United States

Iowa City, IA

See Also Our Guide for Cedar Rapids

Flickr: Alan Light

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.

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Waterworks Prairie Park

Iowa City, IA

Waterworks Prairie Park, located in the northern part of Iowa City, is a pleasant spot for a run. The park features 3 miles of trails around ponds & prairies. Combine with a section of the Iowa River Trail for a longer run.

Iowa City has a humid continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Summer temps are hot, with highs in the mid-80s (29C), though nights do cool off. Runners should be prepared for the winter cold: January high temperatures are below freezing (27F), and nights are in the low teens (12F, -11C). Winters are fairly dry, with 27 inches of snow. Summer months feature lots of thunderstorms & downpours.

Source: NOAA

Good assortment of accommodations in downtown Iowa City, providing access to the Iowa River path. Also a cluster of hotels off Hwy 6 in Coralville, near Clear Creek Trail.


There are two main running stores in Iowa City.

Fitness Sports. In Coralville & three other locations in Iowa. They also organize several running races and host running groups.

We Run. In North Liberty. Group run info.


See link at We Run. Also running groups on Fitness Sports store link.




Area running event calendar, from Fitness Sports.