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Iowa Water Trails Association 
May, 2013  
May-Jun Middle River WT Events
May 31-Jun 2 Charles City Challenge: WhiteWater Weekend
Jun 1 Freshwater Mussels Program, West Nish WT
Jun 8 Great Iowa River Canoe & Kayak Race, Iowa City
Jun 8 Cleanup on Iowa River WT
Jun 14 Iowa Trails Summit
Jun 15 Poker Run, Cedar River WT
Jun 15 Tree Town Adventure Race, Winnebago River WT
Jun 15 Canoe Float & Clean Up, Maquoketa River WT
Jun 16 Family Paddle & Picnic, West Nish WT
Jun 17 Pioneer Potteries, Des Moines River WT
Jun 22 Night Life Paddle, Odessa WT
Jun 29 Triathlon with a Twist, Turkey River WT
Jul 27 IA Volunteer Mussel Corps Training
More Events Into July
Thanks to Our Subscribers



Iowa Rivers Revival, Protector of Rivers, Streams & Watersheds
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Green Heron 1 Mike Stark
Green heron photo by Mike Stark.

This is our biggest "Mid-Month Event Reminders" issue to date. That's a great indicator that Water Trail activity is growing, WT supporters are scheduling more events, and more Iowans are participating in more WT events.


More events means more details and more opportunities for us to publish incorrect information. We try hard to "get it right," but if we "get it wrong," please notify us ASAP.


We hope that you and your WT will enjoy good water, good weather, plenty of registrations, and ongoing success as we move into the "busy season."

May 25, Jun 1, Jun 8, & Jun 29-30 Paddling Events on Middle River WT, Madison County
Middle River Roseman CLiechty
Middle River WT Photo by Carol Liechty

May 25 (Saturday): Near Full-Moon Paddle - Badger Creek Lake (NE Madison County)

Meet at east-side boat landing at 7:30 p.m.


June 1 (Saturday): Annual Middle River Cleanup- Schildberg Access to Pammel Ford

Meet at Pammel Park Lodge at 8:00 a.m. Full meal & concert at Lodge following cleanup.

In event of low water, same meeting time and amenities, but will work on log-jam removal.


June 8 (Saturday): Canoe/Kayaking Family Paddle Clinic - Criss Cove County Park

Meet at Criss Cove County Park (8miles S of Winterset on Highway 169) at 1:00 p.m.


June 29 & 30 (Saturday/Sunday): Middle River Overnight Paddle

(Fee - Registration Required)

Schildberg Access to Roseman Access (camp & cook on sandbar/ learn trout-line fishing)

Meet at Schildberg Access at 2:00 p.m. Call Conservation Board office for more information.



Most events are free, but please register with Madison County Conservation by calling 515-462-3536 or email at 

May 31-June 2  Charles City Challenge: WhiteWater Weekend 2013
Charles City Overview


Join the excitement in Charles City, Iowa, on June 1, 2013, as paddlers return to Iowa's first whitewater course for the Charles City Challenge!


Charles City Challenge: WhiteWater Weekend is anticipated to attract top canoe, kayak and stand up paddleboard (SUP) talent from across the United States and Canada. Scheduled events include kayak rodeo, kayak boater cross, kayak "King of the Wave," SUP cross, SUP best surf, SUP distance race, canoe down river race and canoe obstacle event. Special events for youth will be kayak time trial and kayak best trick/surf. Opportunities for open boating will also allow river enthusiasts of all skill levels to experience the course.


A new feature for this year will be the competition for the Charles City Champion. Paddlers earn points based on place finish for each event; points can be submitted for up to five events. Highest total points will be named 2013 Charles City Champion!


Competitive paddling events will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 1. In addition to fun on the river, Saturday's events will include a disc golf tournament, dog jog, and downtown farmers market. Other weekend events will include special evening entertainment on Friday, May 31, with Charles City's popular summer festivity, Party in the Park, in Central Park featuring live music by Copper Box along with food and beverage vendors and activities for kids of all ages. Sunday, June 2 will feature a Krazy Kardboard Boat Race.


