With trail use up around 60 percent nationwide, and about 50 percent locally according to our survey, trails have provided a welcome relief from today’s challenges. Trails connect us to natural resources — fields, streams, wetlands and woodlands. They also provide a fun, safe way to spend time with friends outside.

Perhaps this year more than ever we have been so fortunate to benefit from years of work to expand our growing trails system. It is our goal to continue to “Make Trails Happen.” We can’t do this without your financial assistance.

For many years, LCTA has conducted an annual Fall Fundraiser — a direct-mail campaign asking for additional contributions from its members. LCTA has given more than $1 million to local jurisdictions in support of trails development. We’ve put your gifts to our organization to great use.

There is no question our members have secured a continued bright future for trails development in Linn County. LCTA’s advocacy work also contributes to the safety and growth of our trails system. LCTA has leveraged your gifts to accelerate trails projects, provide important match funds to secure grants, and work with local jurisdictions to prioritize the development of a system of connected trails in Linn County.

Your generosity can help us continue to blaze new trails for years to come! Learn more and contribute to our 2020–21 Capital Campaign.

Categories : Updates
Comments (0)

2020 Derecho Status

Linn County Conservation has reported in their most recent email newsletter that the majority of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail and Grant Wood Trails are passable.
The Hoover Trail (continues path of the CVNT at 76th Ave. Dr. SW) remains closed until the heavy equipment is freed up from other clean-up efforts. The paving along Ely Rd does have a paved shoulder, but caution should be used if riding around the closure with traffic.
Map of Hoover trail closure area:
The Cedar Lake Loop trail has also been reported to be passable, as well as the CEMAR trail segment in Cedar Rapids. The section of the CEMAR through Daniels Park has not been cleared, but the the CEMAR from to 16th St. NE to 29th St. NE appears clear.
Categories : Trails
Comments (0)

LCTA 2020 Member Survey – Results

Dear Linn County Trail Users,

Linn County Trails Association 2020 Survey results are in from more than 400 respondents – thank you for the great response and continued support!

Survey results can be downloaded as a PDF document here. LCTA Board members are currently reviewing the results and formulating plans that reflect and integrate the information provided. Initial reflection indicates the following:

  • Survey respondents include all types of trail users from all over Linn County.
  • It was exciting to see that the Survey reflected the increased trail use that we all suspected. The trails have provided a welcome relief from today’s challenges.
  • Suggestions for trails and extensions will be shared with the City of Cedar Rapids and Linn County as well as the Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization for planning purposes.
  • Trail maintenance issues will also be passed on to the County or City responsible for upkeep.
  • Plans are in the initial stages for a makeover of the LCTA website. Survey responses will help guide that makeover reflecting trail users’ preferences for content and format.
  • The best use of LCTA’s Facebook page for communications with trail members is being evaluated. Survey responses will guide that evaluation reflecting users’ preferences for content.
  • LCTA’s communication plan is being updated. Survey responses will guide the update reflecting trail users’ preferences for mail, email, website, and / or Facebook communications from LCTA.
  • A key element in LCTA’s plans for moving forward will be to strategize how best to engage the many Survey respondents who expressed a willingness to get involved.
LCTA especially appreciates Survey responses with funding ideas. As you can imagine, funding from all sources is very important. As a reminder, you can donate to trails development securely through our website.

Thanks again for your response and for all your support for Linn County Trails!!

Happy Trails,

Kevin Kirchner
Linn County Trails Association, President

Categories : Updates
Comments (0)

It’s been called the, “Golden Age of Trails Development” in Eastern Iowa. With corridors identified, projects designed and on the books, the next few years will be tremendously busy and filled with exciting buzz and new trail openings. As a note, timelines are subject to change, especially as jurisdictions learn about financial impacts associated with COVID-19.

CeMar Trail

Click photo to enlarge.

