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  • Writer's pictureBobby Wise

Exploring Nature in the Corridor

When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, the Corridor in Eastern Iowa offers a wealth of opportunities. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a relaxing day in the fresh air, the Corridor has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the best things to do in nature and the outdoors across this picturesque region.


1. Indian Creek Nature Center (Cedar Rapids)

What to Expect: A beautiful escape with four miles of trails, the Indian Creek Nature Center immerses you in the local environment. Explore woodlands, wetlands, and prairies while learning about wildlife and conservation. Don’t miss the interactive exhibits and year-round events in the amphitheater.


2. Old MacDonald’s Farm in Bever Park (Cedar Rapids)

Family Fun: Bring the kids to Old MacDonald’s Farm to meet chickens, lambs, cattle, goats, and other friendly animals. Educational programs and seasonal events make this a delightful outdoor experience.


3. Cedar River Trail (Cedar Rapids)

Highlights: Cruise along this 12.6 mile scenic trail, which winds past Cedar Lake and the Cedar River. Enjoy seasonal vegetation, wildflowers, and glimpses of native wildlife. Perfect for running, walking, cycling, or rollerblading.


4. Palisades-Kepler State Park (Near Marion)

Outdoor Oasis: Rugged hiking trails, fishing spots along the Cedar River, and cozy cabins and campsites. Spend a night under the stars and reconnect with nature.


5. Cedar Valley Nature Trail (Hiawatha)

Former Railroad Bed: This 52 mile trail connects Hiawatha to other towns, offering scenic views and a chance to explore the countryside. Perfect for biking, walking, or jogging.


6. Coralville Lake (Coralville)

Outdoor Playground: Whether you’re into boating, fishing, hiking, or picnicking, Coralville Lake has it all. The serene waters and surrounding greenery make it a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike.


7. University of Iowa Arboretum (Iowa City)

Botanical Bliss: Explore diverse plant collections, serene walking paths, and themed gardens. The University of Iowa Arboretum is a peaceful oasis for nature lovers.


8. Wickiup Hill Learning Center (Toddville):

Admiring Nature: Interactive exhibits invite exploration and naturalists lead educational programs. Visitors of all ages can enjoy a variety of features, including an educational nature center with a hallway showcasing various habitats and exhibits, diverse programs and classes,  bird and wildlife viewing areas, interpretive trails, an observation deck, a wetland boardwalk, prairie landscapes, woodland and savanna habitats, insights into Native American history, cross- country skiing trails, and a nature playscape.


9. Terry Trueblood Recreation Area (Iowa City):

Outdoor fun: Venture to Iowa City’s Terry Trueblood Recreation Area for a day of outdoor fun along the shores of Sand Lake. Kayak or paddleboard across the serene waters, cast your line for some fishing, or simply unwind with a lakeside picnic.


10. Iowa River Landing Wetland Park (Coralville):

Wildlife: Nature enthusiasts will find joy in exploring the Iowa River Landing Wetland Park, an urban oasis teeming with biodiversity. Stroll along elevated boardwalks, observe native wildlife, and immerse yourself in the beauty of restored wetlands.


Whether you’re strolling through a nature center, pedaling along a scenic trail, or enjoying the tranquility of a lakeside retreat, the Corridor invites you to embrace the outdoors. So pack your hiking boots, grab your binoculars, and let the natural beauty of this region captivate you!

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