For more information about Charles City Challenge: WhiteWater Weekend and Charles City WhiteWater at Riverfront Park, please visit   or contact the Charles City Area Chamber of Commerce at 641.228.4234 or 


Jun 1 Freshwater Mussels Program, Botna Bend, West Nishnabotna WT
Golden Hills Rev Logo

Golden Hills RC&D will host a Freshwater Mussels Program on Saturday, June 1 at 10:00 am at Olsen Lodge in Botna Bend County Park, Hancock, IA.  


Join us for some classroom instruction before hitting the river to explore the mussel species found in the West Nishnabotna River. Remember to pack a lunch!


There is no limit to the number of participants in the classroom session running 10:00-11:30 am, followed immediately by lunch (please bring your own).  


But, to ensure adequate safety and effective instruction, the on-water session, beginning about Noon, will be limited to 20 boats.  Participants may use their own boats or boats/paddles/PFDs will be provided.  Follow the online registration instructions carefully to ensure that you are registering accurately for sessions and boats.


This event is free but due to space constraints, preregistration is required. 

Register online at: 


Freshwater mussels can be found in many Iowa rivers and streams. They are valuable components of freshwater biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, and help keep the water clean by acting as Mother Nature's water filters. For something that looks like a living rock, they have a unique life cycle and interesting adaptations to the environment in which they live. Come learn more!


Presenter: Jennifer Kurth is a Natural Resources Biologist in the Watershed Improvement Section of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. She has a B.A in Theatre and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Minnesota and an M.S. in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Maine. Jennifer works on streams that are listed as impaired for aquatic life use (fish, bugs, and/or mussels) but the cause is unknown, and she likes to explain it as a sort of environmental CSI. Her area of expertise is freshwater mussels and she is currently in the midst of a six-year, state-wide survey of freshwater mussels in Iowa rivers and streams.


This event is cosponsored by Golden Hills RC&D and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  For more information contact Emily Haase at Golden Hills RC&D; 712-482-3029 or  

Jun 8 Fourth Annual Great Iowa River Canoe & Kayak Race, Iowa River WT, Iowa City
Grt Iowa River Race Logo

The Great Iowa River Canoe & Kayak Race with Company Challenge serves as a community and fundraising event for the Iowa Valley RC&D.  The race is 9 miles from Sturgis Access in Iowa City to Hills Access in Hills.  Divisions include canoe, kayak, racing, recreation, youth, company challenge, and more.  The race is sanctioned by the United States Canoe Association.


Check in from 7:00-8:15 am at the Fin & Feather parking lot in Iowa City (including pre-registrants); receive race instructions at Sturgis Access at 8:30; race starts at 9:00.  Average run time is about 1.5 hours.  A free shuttle will be available.


A Pancake Breakfast will be available at Fin & Feather the morning of the race.  Find info about rules, T-shirts, and registration at

June 8 Post-AWARE Iowa River Cleanup on Iowa River WT, Hardin County
Tree & Tire Stark

Invitation from Mary Hyland:


The Iowa River Greenbelt Resource Trust is sponsoring a June 8 clean-up on the Iowa River WT in Hardin County between Eldora and Daisy Long Memorial Park near Union.  This is the section that Project AWARE had to skip last July, due to low water levels, in spite of the perceived high trash levels.  It now looks like the water levels will be high enough to reschedule our clean-up.


Our clean-up will begin at the Eldora city boat ramp near the waste water treatment plant on the Southeast edge of Eldora. Don't want to get wet and muddy?  Even if you are not a paddler you can still help!   We need land volunteers to help with registration, sorting trash, and answering volunteer questions.   Please complete the registration form but make a note that you want to be a LAND VOLUNTEER.  


More info, an agenda, maps, and registration forms can be found on the Iowa River Greenbelt Resource Trust website: 


Thanks much and see ya' on the river.

Mary Hyland

Jun 14 Iowa Trails Summit, Cedar Falls/Waterloo on the UNI Campus

The annual Iowa Trails Summit celebrates all of our trails, including hiking, biking, paddling, snowmobiling, and equestrian, and their value to our state's recreation, economy, and wellness.  The 2013 Summit is titled "Trails, Blue Zones and Building a Healthier Iowa."  Join some of the leading experts on trails and healthy communities sharing their ideas, innovations, and Iowa's vision for healthy communities and the future of trails development in Iowa.