  • Cedar Rapids: Separated trail and on-street bicycle/improved sidewalk facilities from Cedar Lake to H Avenue NE (2020).
  • Cedar Rapids: 29th Street NE to 33rd Street Drive SE including 1st Avenue underpass (2020–2021).
  • Marion: Bridge over Marion Boulevard Demolition (2020)
  • Marion: Hard surface overlay through Legion and Thomas Parks (2020–2021)
  • Marion: Bridge over Indian Creek rehabilitation (2020–2021)
  • Marion: New bridge over Marion Boulevard with art component (2021)
  • Marion: 33rd Street Drive SE to Highway 100 connection (2022+)

Grant Wood Trail — West

Click photo to enlarge.

  • Cedar Rapids: Connection between Council Street to existing trail east of C Avenue, including Blairs Ferry Road NE underpass (2021).
  • Marion: Bridge over Marion Boulevard Demolition (2020)
  • Marion: Bridge over Indian Creek rehabilitation (2020–2021)
  • Marion: New bridge over Marion Boulevard with art component (2021)
  • The trail will eventually connect from the Cedar Valley Nature Trail at Hwy. 100 to the Grant Wood Trail in Marion and beyond.
  • Linn County Trails Association provided $75,000 in funding for the design of a connection between Council Street NE, beside the active rail corridor, and to the existing Cedar Valley Nature Trail. The Association’s advocacy was crucial in establishing right of way acquisition from Rockwell Collins (now Collins Aerospace) and moving the project forward quickly.

Grant Wood Trail — East

Click photo to enlarge.

  • Marion: Land acquisitions are complete for the Marion Central Corridor project. The project will facilitate a bicycle and pedestrian connection between Uptown Marion and 31st Street, where the Grant Wood Trail picks back up and heads east into Linn County. Grading work will start in 2020 with pavement likely in 2021.
  • Linn County: Work continues to fill the gap between Oxley Road and Creekside Road, adjacent to Secrist Road. (estimated 2021–2022).
  • The Iowa DOT is working on an intersection improvement at Springville Road and US-151. The improvement is anticipated to include trail accommodations allowing for a connection from Springville to the Grant Wood Trail.
  • Future improvements to the trail will connect eastward to Martelle in Jones County. Vision plans for the trail connect Cedar Rapids to the Mississippi River.
  • Linn County Trails Association purchased the rail right of way and have a long history of preserving the trail for use. The Association gifted the trail to Linn County in 2005.

Highway 100 Trail (Linn County)

Click photo to enlarge.

  • Construction on the trail through Morgan Creek Park is possible this Fall and Winter (2020–2021).
  • Construction on the trail from 42nd Street, next to Xavier High School, and onto the Cedar River’s edge should begin next year (2021).
  • A route study is underway for the connection between Morgan Creek Park and Covington (2022+).
  • The trail will continue from Covington to the Biechler Bridge, which will connect both segments of trail on either side of the Cedar River. This will be the last phase of the project to see completion.
  • Linn County Trails Association provided $100,000 in funding to accelerate the design component of the trail between Xavier High School and the Cedar River’s edge. LCTA also provided $25,000 in funding to accelerate the trail component through Morgan Creek Park.

Edgewood Trail (Cedar Rapids)

Click photo to enlarge.

  • Extension from Ellis Road NW to Cedar River bridge (2020).
  • Connection between Blairs Ferry Road NE and North River Boulevard NE (2021).
  • Future phases will extend the width of the trail on the Edgewood Road bridge over Cedar River; complete the gaps between the Cedar River and Blairs Ferry Road; and fill in the gap between O Avenue NE and 33rd Street SW. No timeline is defined for these phases.
  • Linn County Trails Association championed the prioritization of the connection from Glass Road NE, over the Cedar River and to the Ellis Trail. This project will move forward quickly thanks to the Association’s advocacy.

Cherokee Trail

Click photo to enlarge.

  • Cedar Rapids: Connection between Morgan Creek Park and Cherry Hill Park (2020).
  • Linn County: The trail will continue north into Morgan Creek Park. Construction on this segment is possible this Fall and Winter (2020–2021).
  • Cedar Rapids: On-street facility between Cherry Hill Park and Jacolyn Park (2021).
  • Cedar Rapids: Connection between Jacolyn Park, through Cedar Hills and Cherokee Parks, to Edgewood Road (2021).
  • Future phases of this trail will wind along E and F Avenues NW, ultimately landing at the edge of the Cedar River and the Ellis Trail.

