Places to Run
The Hoover Nature Trail, West Branch, IA section
The Hoover Nature Trail is an old railroad bed that follows the old Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad route between Burlington and Cedar Rapids. Only portions of the trail are completed for recreational use.
Location: West Branch, IA to Oasis, IA
Mileage: 3.5 miles (one way) You have to start near Main St in West Branch and run to Oasis Rd.
Terrain: The part in the city limits of West Branch is chip and seal, and the parts in the county are maintained crushed rock. One highway crossing and one gravel road crossing. Trail shoes are not necessary.
Elevation: FLAT! no hills
Scenery: Trees and farm land line the trail. Depending on the year you can find corn or soybeans planted next to the trail. Small creek runs alongside in parts with a few bridge crossings.
Maintenance: The City of West Branch & the County Conservation Board maintains the trail(plus volunteers.) The sides are mowed, tree limbs are cut away, a grader will touch up the rock periodically. There is no winter maintenance, you get to make your own way in the snow/ice
Markings: At one time mile markers were on the trails, but have been damaged over the years. There are gates to keep vehicles off the trail. Random signs for horses to stay off to the side.
Features: Peaceful! While the trail sees a lot of usage you might be the only one out there. There is an outhouse style bathroom near Oasis. There is no fee to use this trail. There are some benches placed in random spots.
Personal notes: This is a great flat trail that’s easy on the body. The start is close to where I work, so I am able to #runch easily.