There is still time to register for the 2012 Iowa Trails Summit being held on Friday June 15 at the University of Northern Iowa.  This will be one power-packed day with some of America's leading trails, health and recreation experts sharing ideas about outdoor recreation - from innovation to marketing and beyond!


Hear from exciting panelists talking about Connecting Children with Trails and Blue Zones, and a Vision for the Future of Iowa Trails. Special Guests include Chuck Offenburger, Robin Fortney, Michael Duffy, Francis Boggus, Sally Dix, Chris Anderson, Antonio Malkusak, Andrea Chase, etc. Program details available at

Enjoy two fantastic Keynote Presentations:

Dr. Douglas Gentile, Child Psychologist: "How the Media Affects Children's Decisions."

Jim Mallman, "Watchable Wildlife: How to Promote Recreational Activities."

GO TO and register today!  The low-cost one-day event fee of $35 includes a buffet lunch at UNI's Rialto Dining Room and free parking!


Check out the exciting programs at 

If you have the time, please join us for the optional:

  • June 14, Thursday Pre-Summit Professional Sessions.
  • June 15, Friday Night Steak Barbeque Party.
  • June 16, Saturday Free Family Fun Day.

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Jun 15 Poker Run on Cedar River WT, Cedar Falls/Waterloo
River of Dreams Logo

The 1st Annual "River of Dreams" Poker Run, benefiting Magical Mix Kids, will be held in Cedar Falls/Waterloo on Saturday June 15, 2013. Registration will be at Washington Park at 12:30 pm, with a first launch at 1:00 pm.  This is not a race, but a fun-filled Poker Run for a great cause; all money raised goes to Magical Mix Kids.
The run will start at Washington Park and finish at the Waterloo Boat House, with stops along the way for refreshments, entertainment, and special programming.  There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd, and Last Place Poker Hands, music, food, and door prizes.  If you don't want to float, you can drive to each poker stop.
Cedar River WT Course Description

1. Washington Park-Cedar Falls Access: Registration, receive bottled water, t-shirt, safety information and 1st poker card.
2. George Wyth Park Access: Receive 2nd poker card, fresh water, Freshwater Mussel education program.
3. Cedar Bend Park Access: Receive 3rd card, Aquatic Insect Sampling and Identification education program.
4. San Souci Park: Receive 4th card, Fish Assemblage (electro-fishing) Demonstration.

5. Waterloo Boat House/Exchange Park Access: Receive last card, hand verifications, music, food and FUN!  Waterloo Rowing Club Demonstration.

Limited to first 100 boats registered.  For more info on event regulations, maps, and registration, visit or call 319-277-1918.

Magical Mix Kids is a non-profit organization created to provide a worry-free vacation for chronically and terminally ill children of the Cedar Valley area.  The "River of Dreams" Canoe/Kayak Poker Run is sponsored by The Mix 93.5, Cedar Valley Paddlers, Iowa DNR, Iowa Northland Regional Council Of Governments, Cruisin 1250 Real Oldies, The VGM Group, City of Waterloo, 1650 The Fan.

Jun 15 Tree Town Adventure Race, Forest City on Winnebago River WT
TTAR 2012 08
Father/Son Steve & Pete Boenish from
Mason City compete in TTAR 2012. 
Photo by Anthony Mikes.

The Tree Town Adventure Race is designed for teams and individuals interested in the challenge and excitement of an Adventure Race. Family and Friends are welcome to watch and join participants for a brunch in Pammel Park following the Race.


The course starts at 7:00 am with a 7 mile canoe/kayak race from Ambroson Recreation Area south of Leland, Iowa to Pammel Park in Forest City on the Winnebago River. This is followed by a 12 mile bike ride, and then a 5k run. The course has one transition area from which participants will begin bicycling and running portions of the race.

Race routes-

  • The canoe/Kayak race begins at Ambroson Recreation Area to Pammel Park on the Winnebago River.  A seven mile race with a wave start.
  • The bike route will exit Pammel Park on J Street heading East, a turn south onto South Golf Course Road, the riders will then head east on 340th Street to Pilot Knob. From there the bikers will bike the Pilot Knob Loop and then return to Pammel Park on the same route.
  • The 5K will proceed on Hynes Spur bike trail heading south and returning north on the same route. 

