A great review by John Molseed (source)
The 18th annual Cedar Trails Fest this weekend had events for multiple types of users, including four-legged ones. Pet Fest joined the trail festival at Gateway Park Saturday in Cedar Falls. Trainers, breeders and groomers were at the park along with dozens of people and pets.
Brittney Gish, of the Cedar Bend Humane Society, said she uses the trail to help her German Shorthaired Pointer get exercise he needs.
“He requires a lot of exercise to keep him healthy,” she said. “On a lot of days, we’ll do 20, 25, 30 miles. The trails here are awesome for that.”
Larry Buchholz, chairman of Cedar Trails Festival, said part of the point of the festival is to display their range of uses and the variety of the people who use the trails.
“We have a lot of outdoor-oriented people in Waterloo and Cedar Falls,” he said.
What makes the more than 110 miles of paved trails in the area distinct are the looping trails that can bring users to their destination and back via different routes.
“That’s pretty unique,” Buchholz said. “People can ride whatever length they want and not see the same trail.”
The weather was perfect for the festival’s most popular event, the night ride.
Earlier Saturday, riders took a tour of the unpaved portions of the trail system with the annual dirty ride. Members of the Cedar Valley Association of Soft Trails guided riders on the dirt trails from Mulligan’s Saturday afternoon.
“It’s a good way to explore those trails,” said Brent Johnson, Bike Tech owner, “It’s good to have someone going who knows the trails and how to get there.”
CVAST members worked tirelessly to prepare the trails for the event. Much of the soft trail system was flooded earlier this year. Once the water receded many of the trails were covered with debris. This event and an upcoming mountain bike race next weekend spurred CVAST volunteers into activity.
Although the trail festival has been traditionally held in August, organizers have decided to move the event to June next year.
Buchholz said the move would likely boost attendance. Planners have scheduled the festival for June 13 and 14, Father’s Day weekend.