Bike enthusiasts everywhere just wait for spring to arrive so they can get out and enjoy the bike trails available to area riders. The Cedar Valley Nature Trail in Eastern Iowa is considered by many to be one of the more scenic routes, especially a stretch of the trail that runs in Buchanan County.
Unfortunately, over the last few years, this eight mile stretch of the trail, including 4.4 miles adjacent to Brandon, has fallen into a sad state. Many bikers choose to turn around and head back the way they came rather than navigate this rough portion of the trail.
In January, Buchanan County Conservation officer Dan Cohen met with a group of concerned citizens in Brandon to outline a rejuvenation project that will begin this summer to rehabilitate the trail. The section of the trail beginning at Carter Avenue, west of Brandon, and ending near the Benton/Buchanan County line will undergo a complete face lift. The trail will be widened back to ten feet with two foot shoulders. The overgrowth of trees and vegetation will be cleared and the trail excavated so that a new four inch granular sub-base topped with two inches of ag lime can be put in place. The cost of the project is estimated at $125,820 and work is scheduled to begin on August 1.
Buchanan County has been asked to raise approximately $12,500 by July 1, 2014, with the city of Brandon, its residents and local groups and organizations, have set a goal of raising $5,000 of the $12,500 Buchanan County is expected to contribute to the project. To date, the City of Brandon, the Lime Creek Fish & Game Club and the Brandon Area Community Club have both already pledged their financial support with generous donations to the fund. There are also donation jars at the Brandon Kwik Stop, Phat Alberts Sports Bar and PnB’s Brew Pub in La Portye City, for those who would like to help the cause.
The Cedar Valley Nature Trail is an important attraction for the towns and communities in its path. In addition to being a family-friendly activity that promotes an active lifestyle, trail traffic has an impact on local businesses and promotes tourism. This ripple effect is felt from one end of the trail to the other. Once the Buchanan county stretch of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail has been rehabilitated, it will, once again, be usable and attractive from beginning to end.
For additional information about the fundraising efforts or to make a donation, contact Guy Stacy at 319-721-0754 or Angie McFarland at 319-239-7719.