Category Archives: Uncategorized

Join the IWTA Community–Subscribing is Supportive, Informative, Easy, and FREE!

Summer 2015 is flying by, but the Water Trail outdoor events continue well into the colorful Iowa fall. For some hardy souls, the outdoor activity continues right through the winter; for others, there are indoor meetings and shows. To ensure that you remain “in the loop,” we encourage you to subscribe to the monthly IWTA Newsletter. It arrives via email, you can unsubscibe at any time, and it’s FREE! We’re about to surpass 1200 subscribers, which is a good indicator of Water Trails support in Iowa, so we hope that you will add to that number.

Subscribe to the free, monthly email IWTA Newsletter at:

It’s July, With Plenty of Rain Still in the Weather Forecasts.

We can’t control Mother Nature, or the amount of rain she sends, but we can take steps to make our WT adventures enjoyable and safe. Several events were canceled or rescheduled in late June due to bad weather or either high or low water levels. Such is the fate of our WT event calendar, so we recommend that you double check before driving any distance to an event.

Check the river level and weather forecast before you head out. These localized “cloudbursts” can create a flash flood along one stream, while another watershed may be unaffected.

As always — Please be careful out there! Remember to wear your PFD, paddle with others, know your capabilities, and file a float plan.

Enjoy twice the Full Moon Paddling opportunities in July–both July 1 and July 31!  Many paddler clubs and recreation groups will be scheduling events on or around those dates. A group in Cedar Rapids will shift theirs to July 3 to coincide with a fireworks display over the Cedar River (Email Nick Gaeta at: Some of you may be floating under the pyrotechnics in your communities on July 4.  Louisa CCB will be hosting a Full Moon Paddle on Lake Odessa on July 31.

We do our best to include all corrections, cancellations, and reschedules ASAP in our newsletters and other materials, but the most current info on events will probably always be the Events Calendar on the IWTA Website. Please contact us with your further additions or corrections:

It’s June, With Our Biggest Calendar Ever!

It’s June, with the most WT-related events of any month on our IWTA Calendar. Father’s Day is officially June 21, but feel free to celebrate on whichever date or whichever WT event that fits your family schedule. Take Dad for a cool float–save working around the hot BBQ for next month.

The IWTA 2015 Calendar now includes over 140 events, celebrations, floats, races, tours, cleanups, presentations, shows, workshops, meetings, full moon dates, and holiday reminders. You can find those calendar items in the Newsletter, on the Website, and in the PDF.

Access the Current and Recent IWTA Newsletters:  Subscribe to the free, monthly email IWTA Newsletter:

All of these events deserve your consideration, participation, and support, but we hope that you will definitely consider attending the Iowa Trails Summit June 11-12. This Summit promotes the efforts of Iowans working to develop, manage, and market all forms of trails, and Water Trails are finding their place alongside trails for hikers, cyclists, snowmobilers, equestrians, off-roaders, and others. June 11 will include a full day of presentations and programs relating to Water Trails, and June 12 will include at least one panel discussion on Water Trails. It will be a great opportunity to learn, to network, and to support the Water Trails initiative.
We hope to see you at the Iowa Trails Summit in Cedar Falls June 11-12.

Please note that the “IWTA 2015 Planning Calendar” PDF listed in the “Quick Links” has again been updated with the most recent cancellations, date changes, and new event additions. Please contact us with your further additions or corrections.

Please be careful out there!
Remember to wear your PFD, paddle with others, know your capabilities, and file a float plan.

May Is When Mother Nature Unleashes the Forces of Spring Growth.

May is the month when Mother Nature unleashes the forces of spring growth. The bare limbs and naked bluffs disappear behind a cloak of green. Migratory songbirds and waterfowl appear, some simply passing through, others to share our Iowa summer. Paddle craft escape the confines of garages, happily riding on roof racks, like a dog with its head out the car window.

Our Water Trails are welcoming us back, and the May issue of the IWTA Newsletter is full of evidence. Check out all of the events and other opportunities across Iowa. Most are also listed on the “Events” tab of this website.

Access the Current and Recent IWTA Newsletters:    Subscribe to the free, monthly email IWTA Newsletter:

Whether you prefer to join in an organized event, or simply gather a small group for an informal outing, it’s time to get out there and enjoy our Water Trails.

We do our best to continually update the events listed in the IWTA Website “Events” tab, in the IWTA Newsletters, and in the “IWTA 2015 Planning Calendar” PDF listed in the “Quick Links.”  Please email any cancellations, date changes, or new event additions to us at

We have already had one paddling fatality in Iowa this season. Remember to wear your PFD, paddle with others, know your capabilities, and file a float plan.  Please be careful out there!

IWTA Receives All Star Award from Constant Contact.

We are pleased to share this announcement with our IWTA Newsletter readers, who provide the information, support, and encouragement which made this recognition possible.

The Iowa Water Trails Association (IWTA) was named a 2014 All Star Award winner by Constant Contact®, Inc., the trusted marketing advisor to more than 600,000 small organizations worldwide. The award, given annually to the top 10% of Constant Contact’s international customer base, recognizes these select businesses and nonprofits for their significant achievements leveraging online marketing tools to engage their customer base and drive success for their organization. IWTA is one such exemplary organization. Criteria used to select this year’s All Stars included the following:

  • Level of engagement with email campaigns
  • Open, bounce, and click-through rate
  • Use of social sharing features
  • Use of mailing list sign-up tools
  • Use of reporting tools

“At Constant Contact, our goal is to help small businesses do more business and for these businesses, success with marketing is a huge piece of that puzzle,” said Chris Litster, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Constant Contact. “We’re thrilled to recognize the Iowa Water Trails Association for their commendable achievements in 2014 with this All Star Award.”

