Not all unsafe trail conditions may be listed..
TrailAlerts TrailAlerts
The Cedar Valley Lakes Trail along Gateway Park and the Cedar River will be closed starting September 11, 2023 for up to one year for the construction of the Cedar River Recreational Project. Follow detour signs to bypass this area.
Date Posted
280 days ago
Park Avenue bridge replacement project. Detour signs will be posted.
Date Posted
720 days ago
Shaulis Road Trail is closed at Hess Road/La Porte road intersection.
Date Posted
885 days ago
Bridge construction at 11th Street, trails closed both sides of river under the bridge
Date Posted
598 days ago
Paved Trail

Big Woods Trail

2.5 mi
20 min
Greenway, Urban
Route Type
Trail Details
Type: Nature Trail
State: Iowa
Counties: Black Hawk
Category: Greenway

Big Woods Trail

Big Woods Trail runs from the Cedar Valley Lakes trail on the south end at Gateway Park to the Lone Tree Road Trail at the northern end and loops around Big Woods Lake for about a mile and a half.

Check out the Big Woods Trail Loop for a loop that includes this trail. Starting at Gateway Park, enjoy a wooded ride around Big Woods Lake. Head up to Lone Tree Road Trail and along open spaces and residential areas, then over to the Cedar Valley Lakes Trail and the forested bank of the Cedar River, past Cottage Row's homes and Island Park on your return to downtown Cedar Falls.

This loop utilizes the Big Woods Lake Trail, Lone Tree Road Trail and Cedar Valley Lakes Trail.

Big Woods Trail

Big Woods Lake Campground is located at 1501 East Lake Street, Cedar Falls.

From Highway 218: Take exit 189 for Lone Tree Rd, turn west onto Lone Tree Rd & take the 1st left onto Big Woods Rd, then turn left at E Lake St, the campground will be on the right.

You can park at the Big Woods Lake Recreation Area. There’s one parking area off Lake Road, at the top of the trail loop. The southern parking lot can be accessed by taking Main Street north to Big Woods Road. The lot is at the end of the road.

The Big Woods Lake Recreation area provides a myriad of outdoor recreation opportunities including access to the metropolitan recreation trail system, boating, fishing, hiking, disc golf, camping, and picnicking and the Cedar Falls Rotary Club's 10-acre prairie restoration. The remaining park grounds consist of floodplain-associated woodlands and wetland areas interlaced with small lakes, which were once old quarries and are now used for fishing.

For more information regarding campground reservations, contact Black Hawk County Conservation Office at (319) 433-7275.

You can rent a kayak or paddle board to enjoy a leisurely paddle on the lake, watch eagles hunting, or play a round of disc golf.

Camping - The 12-acre site holds 55 RV campsites, three permanent cabins, tent camping, hard surface roadways and wireless internet service. 

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Trail Activities

What you can do





Roller Skating

Nearby Amenities

Useful features & facilities




RV Hookups

Wheelchair Accessible


Bicycle Repair Stations


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Connecting Trails

Cedar Valley Lakes Trail

The trail runs from Black Hawk Park in northern Cedar Falls, through Waterloo, all the way to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail.

Lone Tree Road Trail

Need to get from Big Woods Park to Black Hawk Park? This two-mile trail makes it easy to travel between the two parks.


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