The Iowa River Corridor Trail is the centerpiece of running in Iowa City. Overall, the paved multi-use trail runs for 16+ miles — some sections are right along the Iowa River, and others are away from the river and connect to other trails. We’ve divided the trail into three sections, which can be combined. The most scenic sections are from downtown north and then taking the River Landing Spur; and from River Crossings Park through the Terry Youngblood Recreation Area.
Northern Section: Up to 11 miles one-way. Starting from downtown, head north on the west bank of the river, crossing to the east bank at Park Rd. (add-on: City Park). Then the trail runs alongside Dubuque St. away from the river for several miles, passing the World’s Largest Nickel & the Peace Sign (3 miles). Continue through North Liberty, passing Penn Meadows Park (8 miles), and then head east along Menarrey Bridge Rd. for 2 miles to the bridge that crosses the river.
River Landing Spur. 3.7 miles one-way. This is one of the most scenic sections. At Park Rd., instead of following Dubuque St., head through City Park for 1 mile. Then a brief road section, picking up the river again at Rocky Shore Dr. Continue to River Landing Park. It’s 3.7 miles. You can also rejoin the main Iowa River Trail at Dubuque by taking the pedestrian bridge over the river across from 5th St. and heading east for 2 miles.
Southern Section. 3 miles one-way, plus 1.9 mile loop around Terry Youngblood Recreation Area. Head south from downtown along the west bank of the river, paralleling Highway 6 for 1 mile. Cross to the east side at Benton St., continuing south on a scenic section through Riverfront Crossings Park & Napoleon Park, to the Terry Youngblood Recreation Area. This is the 3-mile mark. Here, there’s an optional ~2 mile loop around Sand Lake.