Iron Horse State Park is a 1,612-acre park that was once part of the path of the Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul-Pacific Railroad. More than 100 miles of trail extends from Cedar Falls to the Columbia River. High trestles provide spectacular views of the valley below.
Kristin D. on Cedar Butte Trail
The trail was not heavily trafficked, I only ran into one other group hiking it. The trail is quiet, with a steady climb. I agree with the previous reviewer that this should not be categorized as an easy hike. I am an experienced hiker and this was a moderate climb to the summit. The view from the top on a clear summer day is great! I enjoyed this trail for its seclusion and tree cover for a warm day.
This was a lovely trail, I would definitely not call it easy though, as it is a constant ascent for between 800 900 feet. It was secluded, there are only two other cars in the parking lot, and we never saw anyone else. Lots of slugs, and a very sweet if small lookout at the top.
Really nice, easy walk. Salmon berries are ready for the taking. Started at the Cedar falls trail head and went to the Ragnar station. This was about 3 miles or so and you have the opportunity to see old railroad posts and debris. A great place to have a snack or some water. Great views of the valley. You can see evidence of the railroad off trail; you just need to keep your eyes peeled.
5/7/2016 (Saturday) - Group 9:20-12:30. All the reviews posted before this give a precise description of this trail: It's worthy, pleasant, rather easy, much quieter alternative of the opposite Rattlesnake Ledge trail, though the view is not as awesome. Ours is a sunny, cloudless morning 66-75F (81F in the afternoon). The longer loop provides a less steep option for moving up. There are many rarely used trails and a hidden lake in the foothills. We may also get a taste of a long and endless Iron Horse RR. The creek runs across the railroad bridge is as loud as a falls, a lot of water. It's fortunate that the state park parking lot is not full (as it requires "Discover Pass") while both sides of the road are fully parked by VERY long lines of cars.
Short but sweet, this is a great alternative to nearby Rattlesnake Ledge, which is often overrun. When the parking lot for that hike is full, continue another 15 seconds down the road and visit Cedar Butte. The view from the top isn't as spectacular as that from Rattlesnake Ledge, but the relative solitude more than makes up for it.
Quick video of highlights here:
Chantal S. on Cedar Butte Trail
very nice lower elevation trail, well maintained. nice regional views from the top. I hiked on a warm Friday afternoon and ran into two other hikers.
A friend and I hiked about 6-7 miles on the trail leaving from the Iron Horse State park parking lot across from Rattlesnake Lake. It was an easy walk on a wide gravel "road" w/minimal elevation gain. The trail was also shaded in the morning which made it nice and cool. We only saw a handful of other people. We were looking for the Cedar Butte trail head but managed to miss it. There's always next time!