Community

Mount Trashmore overlook and trails reopen, following problems manmade and otherwise

Vandalism, heavy rains and flooding forced closure

This is the view of downtown Cedar Rapids and the Cedar River from the new scenic overlook at Mount Trashmore, the capped landfill at 2250 A St. SW in Cedar Rapids. Vandalism and heavy rains temporarily closed the landfill and trails, which have reopened. Hours are limited and listed on the website of the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency. The overlook and trails will close for the season after the first snowfall. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
This is the view of downtown Cedar Rapids and the Cedar River from the new scenic overlook at Mount Trashmore, the capped landfill at 2250 A St. SW in Cedar Rapids. Vandalism and heavy rains temporarily closed the landfill and trails, which have reopened. Hours are limited and listed on the website of the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency. The overlook and trails will close for the season after the first snowfall. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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Background

Vandals broke into the Mount Trashmore scenic overlook in late September and spray-painted benches and structures that had been added atop the closed landfill in Cedar Rapids.

The vandalism came shortly after the overlook and the trail opened to the public Sept. 13.

At the time, officials estimated it would take $3,000 to repair the damage.

And then it started to rain, and it kept raining, forcing closure of the trails.

The ground was saturated, plus access to the capped landfill, at 2250 A St. SW, was cut off when the Cedar River went over flood stage several times.

What’s happened since

The Mount Trashmore Trails & Overlook have reopened, though with limited hours.

The trail to the top is open a few hours each day and can be closed due to weather conditions.

Hikers and bikers can check solidwasteagency.org/mount-trashmore for the hours.

The Trashmore overlook and trails will close once for the season once it snows, according to Zac Hornung, recreation coordinator for the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency, which has its compost and yard waste operation at the site, 2250 A St. SW.

The facility — which is not a city park — is fenced off and has security cameras.

Since the vandalism, some of the trail cameras have been repositioned to get wider views of the area, Hornung said.

The agency also asked police to increase patrols around the landfill.

Police are continuing to investigate who sprayed graffiti on the overlook’s fixtures, but no arrests have been made, spokesman Greg Buelow said.

The near-constant line of storms in late September and early October forced closure of the trails, which reopened two weeks ago.

Trails take time to dry out, Hornung said, and there isn’t much more workers can do to keep the trails usable, outside of the rainwater collectors already in place.

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“Anything in outdoor recreation, you’re really at the peril of Mother Nature,” he said. “Everywhere in the outdoor rec sector has taken a hit since last month.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; dan.mika@thegazette.com

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