After several months of construction and final touches, the Cedar Valley Nature Trail paving project from Schultz Road to Ash Lane in Center Point is complete.
Linn County Trails Association and Linn County Conservation will join to hold a public ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebratory trail excursion, beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 12, 2017 at the Center Point Depot Museum, 700 E. Washington St, Center Point, IA. Rain or shine, guests are encouraged to bike to the event.
The Cedar Valley Nature Trail opened to the public in 1983. Linn County Trails Association’s 2015 Capital Campaign raised more than $100,000 toward the asphalt and concrete surfacing project. A plaque at the train depot in Center Point displays the names of donors and organizations that contributed to the project. The total project cost was $1.36 million, including major funding from Linn County Conservation and $600,000 from the Iowa Department of Transportation’s State Recreational Trails Grant.
Event organizers say the Pave-the-Trail campaign was a milestone in success. “We’d never before taken on a fundraising initiative of this size,” said LCTA president Tom Peffer. “We were overwhelmed by the support. We couldn’t have done it without the help of our generous LCTA members and donors.”
Both groups’ efforts continue to help close the 22-mile gap in hard surface along the trail, from Center Point to La Porte City. Linn County Conservation is already working to pave the trail to the Linn County line, having just replaced a bridge over West Blue Creek. A bridge replacement over East Blue Creek is tentatively scheduled for next year, which will allow for hard surfacing to continue to Urbana.
The Cedar Valley Nature Trail connects nearly 70 miles from Cedar Falls to Ely on a mix of soft and hard surfaces. It is one of the nation’s oldest rail-trails, and an important segment on the American Discovery Trail, which will eventually connect the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco to the Atlantic Ocean in Delaware.