The Linn County Trails Association (LCTA) is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, volunteer organization that officially began in 1990.

Originally, the first group of volunteers organized to build a 12-mile trail along the Old Interurban Line from Bever Park in Cedar Rapids to Mt Vernon.

In 1993, LCTA changed the focus to model the organization after a similar group in Lincoln, Nebraska. At this time, LCTA adopted the goal to create a paved trail in the City of Cedar Rapids.

The Metro Area Trails System Committee, sanctioned by the City of Cedar Rapids, provided a guide for trails in the Metro Area. LCTA expanded the board of directors and general membership, and began meeting regularly in 1993.

In August 1997, the Cedar Lake segment of the 12-mile Cedar River Trail (CRT) was completed. The Cedar River Trail connects the Cedar Valley Nature Trail to the Hoover Trail and became part of the American Discovery Trail. LCTA raised close to $100,000 to help make this trail a reality.  LCTA supported this effort by coordinating grants at the state and federal level, collecting necessary information for city engineers and advocated that trails stay on top of city, county and state planning project lists!

Also in 1997, the Grant Wood Trail Association from Jones County asked LCTA if there was interest in extending railroad property from Marion to Martelle, IA.  LCTA jumped on the opportunity and purchased 7 of the 10 miles of railroad right of way.

In 1999, 3.25 miles of the 7 miles of right of way of the Grant Wood Trail was opened. This involved close collaboration of county offices, negotiation of land purchase and easements, and fundraising for land purchase and development. Much of the actual trail work was completed by LCTA members and we are grateful for their help!

In 2002, LCTA created a bridge to span a creek close to Paralta Road (East of Marion, IA).  Using a refurbished flatcar bridge, volunteer help and donations of time and materials from local businesses, the costs were kept to a minimum.

20 years later LCTA continues to advocate for multi-use trails, promote trail usage, and raise funds for trail development in Linn County. We welcome help to Make Trails Happen for residents of Linn County!

Financial Accomplishments

$100,000 Design of segment 2 of the 4th Street trail in Cedar Rapids, IA between 1st Ave SE and 9th Ave SE (Anticipated 2022)
$100,000 Design of a side path and pedestrian bridge on Lucore Road (Anticipated 2022)
$100,000 Grant Wood Trail hard surfacing from Waldo’s Rock to Oxley Road and construction of the trail from Oxley Road to Paralta Road (Anticipated 2022)
$1,800 Indian Creek Trailhead Kiosk at Thomas Park (2022)
$2,850 Linn County Trails Map Update (2021)
$750 Linn County for Cedar Valley Trail Paving (2020)
$25,000 LAMBA for Single Track Trail (2020)
$35,000 Connect CR (2020)
$5,000 Corridor MPO – Bicycle Helmets (2019)
$25,000 Friends of Linn County Conservation Board – Morgan Creek (2019)
$15,000 Connect CR (2019)
$900 City of Cedar Rapids Bike Light Program sponsored by Witwer Trust (2018)
$100,000 Linn County Hwy 100 Trail Phase A (2018)
$75,000 City of Cedar Rapids Lindale Trail Extension (2018)
$175,000 to support the Lindale Trail Extension and the Phase A of the Highway 100 Trail (2017-2018)
$102,033 to pave the Cedar Valley Nature Trail from Schultz Road through Center Point in Linn County (2015–2017)
$50,000 to the City of Marion, to connect the Grant Wood Trail between 35th Street and the Highway 13 underpass by 2018
$10,000 to the City of Hiawatha, to install flashing safety lights on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail at the Boyson Road and Tower Terrace Road crossings (2017)
$55,000 to acquire land, construct and pave the Lindale Trail in Cedar Rapids (2010–2013)
$96,250 to pave the Cedar Valley Nature Trail from County Home Road to Lafayette in Linn County (2010)
$250,000 to acquire land and install bridges for the Grant Wood Trail in eastern Linn County. LCTA volunteers also provided labor. The trail was donated to Linn County. (1997–2005)
$35,000 to construct the southern section of the Cedar River Trail in Cedar Rapids and Linn County (2004)
$15,000 for the Cedar River Trail through Hiawatha (2004)
$100,000 for Cedar Lake loop trail project in Cedar Rapids, IA (1997)
$70,000 to construct the initial segment of the Cedar River Trail in Cedar Rapids, IA

ADVOCACY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Advocacy and fundraising for the Cedar River Trail in Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Purchase of the Grant Wood Trail corridor in Linn County. The long-term plan for the Grant Wood Trail is to connect to the Mississippi River in Clinton, IA.
  • Purchase of the initial abandoned railroad right-of-way from the railroad to build the Lindale Trail.
  • Representation on the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) which coordinates eligible federal funding for trail development within the metropolitan area.
  • Ongoing collaboration with city and county planners every month to understand short-term and long term development of trails, bike lanes and crossings.

LCTA also provides support for trails through:

  • Fundraising and supporter donations.
  • Obtaining grant funding for trail amenities and trail beautification projects in Linn County.
  • Cooperating with local jurisdictions to develop long-range trail plans used by various agencies throughout Linn County
  • Publishing the Metro Area Trails Guide and distributing it free to the public
  • Partnering with other non-profit organizations to promote trail usage of walkers, runners, cyclists, and commuters