Water Trails

Waterways have long held high importance in Iowa from prehistoric to current times for livelihoods, travel, recreation, and settlement patterns. The concept of a water trail formalizes our current culture’s ideas about a floating journey and our relationship with water.   Iowa’s state-designated system of water trails is emerging to meet a variety of needs including social and family experiences, sublime solitude, or an exciting adventure through swift waters.  Increased public access to waterways leads to new energy for realizing the potential of our waters and a spirit of volunteerism to care for them.

Iowa Rivers Revival is dedicated to the revival and promotion of Iowa’s rivers. We believe that rivers in Iowa are one of our most precious natural resources and deserve to be treated as such.  Water trails are key to connecting people to rivers. IRR advocates every year for funding for the Iowa DNR River Program. In 2018 we were able to secure $500,000! This funding is used for low-head dam safety mitigation and water trail improvement projects.

Upper Iowa River

Iowa DNR Where to Paddle

Iowa DNR Water Trails Maps

Iowa Water Trails Association

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