Local Summer Fun: Mount Trashmore

Climbing a hill that hold 6 million tons of the town’s garbage may not sound super appealing at first, but trust me. It is definitely a fun, family experience. Mount Trashmore is located downtown Cedar Rapids and has great views of the city. In fact, at an elevation of 948 feet, it is one of the highest points in Cedar Rapids.

Mount TrashmoreWhy we loved climbing Mount Trashmore:

-It’s clean! When you are bringing kids anywhere, it is always a bonus to find clean bathrooms, water and picnic areas.

-There are different trail options based on how much hiking you want to do. We took the easy Overlook Trail up the mountain. Then we walked the more “adventurous” Stumptown Trail down. My kids did totally fine on both trails and enjoyed the walk!

-It’s educational, and NOT just all about garbage. We learned about some of the early settlers in the Cedar Rapids area, composting, and how Mount Trashmore was built. There were informational signs posted all along the trail.

Things to know about Mount Trashmore:

-You can bring dogs! They do need to be on a leash at all times.

-Checking in at Recreation Building 948 is required, but it was a very simple process at a kiosk. Building 948 is also where the restrooms, water stations and bike repair station are.

-Biking is also allowed on certain trails. The “biking only” trail looked to hard for kids in my opinion. The Overlook Trail is simple enough for kids that are comfortable biking on gravel.

-Check the weather before you go, the trails can be closed if weather is bad. You can find out on their website, but if the recreation building is closed, the trails are also closed.

-The trails connect to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail so you can add it on to a longer bike ride if you’d like.

All in all, we had a great time at Mount Trashmore and I think it’s something everyone should add to their summer list of things to do. The scenic overlook of the city was so pretty. We packed a picnic and stayed for awhile while our kids did some laps around the 1/8 mile Trail 948 in front of the recreation building. Have you been to Mount Trashmore?


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Jessica is a mom of four (3 energetic boys and 1 little girl) who moved back to Iowa after living eleven years in Phoenix, Arizona. Jessica is a former teacher and former co-owner of Scottsdale Moms who has spent time as a working mom, a work-from-home mom, and now a stay at home mom. Her favorite things are crocheting gifts for loved ones, spending mornings at local coffee shops with friends, getting outside for a family bike ride or run, and enjoying a good book.

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