A healthy diet is only one key to living a longer, healthier life. You also need to get moving. Residents of the Blue Zones, those places on earth where people live the longest, get a lot of natural movement in their daily lives. Resolve to spend a half-hour walking every day in 2012. For a compelling argument why, watch the video below. Then put on your walking shoes, grab a buddy – be it your dog, a family member or a friend – and hit one of the many walking trails in and around Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
For a shorter stroll
Nixon Park Trail: .75 mile through Nixon Park, Northwood Drive and Nixon Drive NE, Hiawatha
Noelridge Park Trail: .8 mile loop around Noelridge Park, 4900 Council Street NE, Cedar Rapids
Cherry Hill Trail: .825 mile around Cherry Hill Park, Plainview Drive and Cherry Hill NW, Cedar Rapids
Cherokee Trail: 1 mile around Cherokee Park, located at Johnson Avenue and Midway Drive NW, Cedar Rapids
CEMAR Trail: 1 mile round trip along an abandoned railway between Prairie Drive and 29th Street NE, Cedar Rapids
For a moderate walk
Cedar Lake Loop Trail: 1.6 mile loop around Cedar Lake. Park at 855 Shaver Road NE, Cedar Rapids
Prairie Park Fishery Loop: 1.7 mile loop around Prairie Park Lake. Park at Prairie Park Fishery, 2125 Otis Road SE, Cedar Rapids
Boyson Trail: 2.4 miles each way following Indian Creek through Marion, connecting Boyson Park on Marion’s northwest side to Hannah Park in the south. Park at Boyson Park, 975 Boyson Road, Marion, or Hanna Park, 775 Fairview Drive, Marion
Ellis Trail: 2.6 miles each way along the west bank of the Cedar River to downtown Cedar Rapids. Park at Ellis Park, 916 Ellis Boulevard NW, Cedar Rapids
Hoover Trail: 2.7 miles each way from the end of the Cedar River Trail at 76th Street SW, Cedar Rapids, to downtown Ely
For an advanced trek (mileage is one-way)
Grant Wood Trail: 3.25 miles on an old railway bed from Highway 13 in Marion to Oxley Road
North Liberty Recreational Trail: 3.3 miles between the Fox Run Subdivision and Forevergreen Road in North Liberty, connecting to the Coralville Trail. Park at the Community Center, 520 West Cherry Street, North Liberty
Solon-Lake McBride Recreation Trail: 5.3 miles from Solon to Lake McBride State Park
Sac and Fox Trail: 7.2 miles following Cedar River and Indian Creek through southeast Cedar Rapids
Cedar River Trail: 12.6 miles through Cedar Rapids from Blairsferry Road NE to 76th Avenue SW, linking the Cedar Valley Nature Trail with the Hoover Trail. Park at McLoud Run Place NE or Tait Cummins Park SW
Cedar Valley Nature Trail: 52 miles connecting Hiawatha with Evansdale, near Waterloo, traveling through a number of small Iowa towns.
Other great area hiking
There are approximately 20 miles of trails located around Coralville Lake, including
- Squire Point and Woodpecker trail systems: 5 mile network accessed from the Linder Point Recreation Area on West Overlook Road.
- Tailwater Riverwalk: .66 mile barrier-free trail follows the Iowa River south of the Coralville Lake Dam. Park on Tailwater West Camp Road.
- Cedar Valley Trail: 1.35 miles from Sugar Bottom Campground past Indian Cave. Park on Sugar Bottom Road.
Palisades-Kepler State Park: 6 miles of trails, including the 1.34 mile Cedar Cliff Trail along the bluffs of the Cedar River and the .73 mile Cool Hollow Trail. 700 Kepler Drive, Mount Vernon
F.W. Kent Park: 9.5 miles of trails, including the 3.5 mile East Loop Trail through wetlands and native plantings and the 1.4 mile Lake Trail around the picturesque 27-acre lake. Several historic country road bridges have been relocated to Kent Park and are utilized throughout the trail system. Located 3 miles west of Tiffin on Highway 6.
Pinicon Ridge Park: 12.5 miles of trails over diverse terrain, from the .75 mile Woodpecker Hill Trail to the 4 mile White Oak Trail. On the east side of the park, enjoy picturesque views of the Wapsipinicon River valley on the Flying Squirrel Trail. Located just west of Central City off Highway 13.
Did you know?
Cedar Rapids has applied to be a Blue Zones community. The Iowa Blues Zones Project will pick 10 communities across the state to receive expert assistance in transforming their environments to increase residents’ physical, emotional, and social health. One of the selection criteria is the level of community support for the project.
Sign the pledge to make Cedar Rapids a Blue Zone.