Category Archives: News

OCTOBER, And Here Comes the Fall Color Show!

Access current and previous monthly IWTA Newsletters at

Please keep mind that, “due to recent flooding,” water levels may still be high, accesses may be difficult to use getting on or off the trail, new strainers and other obstacles may have been created, and planned events may have been canceled, rescheduled, or relocated.

According to the Iowa DNR, the recent wet weather may delay the onset of fall colors.  Mother Nature’s fall decorations are a great motivation to pack a lunch and enjoy an Iowa WT. Iowa paddlers are probably familiar with a relaxing float past multicolored slopes and emerging rock outcroppings. But those without a boat, or without an interest in paddling, can enjoy much of the same by just visiting a WT access, with lawn chair or fishing pole optional. If your favorite river isn’t cooperating, try a local lake. For weekly updates on fall color around Iowa contact the DNR fall color hotline at 515-233-4110. A pdf version of the weekly updates along with other fall color information can be found at  For fall festivals, scenic byways, places to stay and other ways to enjoy fall in Iowa, visit

It’s also the season to contact your legislators and share your concerns/ideas/opinions about improving water quality, funding the Water and Land Legacy, or other issues of interest to WT supporters. Most proposals or initiatives will be developed well before the legislative session begins on Jan 9, 2017. It’s best to speak up now.

SEPTEMBER, With Some Unusually High Water Levels.

View the September IWTA Newsletter.

Record flooding in August? Very unusual, but true, at least for our friends in NE Iowa. Our Iowa weather has always been a bit fickle, and may be becoming even more so. Just another reason to be aware of weather and water levels before you head out to enjoy our WTs.

The September issue of the IWTA Newsletter is full of events and activities through September and early October–tours, floats, chicken dinner, geode floats, a pelican festival, canoe school, disabled Vets paddle, happy hour (& volunteer recruitment), grand opening, several river cleanups, birding, blue grass, & the underground railroad. How could you not find something on that list to pique your interest?

We’re heading into Mother Nature’s celebrated “Fall Colors Season.” Jones County has scheduled their annual Fall Colors Float on Oct 1, but we know there must be several more to publicize. Please forward your Fall Colors event info to

Please check out the items in this month’s “What Readers are Following & Recommending” section. Our congratulations to Larry Stone and Orlan Love, both individuals very deserving of the recognition. A couple of items regarding activities and funding related to clean water and the Water and Land Legacy remind us that now is the time to share your concerns and ideas with your legislators. Most proposals or initiatives will be developed well before the legislative session begins on Jan 9, 2017.   It’s best to speak up now!

AUGUST, Celebrating 1300 IWTA Newsletter Subscribers!

We are very pleased and proud to announce that our IWTA Newsletter subscriber list recently topped 1300 email addresses!  If you are not part of the “informed 1300,” you can subscribe to this free, email monthly newsletter by clicking on

Zero to 1300 in 4 years: Our first IWTA Newsletter issue was July of 2012. Here we are, 4 years and 48 Newsletters later, with 1300 subscribers. Sustaining and growing the IWTA Newsletter was made possible by your support, input, ideas, and encouragement. Sharing your event info, and encouraging friends to subscribe will helps us continue this growth.

August is a busy part of the summer. Check out the items and events in the newsletter and on the Events Calendar of this website, and get out there before the kids head back to school. We must add a word of caution that water levels on some WTs are unseasonably high. Check river levels before you head out.


Iowa’s Water Trails and Iowa’s Heritage are inextricably linked, from the fossil record, through prehistory, Native American history, pioneer history, and into the modern era. Iowa waterways have provided humans with food, water, transportation, and power over hundreds of years. They have determined the location of villages, mills, bridges, and cities. They have facilitated the development of trade routes, industries, and economies.

Recent programs, sponsored by County Conservation Boards or other organizations, and facilitated by the Office of the State Archaeologist, have tapped into Iowans’ deep interest in their heritage. From fossil & arrow head collectors to historians to pioneer genealogists, we want to know more about the life and lives of earlier residents of the land now called Iowa.

Funding for Iowa heritage programming has just suffered a blow, and you can help. To learn more about the immediate impacts of the funding cut, actions you can initiate, and the short and long term initiatives being undertaken, visit

You can also show your support by purchasing and displaying  a “Heritage Matters” sticker:

JULY, Start of Second Half of the Year and Second Half of the Paddling Season.

Happy Birthday, IWTA!

