Cruise the Mississippi aboard the Blue Heron, a 26-passenger pontoon boat that gives cruisers an up-close and personal look at the Mississippi River. It’s a fun way for people to talk, laugh and celebrate nature together. A naturalist will conduct tours through backwaters, sloughs and the main channel. Fish, wildlife & bird habitat, hunting, fishing, recreational boating, gravel pits, barge traffic, endangered species and water quality are all part of the ecological puzzle of the river.
Clinton County Conservation offers public Sunset Cruises Thursday evenings out of Rock Creek Marina & Campground at 7:00 PM, May to October (times will be earlier in the fall). They also offer several specialty cruises throughout the summer.
Public cruises are free of charge, but space is limited and reservations are required.
Please call 563-259-1876 to make your reservation.
Additional Special Cruises Scheduled Aboard the Blue Heron:
Build Better Birders Class & Eco-Cruises – Jul 18 – Jul 28 – Aug 1 – Want to sharpen your bird identification skills, check off a few more species and enjoy a relaxing trip on Clinton County’s Mississippi backwaters. Cruises embark at 6:30 AM Sharp. Call 563-259-1876 to sign up!
Good Morning Eco Cruises – Jul 7 – Jul 21 – Aug 3 – Aug 18 – Clinton County’s Blue Heron pontoon boat will disembark from Rock Creek Marina’s docks at 9:00 AM to cruise the Mississippi River with a naturalist guide. This is a free public event and will fill soon, so Call 563-259-1876 to reserve a seat today.
Moonlight & Music Cruise – Jul 26 – Aug 23 – Along with our regular Thursday night public cruises we will be offering a Moonlight & Music Cruise free of charge. Local talents will entertain as we drift along through the quiet moonlit waters. Call 563-259-1876 to reserve your seat.
Find more info about the Blue Heron and Rock Creek Marina & Campground, canoe & kayak rentals, or launching your own craft to paddle the backwaters at
Jul 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29; Motor Mill Free Tours, Turkey River WT. Free tours of historic 1860’s Motor Mill, related buildings, and town site, Noon-5:00 pm on scheduled weekends, group tours by appointment. Consider combining the tour with a paddle on the beautiful Turkey River Water Trail. Motor Mill Historic Site, Galaxy Road, Elkader; call: 563-245-1516 or visit: http://motormill.org/ Find Turkey River WT info at http://www.turkeyrivercorridor.com/trails/water-trails/ Additional free tour dates: Aug 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26; Sep 1-2, 15-16, 29-30; Oct 13-14.
Jul 9-13; Iowa DNR Project AWARE, Maquoketa River in Delaware, Jones, & Jackson Counties. With the retirement of Project AWARE coordinator Lynette Seigley, Iowa DNR is exploring partnerships to keep this event cleaning up Iowa’s rivers this season and in the future. Expect some changes, including new registration instructions. Potential sponsors or partners should call 515-725-8200. Details at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Things-to-Do/Canoeing-Kayaking/Project-AWARE
ACA Kayak Safety Clinic, Avenue of the Saints Lake near Waverly, sponsored by CrawDaddy Outdoors. Class is designed for beginning kayakers or those wanting to improve their skills; includes proper paddling strokes & rescue techniques. Outdoor classes are held in the summer at Avenue of the Saints Lake located west of the Hwy 218 and Hwy 3 intersection. All-day Safety Clinics at the Ave Saints Lake May 22, Jun 12, Jul 10 . You must call in advance to reserve your spot 319-352-9129 . Info & fees at http://crawdaddyoutdoors.com/crawdaddy-events/
CrawDaddy Outdoors Demo Days are free and no pre-registration is required. Has one of the fastest growing outdoor activities piqued your interest? There is no better way to select a kayak than to paddle it on the water. Let our experienced staff assist you in choosing the proper kayak to ensure you years of enjoyment in this popular sport. Our demo fleet has over 16 models to try. From recreational kayaks for lazy river floats, to fully rigged fishing kayaks for hauling in that big catch, to touring kayaks for those big water adventures, you are sure to find the best kayak for you.
Thursday Demos are from 6 to 8 pm at Avenue of the Saints Lake, rural Waverly. This is located 1 mile west of the Hwy 3 and Hwy 218 intersection. Turn south on Aspen Avenue and follow the gravel until you reach the lake.
2018 Kayak Demo Days are scheduled Apr 5, 19; May 3, 17, 31; Jun 14, 28; Jul 12, 26; Aug 9, 23; Sep 6, 20.
Jul 14; Iowa Summer Games Rowing Competition, Carter Lake, IA . Commissioner Danelle Stipes email@example.com Info at https://www.iowagames.org/event/summer-iowa-games/
Jul 14; Saturday, “SUP Intro,” 8:00 am-Noon, Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Beginners Class at Grays Lake, Des Moines. Des Moines Parks & Recreation and Iowa DNR are partnering to offer SUP skills courses at Grays Lake in Des Moines. DM Parks & Rec will supply the boards, Iowa DNR’s Todd Robertson will be instructing. For pricing and registration, contact Todd Robertson, Iowa DNR River Programs Outreach Coordinator/Paddling Instructor, P 515-725-8257, C 515-979-9538, firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer 2018; Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Classes at Grays Lake, Des Moines.
Des Moines Parks & Recreation and Iowa DNR are partnering to offer SUP skills courses at Grays Lake in Des Moines. DM Parks & Rec will supply the boards, Iowa DNR’s Todd Robertson will be instructing.
Jun 3; Sunday, “SUP Basics,” Noon-4:00 pm at Grays Lake in Des Moines. Beginners class. This class will be held during the Iowa DNR “FREE Fishing Weekend.”
Jun 9 & 10; Saturday & Sunday, “SUP Train the Trainer,” 10 am to 4 pm. Two day class for people who will be leading groups on both flat water and river, will include time on both Grays Lake and Raccoon River.
Jul 14; Saturday, “SUP Intro,” 8:00 am-Noon. Beginners class.
Aug 1; Wednesday, “SUP Basics,” 5:30 pm-800 pm. Beginners class.
For pricing and registration, contact Todd Robertson, Iowa DNR River Programs Outreach Coordinator/Paddling Instructor, P 515-725-8257, C 515-979-9538, email@example.com
CrawDaddy Outdoors Demo Days are free and no pre-registration is required.
Everyone test drives their car before buying – kayak demo days provide an opportunity for you to test paddle your kayak before buying. There really is a difference between kayaks and finding the correct kayak for you will add to your enjoyment of the sport. Demo days are free and no pre-registration is required. Come test out our fleet of 16+ kayaks to find that one that is right for you. Let our knowledgeable staff teach you features and benefits of each kayak and help you choose the right pfd and paddle to enhance your kayaking experience.
Saturday, April 14 | Hannen Lake: Blairstown, Iowa
Saturday, May 12 | Otter Creek County Park: Tama County, Iowa
Saturday, June 9 | Split Rock County Park: Chickasaw County, Iowa
Saturday, July 7 or 14 | Kohlmann Park: Waverly, Iowa
Saturday, August 4 | Lake Meyer: Calmar, Iowa
Saturday, September 15 | Rodgers Park: Vinton, Iowa