Developing Water Trails in Iowa

Initiated, funded, and mandated by the Iowa General Assembly and Governor Chester J. Culver.

Practical guidelines and templates for planning, site design, signage and construction in the state of Iowa.


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Water trails offer an amazing way to experience remote areas of Iowa. Paddling provides both exercise and relaxation. Beyond directly benefiting people, the thoughtful development and management of water trails offers Iowa a chance to protect fragile ecosystems, as well as to gradually restore low-quality stream reaches and watersheds. Use of water trails, in turn, draws public attention to the state’s surface waters and riparian landscapes and can demonstrate the relationship between water quality and land management.

Published June 01, 2010

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