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
253 days ago
Park Avenue bridge replacement project. Detour signs will be posted.
Date Posted
693 days ago
Shaulis Road Trail is closed at Hess Road/La Porte road intersection.
Date Posted
858 days ago
Bridge construction at 11th Street, trails closed both sides of river under the bridge
Date Posted
571 days ago
Paved Trail

Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Trail

3.5 mi
30 min
Urban, there-and-back
Route Type
Trail Details
Type: Paved Trail
State: Iowa
Counties: Black Hawk
Category: Urban

Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Trail

Built along the side of the roadway, the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Trail takes you from outside the heart of Waterloo's urban riverside area into acres of beautiful, open Iowa farmland, providing a total shift in scenery over the course of its three and a half miles. The concrete trail runs parallel to the road for the entire duration. The road is mainly used as a route for trucks to reach the large distribution centers on the eastern end, but that doesn't distract from the gorgeous landscape surrounding the trail.

Beginning at the the west end, the trail starts just past the high school track-and-field area on Vine Street and then quickly ascends to a bridge over the railroad tracks on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. A short spur leads off to a neighborhood to the north (giving residents there a convenient means of getting across the barrier created by the railroad tracks), but the main trail follows the road to the east. Homes and buildings quickly thin out as you continue on the trail, and before you know it, you'll be surrounded by sparsely wooded farmland.

Another side path on Bishop Avenue intersects the trail from the south, which will take you to Independence Avenue. The main trail comes to an end near where some of the city's largest factories and distribution centers are located. There is not really much for trail users to do on this end except to turn back around.

The nature of the trail makes it perfect for runners and cyclists looking for some good outdoor mileage on pretty flat terrain, and it even offers surprisingly good views for an urban side path trail.

The trail doesn't directly connect to other trails (Yet!), but with care, city streets can take you to the Cedar Valley Lakes Trail and the rest of the Cedar Valley Trail System.

Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Trail

No parking is available at the eastern end of the trail. The western end of the trail does not have dedicated parking, but the parking lot for the high school is located right next to the start of the trail on Vine Street; be sure to follow any posted parking signs. Vine Street is located just off of Walnut Street on the eastern side of the river in Waterloo.

Trail Activities

What you can do





Roller Skating


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