Cedar Valley Nature Trail — North (Linn County)

  • Grants are secured for hard surface treatment on the trail from Center Point through Urbana. Construction could start late this year or early next (2020–2021).

Other Projects

Indian Creek Trail (Marion)

  • This trail will connect the Boyson Trail in Marion to Tower Terrace Road along Indian Creek. Letting for bids is likely to occur in early 2021, with construction to follow.

10th Avenue Sidepaths (Marion)

  • This project will add multiuse paths to both sides of 10th Avenue, from 35th Street to Eagleview Drive.
  • Letting for bids is likely to occur early 2021, with construction to follow.

MISD/Safe Routes to Schools Trail (Marion)

  • This project will utilize vacant railroad right of way to connect Marion High School with elementary, intermediate, and middle schools on a 10-foot sidepath.
  • Project was let for bids in March 2020 with a late construction start date of July this year. The first phase utilizes former railroad right of way to get from Vernon Middle School to the east side of 15th Street, then south to the intersection with 3rd Avenue. https://www.cityofmarion.org/home/showdocument?id=12574 PG 87

On-street Bikeways (Cedar Rapids)

  • 3rd Avenue SE Protected Bike Lanes, 5th Street SE to 8th Street SE (2020)
  • 12th Avenue SE/Coe Road NE One-way Bikeway from 4th Avenue SE to E Avenue NE (2020)
  • 13th Street SE/College Dr NE One-way Bikeway from 3rd Avenue SE to E Avenue NE (2020)
  • Center Point Road NE Bikeway from J Avenue NE to 29th Street NE (2020)
  • Bowling Street SW Bike Lanes, 50th Avenue SW to Wilson Avenue SW (2020)
  • O Avenue NW Bikeway from 16th Street NW to Edgewood Road (2021)
  • 6th Street SW Bikeway from 33rd Avenue SW to Wilson Avenue SW (2021)
  • 12 Avenue SE Bikeway from 7th Street SE to 17th Street SE (2021)
  • Center Point Road NE Bikeway from Coe Road NE to H Avenue NE (2021)
  • Bowling Street SW Bike Lanes, 33rd Avenue SW to Wilson Avenue SW (2021)
  • Oakland Road NE Bike Lanes, Center Street NE to Regent Street NE (2021)
  • 8th Avenue SW Bike Lanes, 15th Street SW to Rockford Road SW (2021)
Categories : Updates
Comments (0)

The Trail Counters are Back

All 12 trail counters have been reinstalled on the Metro Trail System after a long cold winter. Linn County Trails Association maintains the counters and collects data to measure usage of the trails. We us this data to encourage the cities and the County to maintain the trails and to build more trails!

The trail counters are the blue or brown posts on either side of the trail and a 6 digit number is displayed at the top of one of the posts. Please read the count and send it to LCTA from your smart phone. Just go to the LCTA web page:


The location name of the counter is on the post sign.  Enter the 6 digit number displayed at the top of the post. Date and time that you send in the report are reported automatically so do not enter date and time unless you have written down the count and are reporting it later. Wave you had over the beam to assure the count increments and report “counter is not working” if it doesn’t so we will know to replace the batteries.

You can download a free QR Reader from Google Play or Apple that will automatically go to the trailcount website and enter the counter location. All you need to do is enter the 6 digit number. Another option is to just save the URL “linncountytrail.org/trailcount” on your phone home page.

It’s time to get out and walk, run, skate, or bike! Whenever you pass a trail counter, please stop and report the count.  In doing so you will be helping get more and better trails!

Click here for a map of the trail counter locations


Categories : Updates
Comments (0)

February 2019 Board Meeting Canceled

Due to the poor weather conditions, the board meeting scheduled for Monday, February 11, 2019 has been CANCELED.

All board meetings are open to the public. The next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 11, 2019.

Categories : Updates
Comments (0)

Winter Trail Counters

LCTA maintains 12 trail counters on the Metro Trail system. We remove the counter electronics in the winter from most of the locations but we maintain the counters at five locations which are:

  • Boyson Trail, Marion
  • Sac & Fox Trail, East Post Road
  • Lindale Trail, near C Ave NE
  • Cedar River Trail near McCloud Run
  • Cedar Lake Loop Trail

Please make an effort to read and report these counts whenever you can. When you send a report, please enter your initials in the Comments field. Be sure to report problems with the counters including readability of the display. We are attempting to improve the visibility of the display.

