Monthly Feature: Get acquainted with a Water Trail: Boone River

The Boone River Water Trail is described as a wild and intimate river flowing through a narrow, wooded corridor. It is an approximate 26 mile section in Hamilton County beginning in Webster City with six access points for put ins and take outs.

Described in “Paddling Iowa” as one of “Central Iowa’s best paddling streams”.

Classified: Non- Meandered Stream:

Non-Meandered means: land on both sides of river and river bed are privately owned, except where marked “public”. Please respect private property while using.

Skills: Intermediate level paddling skills recommended.

River drop: 3-9 feet per mile

Rock rapids, deep woods, narrow valleys, wooded bluffs, sandstone cliffs, fast and long riffle runs, runs mostly clear

Possible wildlife views of:
Great Blue Heron, Double Breasted Cormorant, Cliff Swallows, Hawks, Eagles, River Otters, Beaver, Mussels, and Shore Birds

Fishing: Catfish and Small mouth Bass

To learn more specific information, connect to these links.

Brochures and maps: can be downloaded and paper copies can be picked up at assorted Conservation offices and Nature Centers.Go to for online viewing.

A good way to plan your trip is by using the IDNR Interactive Mapping Services resource.

Go to the IMS Guide for instructions on how to use the Interactive Mapping Services, or access the IMS directly by going to Recreation Map at

Briggs Wood, Boone River
 Photo by Gregg Stark