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Cedar Valley Nature Trail


La Porte City
Eighth and Commercial

The nature trail that extends from La Porte City east to Brandon was originally the right-of-way of the Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Northern (WCF&N) Railroad, or the "Cedar Valley Road." The company was founded as a Waterloo horse car line in 1885. By 1914 it extended from Cedar Rapids to Waverly, with both freight and passenger service powered by electricity. Passengers could make the 60-mile trip from Waterloo to Cedar Rapids in 1917 in an hour and 45 minutes. Freight took approximately three hours over the same route.

The WCF& N continued its passenger service between Waterloo and Cedar Rapids until 1956. The company eventually became part of the Illinois Central Railroad, which later abandoned the track between Waterloo and Cedar Rapids.

Iowa Rails to Trails, Inc., a nonprofit corporation that acquires abandoned railroad right-of-ways and converts them to nature trails, has developed the 52-mile Cedar Valley Nature Trail. It extends from Evansdale to Hiawatha along the former WCF&N route.

Old Inter-Urban Trails, Inc. currently owns the 17-mile section of the trail from La Porte City to Brandon. The trail takes hikers and bikers along the Cedar River in an area of unusually diverse geology. Limestone bluffs, oxbow lakes, windblown sand deposits, and glacial boulders can all be seen along the route, as can many types of plant and animal life. The trail provides recreation for Iowans, as well as a glimpse into the natural history of the Cedar River Valley.

Click to Follow the Tour

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Link to historical sites in:

Cedar Falls | Waterloo | Evansdale | Gilbertville | La Porte City | Raymond | Hudson | Finchford/Janesville

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Last updated Wednesday, June 23, 2004

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