Get outdoors! Best Places to Walk Your Dog in Eastern Iowa
If you haven’t walked your dog at these Cedar Rapids locations, you’re missing out
When you (or your energetic pup) are itching to get out of your neighborhood walk routine, take a quick trip to one of these Cedar Rapids area destinations. The city and surrounding area is filled with gorgeous open parks, rustic wooded paths, and hard-surfaced trails that are fantastic for a local adventure with your trusty companion(s).
Bever Park (City of Cedar Rapids)
2700 Bever Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403
With its huge open green spaces, plentiful trails, and towering trees right in the middle of Cedar Rapids, Bever Park is a longtime favorite of Cedar Rapids dog owners – especially because it’s within walking distance for many Southeast siders. Keep in mind this park also features a swimming pool and playground and is very popular with children and families, so this is a great choice for well-socialized dogs.
Palisades Kepler State Park
700 Kepler Drive, Mount Vernon, IA 52314
Palisades is arguably the number one hiking destination in the Cedar Rapids area – and it’s also an adventurous place to walk your dog. While it’s not in city limits, its six miles of winding trails and sweeping views of the Cedar River from wooded, rocky bluffs make it worth the drive. When you arrive, follow the park road back as far as it goes, until you reach the parking lot and picnic area along the river, and use the adjacent trailhead to access the most scenic section of trail.
Cedar Valley Nature Trail (Linn County)
Parking lot and restrooms at the intersection of Boyson Road and Kainz Drive, Cedar Rapids
This paved/crushed limestone trail runs 51 miles between Cedar Rapids and Waterloo, and it’s a great place for walking, jogging or biking with your dog. The landscape varies between tree-lined and shaded to open country hillside to urban, and there are shaded benches for water breaks. Make sure to be aware of quickly moving bike traffic – this trail gets fairly busy in the peak season. (Boyson Road north to the Grubbs Creek Bridge north of Center Point are hard surfaced with asphalt [concrete in town]).
Indian Creek Nature Center (Nonprofit)
5300 Otis Rd SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403
This gem on the SE side of Cedar Rapids is only 10 minutes from downtown, but once you enter the hilly woodland trails, it feels like you’re far away from everything among the solitude and peace of nature. Five miles of well-groomed trails through prairie and woods and around wetlands provide a diverse landscape for your exploring pleasure. You can enter from the City’s Sac and Fox trail next to Indian Creek, or from the Nature Center’s parking lot. Bonus: check out the exhibits in the Amazing Space building that opened in 2016, grab a trail map, use the restrooms, and fill Fido’s water bowl.
Morgan Creek Park (Linn County)
7517 Worchester Rd, Palo, IA 52324
This 303-acre park on the west side of the city features miles of trails through prairie and woods, the most scenic of them along the creek bed. There’s a gorgeous arboretum filled with crab apple blossoms in spring and bright changing maples in the fall, picnic areas and shelters, and even a drinking fountain with a dog bowl at the bottom. One of the biggest perks? You can always find solitude in some nook of the park – it’s rare that it’s very busy.
As a dog owner, you’re outside with Max or Sadie no matter the weather — make sure you’re ready for it with outdoor gear from SOKO Outfitters. We also carry convenient items for your good boy like leashes, dog sweaters, saddle packs, and this cute and functional Crumple Travel Bowl by Olly Dog.
At all locations, please remember to follow posted leash laws (a leash, maximum of six feet in length, is required by law in all City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, and Iowa state parks as well as at Indian Creek Nature Center) and to always clean up after your pet. If you want to let your dog run off-leash, check out the two off-leash dog parks below and learn more here.
1650 Cedar Bend Lane SW, Cedar Rapids, IA
K9 Acres at Squaw Creek Park
5200 Golf Course Rd, Marion, IA