All proceeds of this annual event go toward the upkeep and expansion of the Forest City Trails. 

For more information about the race, various classes, entry fees, and online registration, visit: 

Jun 15 Summer Canoe Float & River Clean Up, Maquoketa River WT
Jackson Co Cons Bd Logo

Jackson County Conservation will host a Summer Canoe Float/River Clean Up on Saturday, June 15, 2013, with a start time of 1:00 pm. The event will be held along the Maquoketa River from the Canton Access to the Royertown Access.  

A limited number of free canoes/kayaks will be available or bring your own. 
Pre-registration is requested to reserve a canoe/kayak and so we can be in contact with people in the event of weather or water conditions that require cancellation.


Please contact Environmental Education Coordinator Ann Burns, phone 563-652-3783, or email  Or visit 


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Jun 16 (tentative) Family Paddle and Picnic, West Nishnabotna WT
Golden Hills Rev Logo

June 16 (tentative): Family Paddle and Picnic, West Nishnabotna WT.

Planning 8:00 am put on water, depart no later than 8:15; paddle Botna Bend to Oakland or Avoca to Botna Bend for lunch; free boat rental through RDO; registration fee for lunch ($ not yet set), local food may be available. For more information contact Emily Haase at Golden Hills RC&D; 712.482.3029


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Jun 17 Pioneer Potteries on the Lower Des Moines River WT, Bonaparte
Bonaparte Pottery Side

History on the River: Pioneer Potteries on the Des Moines River, Bonaparte 



Learn about the historic Bonaparte Pottery and its connection to the river at a tour and presentation on Monday, June 17 in Bonaparte, Iowa. The tour of the pottery begins at 4:30 pm and the presentation will start at 6:30 pm at the Bonaparte Opera House.


Archaeologists Cherie Haury-Artz and Lynn M. Alex will continue discussion of the history and archaeology along the Lower Des Moines River Water Trail with a program illustrating archaeology's contribution to our understanding of the Bonaparte Pottery. Also known as the Parker-Handback Pottery and Handback-Wilson Pottery, it was in operation from 1866 to 1895. Remains of the pottery were uncovered in the flood of 1993 and the pottery is now part of a National Historic Archaeological District.


Bonaparte Pottery is located at 411 First Street in Bonaparte and the Bonaparte Opera House is two blocks west at 616 First Street.


There is no fee, but preregistration is requested for this event.

Click on the link to REGISTER ONLINE:

Bonaparte Pottery Bottom  


The stoneware industry was one of the important economic enterprises in the Euro-American settlement of Iowa during the mid- to late nineteenth century. Clay found along with coal deposits was used by some of Iowa's pioneer residents to create stoneware. These pottery works along the Des Moines River between Eldon and Farmington connected the resources and the river to the expansion of entrepreneurial efforts on the frontier west of the Mississippi River.


The session will also present suggested highlights for new interpretive materials for the Lower Des Moines River Water Trail and garner input from community members.This program will help determine what local residents of the area would like to learn and tell others about the river.


This program is sponsored by Pathfinders RC&D, the Iowa DNR Rivers Program and University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist.  Pre-registration is requested, though walk-ins are welcome.  For more information or to register over the phone, contact the Pathfinders RC&D office at 641-472-6177.


Find more information about Lower Des Moines River Water Trail resources, events, and activities 


Find more information about Pathfinders RC&D programs at      

Photos courtesy of Bonaparte Pottery.  See 
Jun 22 Night Life Paddle, Odessa WT, Wapello
Pathfinders RC&D Logo

Join presenter Brittney Tiller and trip leaders Julie Ohde and Katie Hammond to learn about the nocturnal wildlife of the "night shift" along the Odessa Water Trail. The Night Life Paddle will run from 9:00 to 11:00 pm the evening of Saturday, June 22, 2013.


The paddle length will be approximately 3 miles total (1.5 miles out and 1.5 miles back), starting and ending at Shafer Access, Odessa Wildlife Management Area, Wapello. 