Our first IWTA Newsletter issue was July of 2012. Here we are, 4 years and 48 Newsletters later (plus all the MidMo Reminders and a few special issues). And, most importantly, we have grown to 1,270 subscribers!

Pat yourselves on the back, because sustaining and growing the IWTA Newsletter would not be possible without your support, input, ideas, and encouraging friends to subscribe. Our sincere thanks to all of our valued subscribers!

We have reached the middle of the year, and essentially the middle of the WT paddling season. Are you getting enough “WT time?” Avoid those winter regrets–call some friends, grab a boat and get out there!

JUNE, with a Full Calendar of WT Opportunities!

We hope you enjoy the June issue of the IWTA Newsletter, as well as our IWTA Website Events Calendar, filled to the gunwales with cleanups, races, floats, conferences, training, tours, and other useful, WT-related info. We also hope to see a good showing of WT supporters at the June 17 Iowa Trails Summit in Cedar Falls.

Access Current and Recent IWTA Newsletters:

MAY, With Iowa Water Trails Enjoying Great Weather

The new, green boat registration decals are now required–the old ones expired April 30. If you haven’t already “gone green” we encourage you to apply those new decals, good through April 30, 2019.

The IWTA Website Events Calendar now includes over 140 entries for 2016–on-water & off-water events, extended trips, activities, meetings, conferences, holidays, observances, full moon & meteor shower dates, holidays, & observances. We look forward to adding more.

Hazard and hypothermia awareness, proper training, a PFD, necessary gear, a paddle plan, and the buddy system are important for paddling at any time of the year. At this time of year we also need to be aware of turkey hunters. The Iowa DNR encourages outdoor users, including mushroom hunters, paddlers, anglers, hikers, and others heading into the woods during spring turkey season to “avoid wearing patriotic colors – red, white and blue – as these colors are shared by gobblers. Instead, wear blaze orange to be recognizable to hunters.”

Keep your IWTA Newsletter relevant–keep your info coming. Contact us at

March is a Transition Month.

March is a “transition” month, as winter begins to yield to spring (unless Mother Nature has forgotten about spring?).

During spring transition we need to be especially aware to consider differences between the calendar and the actual paddling environment. Sunshine & warm air can distract our attention from still-cold water. Rain & wind can be more chilling than snow, quickly leading to hypothermia. Remaining ice will deteriorate, with varying thicknesses and soft spots.

So, please be careful out there!

It has been very enjoyable to visit with many of our readers at events such as the ICNC Paddle Day in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo in Indianola, IRR Legislative Reception in Des Moines, and REAP & Environmental Lobby Day at the Capitol. Your positive comments about IWTA and the IWTA Newsletter are much appreciated. We hope to visit with more of you at various events or on the Water Trails in the coming months.

BULLETIN: The venue has changed for the March 21 NE Iowa PaddleFest in Cedar Falls. Whether you are registered, or just plan to show up, be advised it will now be held at Clarion Inn Hotel, 5826 University Ave, Cedar Falls, IA 50613. Show hours are still 10:00-4:00. 

EVENT ADD: Plans for the April 18 “Crossing the Delaware” paddle have been announced. Brother and sister team Sam Childs and Hannah Childs invite you to paddle all, or any part, of the 43 river miles of the Maquoketa River within Delaware County. Details in the IWTA Newsletter.

EVENT ADD: Iowa City will begin a series of 4 Waterway Cleanups on March 29. Additional dates and details in the IWTA Newsletter.

2014 August Event Updates & Reminders.

Iowa Water Trails events are particularly plentiful in the second half of August, so visit the “Events” page, choose one, two, or a few . . .and get out there!

The Iowa State Fair is winding up, but there is still time to visit the Iowa DNR River Programs booth and the UI Mobile Museum.

Choices on Aug 16 include an Archaeology & Cultural History program at Manchester, River of Dreams Poker Run at Cedar Falls-Waterloo, and the Annual Floatzilla Event in the Quad Cities.

Aug 17, enjoy the Skunk River Celebration in Ames.

Aug 18-22, join the Summer Mussel Blitz near Iowa City.

Aug 22-24, participate in the Annual Lower Wapsi River Cleanup.

Sorry, but Aug 23 Iowa River Fossils Paddle is already filled.

Aug 23, learn about Amazing Mollusks! (freshwater mussels) at Lake Red Rock.

Sorry to report that two events have been canceled: Aug 15 Aquatic Insect Program in Cherokee, and the Aug 23 River Critters Float in Sac County.

Enjoy!  Enjoy!