From Sea - to Cedar Rapids - to Shining Sea

Apr 17, 2019

The American Discovery Trail is a 6,800+ mile cross country trail that encapsulates the diverse, beautiful environments of the United States: mountains, forests, deserts, prairies, charming small towns and bustling urban cities. Beginning in Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware and ending in Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California, the American Discovery Trail spans from sea (Atlantic Ocean) to shining sea (Pacific Ocean). Nestled halfway between the two coasts, in the heart of our nation, is Cedar Rapids.

The American Discovery Trail was formed in the early 1990s by the American Hiking Society and Backpacker Magazine. They envisioned a route for hikers across the U.S. that utilized existing trails, avoided dangerous highways and included historic and unique places. Originally, the trail did not go through Iowa. The Midwestern section instead went through southern Illinois, Missouri and Kansas. Thanks in part to former Nebraska Congressman Doug Bereuter, a northern route was added shortly after the trail's creation. The northern route goes through northern Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska before joining back with the original trail in Colorado.

When planning the northern route, Cedar Rapids came on planners’ radar for a few reasons. First, Cedar Rapids is near the Hoover Nature Trail and the Cedar Valley Nature Trail cuts right through the city. Second, the city is in close proximity to the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum and Cedar Rapids is home to the National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library. Cedar Rapids' section of the American Discovery Trail enters on the south part of town, hops on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail through the Czech Village/New Bohemia District and Downtown Cedar Rapids, and heads north towards Center Point.

Inclusion in the American Discovery Trail is special. It presents exciting opportunity to draw wider attention to our region and create a distinctive experience for residents and visitors, some of which are in planning phases now. In the meantime, find out more about the American Discovery Trail on their website,

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