While kayaking provides a good upper body workout and increases core body strength, the best reason for kayaking is to relax. There are people that prefer kayaking rapids, but most of the lakes and rivers in Northeast Iowa offer a more tranquil experience. The sights and sounds along the river or lake are peaceful. Birds flying overhead, rippling water, tall trees along the banks and other glimpses of nature present a serene environment. These three kayaking opportunities in Northeast Iowa bestow a few tranquil hours to escape the stresses of life for the kayaker.
- Lake Meyer Park and Campgrounds: Lake Meyer Park and Campground is located in Winneshiek County near Calmar. The 38-acre lake delivers an awesome kayaking experience. Lake Meyer affords the ideal location for beginners to develop kayaking skills. Visitors may come for the day or stay overnight at the campgrounds. Amenities offered by the campgrounds include restrooms with showers, playground, picnic shelters and hiking trails. Park hours, directions and rates are available online.
- Trout Run Park: Trout Run Park is located along Hwy 9, just east of Decorah. The park is an excellent location to park a vehicle while kayaking. The stream connects to the Upper Iowa River. Kayakers can easily put in at this location spend the day on the river. Trout Run Park is a favorite choice of kayakers that prefer solitude. The 156-ft historic bridge erected in1879, is a breathtaking site to snap a photograph to commemorate the occasion. The park is a quiet place to enjoy a picnic lunch. Check online for directions to the park.
- Yellow River State Forest: Yellow River meanders through Allamakee County in northeast Iowa. There are several access sites for kayakers. The Paint Creek Unit offers campgrounds for overnight guests. The river has a swift current, which is excellent for experienced kayakers. There are some areas with short rapids and tricky turns. Deer, geese, turkey and other wildlife are often spotted along the river bank. The rolling hills and rock outcrops provide a beautiful backdrop, especially during the autumn months when the foliage turns splendid colors. Information on Yellow River may be accessed at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website.
*Photo is courtesy of Kayaking and Photography in Moss Landing by John C. Bruckman at Flickr’s Creative Commons.