LCTA has installed infra-red (IR) counting devices on several trails within Linn County to determine usage. The results are shown in the following plots of daily counts. The counters are read frequently by LCTA supports and the data are interpolated to allocate the counts on a daily basis. The consistency of the daily counts demonstrates the validity of the data. If two people are walking or biking side-by-side, only one count is recorded. Testing has demonstrated an approximately 10 percent undercount but the amount will vary depending on the type of trail traffic. However the data presented here does not contain an undercount correction. This represents a conservative estimate of trail usage. Gaps in the plot data are periods where data were not available due to battery failure or other problems.

We rely on trail users to read and report the counts on displayed on the counter posts. To report a count, go to linncountytrails.org/trailcount and enter the data on the form. You may enter the data on your smart phone while on the trail or back home with your computer.

Click here for a map of the trail counter locations.

The infrared counters were designed and built by Rockwell Collins Retiree Volunteers (RCRV) lead by Dick Kittrell. Details about the counters including circuit diagrams are available at rcrv.org/community_projects.php?projID=145.

The following table summarizes trail usage in recent years. In contrast to the peak season, the usage for the fall and winter months with cold and snow is also shown. The total weekly usage measured on all 10 counters for the period May through August 2006 is 20,466 and the total counts for the four month period from May 1 to September 1, 2006 is 359,610.

Weekly Trail Usage for June-July

Trail200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016
Hoover Trail, Ely------2,5283,0943,0892,5393,3623,159
CRT Sokol Park3,6083,4973,6297961,6963.0033,7834,5604,0113,7825,1464,547
Cedar Lake Trail1,8352,0782,2691,2032,0492,4171,6721,7522,0762,1092,1112,652
CRT McCloud Pl.4,8834,2035,2964,2184,5474,0254,5415,3115,8494,7374,5425,330
CVNT Boyson Rd.2,5752,7943,4464,3883,8943,8883,8073,9444,3224,0254,5065,100
CVNT County Home Rd.1,5371,9132,3221,9762,0551,7441,860closed3,7783,3793,7953,451
CVNT Lafayette-1,0421,0411,0781,153857787closed2,7552,4772,6683,208
CVNT Center Point648913725551717774672closed7851,255928closed
Boyson Trail, Marion2,9643,8113,6509673,1453,1973,5604,3882,6504,2573,5226,320
Sac & Fox Trail, East Post Rd.1,7021,7552,142floodfloodflood1,3271,4041,0691,1846091,640
Sac & Fox Trail, Cole St.1,028698753floodfloodflood265363226789 (June)-1,154
Lindale Trail---------1,1201,1141,135

Weekly Trail Usage for Sept-Dec

Trail20052006200720152016
CRT Sokol Park1,2151,0961,820*1,7473,572
Cedar Lake Trail8918719071,0371,276
CRT McCloud Pl.1,6391,4241,5211,1511,850
CVNT Boyson Rd.1,039*1,0261,1331,4561,793
CVNT County Home Rd.601*712*748*1,932*1,882
CVNT Lafayette404*379*408*1,084*1,411
CVNT Center Point406*282*215*784*Paving
Marion Trail, Boyson Rd.1,4611,7211,3751,6111,699
Sac & Fox Trail, East Post Rd.9821,346*1,249*-1,222
Sac & Fox Trail, Cole St.440346*468*601*-
Hoover Trail, Ely1,729*986
Lindale Trail873627
* Counts for Sept-Nov only

The trails have been significantly impacted by the flood of 2008.  THE TRAILS ARE NOW RESTORED.  The Sac and Fox Trail was closed after the flood in early June 2008. The south end of the Cedar River Trail from Sokol Park south was also closed and was impassable. The trail counts at Sokol were much lower than prior years.  The Boyson Trail in Marion was impacted by the flood but was quickly restored. However the Cedar Valley Nature Trails in Linn County were not impacted by the flood and the 2008 counts were up significantly compared to prior years. The average weekly count for 2008 July and August at the trail head on Boyson Road for the Cedar Valley Nature Trail was 53% more than in 2007 or an average weekly count of 4,680. Trail users have simply moved to to the remaining active trails!

Daily trail usage plots are available for twelve locations on the the trail system within Linn County.  Click on the right side bar to see the plots,  The Cedar River Trail (CRT) is a North-South hard surfaced trail through Cedar Rapids and Hiawatha. The Cedar Lake Trail is a small loop trail near the middle of the CRT. The CRT connects to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail (CVNT) which continues to the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. The four counters on the CVNT are at mile 0 (Boyson), mile 3 (County Home Rd.), Mile 7 (Lafayette) and Mile 13 (Center Point). The trail is now hard surfaced to Schultz Rd. However  before 2013, the trail was crushed limestone past County Home Rd.  Therefore the counter at County Home Rd. indicates the number of users that continued onto the crushed limestone surface prior to 2013. Lafayette is a popular turn-around point for many CVNT users. It is interesting to observe the traffic reductions as the distance from central Cedar Rapids increases, however a significant number of users continue beyond the hard surface.  Look for increased counts after the CVNT paving is completed to Center Point in early 2017.  The Hoover Trail continues south from the Cedar River Trail to the city of Ely.  Other unconnected trails which have crushed limestone surfaces are the Boyson Trail and the Sac and Fox Trail. The counters are at the two ends of the Sac and Fox trail.  Lindale Trail was opened in late 2013 and paved in early 2014.  Lindale Trail extends from C Ave NE to Boyson Trail in Marion.