Mount Trashmore scheduled to open this Saturday

Mount Trashmore in Cedar Rapids — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Cedar Rapidians will soon have another place to get outside and enjoy the summer weather once Mount Trashmore opens on Saturday, Aug. 1. Those going to hike and ride their bikes will see some extra features at the site.

There’s a new building at the bottom of the hill with restrooms, a check-in area, a meeting space and stations to fill up water bottles. It’s a “home base” for people using the trails, said Zac Hornung, recreation coordinator for the Mount Trashmore trails and overlook.

Mount Trashmore is the highest point in Linn County with an elevation of 948 feet.

The 208-foot-tall trash mound closed in 2006 but reopened after the 2008 flood, Hornung said. The Cedar Rapids Linn County Solid Waste Agency closed down the site as a landfill for good in November 2012. It was turned into an overlook of the city’s downtown area with trails leading up to the top.

“This is really innovative in the solid waste world,” Hornung told Little Village. “We have solid waste agencies and solid waste departments around the country reaching out to us to come pick our brains on this whole process. There are landfills across the country that are being capped and just kind of sitting dormant.”

Mount Trashmore in Cedar Rapids — Zak Neumann/Little Village

More than 4,300 people used the trails and overlook in 2019. The trails initially opened in 2018 but closed in October 2019 for construction and improvements that are wrapping up this year.

Last week, the facility was still waiting for final inspections, Hornung said. Once that is completed and weather permits, Mount Trashmore will be able to open.

There are three trails to choose from: Trashmore Trail is reserved for bikers, Stumptown Trail is for walkers and Overlook Trail can be used by both.

A short, paved walking trail at the bottom of Mount Trashmore has also been added. Hornung said the path is for individuals who have mobility issues or difficulty getting up to the top.

Map of Mount Trashmore trails. — courtesy of Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency

Once Mount Trashmore opens, the long-awaited Mount Trashmore Challenge will kick off. Participants are challenged to go up 140 times, which is the distance equal to climbing up Mount Everest.

An app will track how many times people climb up Mount Trashmore, and there are prizes along the way as individuals reach different milestones. People can get coupons to Eco Lips, Raygun, Fong’s Pizza and other Cedar Rapids staples.

Milestones the Mount Trashmore Challenge. — courtesy of the Mount Trashmore Challenge website

Those interested in participating can register online. The registration fee is $35 and anyone who registers receives a free T-shirt.

The challenge will run through July 1, 2021. Weather and trail conditions determine access to Mount Trashmore. Individuals can check online if trails are open that day.

The summer hours for the trails and overlook are:

• Monday: closed

• Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Saturday: noon to 5 p.m.

• Sunday: 8 a.m. to noon

These hours will be adjusted in the fall.

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