The paths along the Cedar River are among the best places to run in Cedar Rapids. There are several miles of paved multi-use paths along the river, with nice water views. We’ve divided the route into two sections.
North Section: Ellis Trail. Starting at 8th Ave SE near downtown, the Ellis Trail runs along the west side of the Cedar River for 3.6 miles north to Manhattan/Robbins Lake Park. The paved path parallels 1st St. NW and then Ellis Blvd., passing Ellis Park. There are nice water views. At Manhattan/Robbins Lake Park, there are a couple of miles of scenic trails along the river and around Robbins Lake.
South Section: Cedar River Trail. Combine the Ellis Trail with the Cedar River trail for an even longer run along the river! Starting at the Tree of Five Seasons downtown, the paved path follows the east bank of the river for 1 mile south, then crosses the 16th Ave. bridge to the west bank, continuing south. Near the 4-mile mark at Tait Cummins Memorial Park, the path leaves the riverfront and continues for up to 6 more miles to Ely. Note: south of Hoover Park, the path is called the Cedar Valley Nature Trail.
- Ellis Trail: 3.6 miles (5.8 km) one-way; Cedar River Trail: up to 9.8 miles (15.8 km) one-way (~4 miles are along the river)
- Ellis Trail: 110 feet, one-way headed north; Cedar River Trail: 327 feet, one-way headed south
- Ellis Trail: 8th Ave. SE; Cedar River Trail: Downtown @Tree of Five Seasons