This trip will need a minimum of 5 boats and will be limited to a maximum of 20 boats.  Registration will be by Louisa County Conservation Board (available soon).  Boat rental can be arranged at the time of registration.


In case of inclement weather, an indoor program will be held at the Izaak Walton League.

More information: or 319-523-8381

Direct link to event information:


The Night Life Paddle is sponsored by Pathfinders RC&D, Louisa County Conservation, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Jun 29 TRI-P-A Triathlon with a Twist, Turkey River WT
Turkey River Rec Corridor Logo
The Turkey River WT will be the site of a new triathlon event with a unique twist on Saturday, June 29--Paddle, Peddle, Putt. Two-person teams will paddle the first leg on the Turkey River WT, bike the second leg on the Rurkey River Rec Trail, and play a 9-hole 2-person best shot golf round for the third leg at Pleasant Valley Sports Club. Get your team together NOW and have a day of FUN on the Turkey River! Cash payouts, door prizes, and MORE!! 
The event will begin at the Pleasant Valley Sports Club in Clermont, with registration at 7:30 am and kickoff at 9:00 am. Early bird registration and orientation will be held at the club from 7:00 pm--9:00 pm on Friday, June 28.
The entry fee is $100 per team; you must be 18 or older to participate.  Competitors must provide their own equipment--canoe, bike, golf clubs--but rentals are available locally for an additional fee. Visit  for a complete listing.
Registration is online at  or in person at Pleasant Valley Sports Club. For more information Email Registration deadline is June 21, 2013; late registration fee is $125 after that date. All canoes must have proper Iowa registration and life jackets will be required for all participants. Bike helmets are required during the bike race/ride. 
This event is sponsored by the Turkey River Recreational Corridor and Pleasant Valley Sports Club. 
Jul 27 Volunteer Training for Iowa Volunteer Mussel Corps
Mussel WS 006
Malacologist Jennifer Kurth training
 the Iowa Volunteer Mussel Corps.


The Iowa Volunteer Mussel Corps is planning an ambitious mussel survey season, beginning in late June and, if water temperatures are good, running through September or October.


Only volunteers who have participated in DNR mussel training (e.g. last October at Kent Park) will be able to volunteer to assist with the surveys.  Newcomers must complete DNR mussel volunteer training (i.e. on July 27th) in order to volunteer. Everyone, "new" and "old," will be invited to participate in the July 27th training. The more we all know, the better! 


Jennifer Kurth and the DNR will host the Saturday, July 27 volunteer training workshop, this time an intensive combination of classroom and in-stream work, getting to know mussel species and collection techniques.  This will be a day-long training session, with the morning in the classroom and the afternoon in the water.  The location will be announced shortly.   


For more info, to get on the Mussel Corps email list, or to sign up for the training session, contact Linda Appelgate: Email: 


More WT Events Coming in Late June and into July
Indian Creek near ICNC Stark


June 22; Fish Assemblage, Lake Red Rock WT, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


June 29; River Critters and Wildlife, Lake Red Rock WT, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


June 29; Freshwater Mussels Program, Webster County Conservation, Des Moines River WT.


July 6; Manchester River Fest, Maquoketa River (future WW Park and WT), Manchester.


July 6-13; Project AWARE, Des Moines River.


July 20; Freshwater Mussels Program, Lake Red Rock WT, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.



We Hope That You Are Enjoying the IWTA Newsletter

Our thanks to everyone who provided event information for this issue.  And, that's a lot of information about a lot of events!


The mission of the IWTA is to facilitate the exchange of information, ideas and encouragement among Iowans working to create, enhance, or utilize our water trails.  Although we have grown to over 500 subscribers, the success of the IWTA Newsletter will be measured by how much we share, how much we learn, and how much we contribute to improving the Water Trails experience across the state.


We hope that you will continue to share your events, reports, ideas, and suggestions with us at  Thank you for your continuing support and encouragement. 


If you are not a subscriber, please click on the "Join Our Mailing List" button to become one.  And, we would appreciate your sharing the IWTA Newsletter with your friends via the "Forward this email" or "Share on Social Media" buttons.

Logo Wear It


Gregg Stark
Editor, Iowa Water Trails Association Newsletter