked access areas (ramps or steps), parking areas, and a degree of ADA-compliant access.

We are also very proud of the Cedar Valley Paddlers Trail, a 10 mile water and portage trail connecting the lakes of George Wyth State Park, the Hartman Reserve Nature Center , and the Cedar River.

On our water trails, you can engage in a wide variety of activities, like:

  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Birdwatching
  • Wildlife observation

 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.