Home > Experiences & Adventures > Cedar Rapids, IA Transforms Landfill from Trash to Treasure

Cedar Rapids, IA Transforms Landfill from Trash to Treasure

Mount Trashmore is an eco-friendly recreation area that features three trails for hiking and biking (and did we mention the amazing views?).

By Kevin Litwin on December 7, 2021

Mount Trashmore in Cedar Rapids, IA
Justin Torner

A former landfill has taken on a new identity. Capped and decommissioned in 2013, the area – nicknamed Mount Trashmore – has now been transformed into an eco-friendly recreation area with three main trails in Cedar Rapids, IA.

“Mount Trashmore has 6 million tons of garbage in it, and once it reached capacity, we were going to make it into a skiing and sledding hill,” says Zac Hornung, Mount Trashmore recreation coordinator. “But new vegetation growth atop it made it rough for skiing, so we put in three trails and transformed it into a walking and biking wellness destination.”

Mount Trashmore in Cedar Rapids, IA
Justin Torner

Of the three trails, Stumptown Trail is used solely for walking and biking and stretches about a mile around the side of Mount Trashmore, while Overlook Trail is a gravel road that walkers and bikers can use to get from the ground to the top of Mount Trashmore. Overlook Trail also has an elevated platform pavilion that offers panoramic views of the downtown Cedar Rapids skyline.

“The third trail is called Trashmore Trail, which is used only by mountain bikers and features a 200-foot elevation drop. It has berms and switchbacks and is a mountain biker’s dream, with many more challenges than just a single-track trail.”

Zac Hornung | Recreation Coordinator

Hornung says anyone wanting to access any of the three Mount Trashmore trails must first enter the site’s check-in center and sign a waiver.

“The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulates landfills for 30 years after they close, and the DNR insists on check-ins and waivers,” he says. “There is no fee to use Mount Trashmore, and it is open from April through October. It’s a great recreation addition to Cedar Rapids.”

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