Perhaps the easiest way to report the counts is to put the link linncountytrails.org/trailcount on your cell phone home page. You can also load a QR app on your phone to read the QR code on the counter post. This will automatically load the counter location.  If instead you click the trailcount link you will have to select the location from a drop down list. The location number and name are displayed on the counter post. In either case, do not bother with entering date and time because your phone will automatically insert the current date and time. Date and time entries are needed if you write the counts down on paper and report them later from home.

Thank you  for help with this important task. Trail usage records are used to justify the need for more trails and maintenance of current trails. Trail useage records for the last 14 years are available at https://linncountytrails.org/maps/trail-usage/

Categories : Updates
Comments (0)

The Linn County Solid Waste Agency has rescheduled the grand opening of the Mount Trashmore trails to Thursday September 13th at Noon.  They warn that event parking would could be limited, so it might be best to ride the trail from Sokol Park, or from another trail head to the event at 2250 A Street SW.  The entrance is located next to the Cedar River trail, just past Sokol Park.  Their website has great information about this event, and has a map of the three trails that will be opened for use.  The access to these trails will vary daily depending on weather, trail conditions and landfill maintenance.

For more information, please visit:  

Categories : Events, Trails
Comments (0)

Trails are Open

The weather is warming and it is time to get out on the trails for another season!

Linn County Trails Association works to promote trails, trail maintenance and construction of new trails. An important means of doing this is by measuring trail usage to demonstrate demand for more and better trails. We need you to read and report the trail counts. Trail counters are at 12 locations within the Metro trail system as listed below. The counters may be recognized by two brown or blue posts located across from each other. The tallest post has a window on the top with a 6 digit display of the accumulated count. Simply record and report the number.

The easiest way to report a trail count is with a smart phone while at the trail counter location. Type into your browser linncountytrails.org/trailcount and fill in the form. The counter location is shown on the post and date and time are automatically recorded when reporting at the counter. If you store the trailcount URL link on your home page, you can save the effort of retyping it every time. Alternatively, you can also install a free QR code reader on your phone and read the QR code on the post to automatically bring up the form and chose the counter location. These instructions are also on the counter post.

While you are reporting, please run a test to verify that the counter is working, by slowly waving your hand across the beam between the two post and verify that the count increments. There is a check box on the reporting form for “counter is not working”. We do struggle  to keep  fresh batteries in the counters.

 Last year saw completion of Cedar Valley Nature Trail paving through Center Point which was supported by a $103,000 donation from LCTA. This year we are working to a) support funding for an extension of the Lindale Trail to connect the Cedar River Trail and b) support engineering planning for the Hwy 100 Trail near Xavier High School going towards the Cedar River and eventually across the river at the old railroad bridge pilings downstream from the Hwy 100 bridge. Through demonstrated trail usage and financial contributions from LCTA supporters, we can speed up the development of these trails.

Thank you
Linn County Trails Association

Categories : Updates
Comments (0)

Anderson Bogert is hosting a public open house to share details of the planned improvements design requested by Linn County Conservation to the Grant Wood Trail from Highway 13 east to Oxley Road.  The open house will have no formal presentation.  The meeting will be held on March 6th from 4:30 to 6:00pm at the Red Cedar Lodge, 1700 Big Bluestem Dr. in Marion (Located in Squaw Creek Park).  

Here is a description of the improvements: 
The project consists of improvements to the trail surface and adjacent drainage ditches throughout this 3 ¼ mile trail segment. The segment from Hwy 13 to Waldo’s Rock Park will be paved with concrete and will provide a connection to the park. The remaining segment easterly to Oxley Road will be have a limestone granular surface and a wider turf shoulder along the north side. The elevation of the trail will be adjusted to allow for side ditches to promote adequate drainage flow. Construction is scheduled for the latter half of 2018. After construction,some of the open areas will be reseeded with a prairie mix and trees will be planted.

Categories : Events
Comments (1)