In April, Our Focus Shifts From Indoors to Outdoors.

April is when our focus shifts from indoors to outdoors, from video presentations to live participations, from store shopping to demonstration paddles, from planning to doing. It’s farewell to salt and shovels, hello to paddles, boats, and Water Trails!  Please note that the IWTA Events Calendar (click on “Events” tab) has been updated through July 2015, including new events, date changes, and cancellations.

Check out the April IWTA Newsletter for information on paddling events, canoe and kayak on-water demonstrations, an updated 2015 IWTA Paddler Planning Calendar, paddler classes, recognition of the IRR River Town and River City of the Year, our “Where Is It?” and “What Is It” quizzes, and more.

Newsletter subscribers can also look forward to a special IWTA Newsletter bonus issue in their email inboxes in early April.  This photo review will highlight some of the events which IWTA (and many of you) attended Jan-Mar 2015.

Please remember that it’s the start of spring, not summer. The ice is out, the sunshine is inviting, but the water temperatures are still cold, and a combination of wind and rain can quickly lead to hypothermia. File a float plan, dress appropriately, carry energy foods, and paddle with friends.

Please be careful out there!

We have enjoyed visiting with our readers at various events so far in 2015, and hope that some of you will stop by the Apr 19 Jones County Earth Day Fair in Anamosa. 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.

February is the “Anticipation” Phase of Enjoying Water Trails.

February may not be your favorite time to visit a Water Trail, but it is a good time to visit with paddler friends, drop by the local paddler shop, broadcast wildflower seed which requires stratification, follow the efforts of the Iowa legislature, capture some winter photos, and (special reminder to guys) remember Valentine’s Day!

The February email IWTA Newsletter has been issued.  If you did not receive a copy, click on the “Newsletter” page to enter your free subscription or visit the Newsletter Archive.  Enter your new subscription by Feb 15, and we’ll forward the Feb IWTA Newsletter directly to your email address.

Among the many items in the February IWTA Newsletter:

  • IWTA 2015 Planning Calendar PDF.
  • Links to what IWTA Newsletter Readers are Reading & Writing.
  • Link to complete results of the recent Newsletter Survey to use in preparing your own surveys.
  • Paddler shows, conferences, photography workshops in February-March.
  • Training classes for paddlers, water & wildlife monitors.
  • Raising Chickadee awareness for tax season.
  • And, the Quizzes!

We invite you to share your ideas and opinions in our new “Future of IWTA” survey:

Future of IWTA Survey

Spring is coming, keep the faith. Think of February as the “anticipation” phase of enjoying Water Trails.

Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy, & Safe New Year!

It’s time to renew those annual resolutions about setting priorities, paddling more often, and supporting efforts to improve our Water Trails environment.

The IWTA is embracing its own resolutions for 2015, including incorporating your survey feedback into improving the IWTA Newletter. We would also appreciate your corrections & additions to the rough draft IWTA 2015 Planning Calendar (see the January Newsletter for pdf).

We also hope that you will check out the recent additions to the “Water Trails” and “Links” pages of this website. These will always be “works in progress,” and your input would greatly increase their accuracy and usefulness to others.  We have been able to “borrow” many brief Water Trail descriptions from maps and brochures, but we would like to update your Water Trail listing with your best description and best link(s) to more information.  Our goal is to help website visitors connect with your Water Trail.

The website “Events” calendar page has been updated through April, and again, we always appreciate your corrections or suggestions of events related to Water Trails.

Contact us at

Please be careful out there, and we’ll look forward to visiting with you at the paddling shows during January, February, and March.

Dreaming of Water Trails in December.

Wow! It’s December already, and December again—

“Already” because 2014 has flown by. And “Again” because this is our third December issue of the IWTA Newsletter.

Our first issue was July 2012, which means that we have been bringing you info, ideas, and insight about Iowa Water Trails for 2 1/2 years. We hope that you have enjoyed the journey as much as we have.

Our growth to over 1100 subscribers indicates that we are doing something right, but we always welcome your comments and suggestions on how we can make this newsletter more valuable to you. Please keep us informed via email at:

For a hardy few, paddling in Iowa is a year-round activity. Those hardy few have learned a lot about dealing with a mixture of water and ice, proper gear, proper planning, and safety in numbers. If you think this challenge might be for you, we highly recommend that you visit with experienced paddlers through a full-service paddling shop, or experienced members of groups like Central Iowa Paddlers, Skunk River Paddlers, or Cedar Valley Paddlers.

Please be careful out there, and we’ll look forward to visiting with you at the paddling shows during January, February, and March.


Enjoy the Sights, Sounds, & Smells of October on Iowa Water Trails.

Many Iowans consider October their favorite month to visit a Water Trail.  Water levels favor leisurely floats, and provide frequent opportunities to explore sand and gravel bars for natural treasure.  The colors and textures will change dramatically over the course of 31 days.  The constant flow of migrating visitors will make each day unique.  It’s a relaxing time, but with a hint of urgency, since we know that the warmth will fade with the colors.

There will be plenty of time to watch football when the snow flies.  Now is the time to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of Water Trails.  Invite a friend, grab your camera, and get out there!