Iowa City is located in eastern Iowa along the Iowa River. Combined with Cedar Rapids, the area has a population of 500,000. The area has very much a prairie feel, with large farms just outside the city. The University of Iowa is located just west of downtown. There’s some nice running in Iowa City, with numerous multi-use trails and several extensive parks. See also our running guide for Cedar Rapids.
The best place to run in Iowa City is to choose a section of the 16+ mile Iowa River Corridor Trail. In the southern part of the city, there are several parks that can be stitched together for a longer run, with a lake loop at Terry Trueblood Rec Area among the highlights. At the University of Iowa, there’s a great running track, cross country course, and connections to the nearly 10-mile Clear Creek/Tiffin Trails. We’ve also included several parks that feature easy to moderate trail running: Waterworks Prairie Park, Hickory Hill Park, F.W. Kent Park, & Lake Macbride State Park.
Runners should note that Iowa City’s winters are very cold, with high temperatures remaining below freezing. Summers, by contrast, are hot.