Middle River Water Trail to be Dedicated Oct. 1
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DES MOINES - The Middle River Water Trail will be officially dedicated as Iowa’s 16th water trail during a public ceremony this Saturday, Oct. 1, at the lodge in Pammel State Park, southwest of Winterset.
Covering nearly 49 river miles, the Middle River Water Trail begins at Middle River Forest County Park in east-central Adair County and ends at Holliwell Covered Bridge southeast of Winterset. The scenic water trail flows under two of Madison County’s famous covered bridges, past rolling hills and abundant wildlife. The addition of the trail brings Iowa’s total miles of developed or dedicated water trails to 847.
The day’s activities, centered at the Pammel State Park lodge, begin at 10:30 a.m. with a program about Iowa rivers titled “Floating Through History” by former Des Moines Register outdoor writer, Larry Stone. The program is funded by a grant from Humanities Iowa, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The dedication ceremony will follow Stone’s program near the Pammel Park Ford Access. The Middle River can be a moderate paddling challenge, with riffles, small rapids and strainers, depending on water levels. However, due to current low water levels, the public float on the water trail has been canceled.
“Even though the float is cancelled,” says Todd Robertson, water trails outreach coordinator for the DNR. “There will be the option to paddle the “Pammel Loop” within the park, so people are encouraged to bring their boats. And a river walk has been added for people who wish to hike portions of the river instead of paddling. There will be rock-bar studies, insects to find and observe and many other surprises.”
The evening will end with an outdoor concert starting at 6:30 p.m., featuring the blues group, “Hot Tamale & the Red Hots.” Concert goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
The day’s events are free and open to the public. The Madison County River Alliance will provide a shrimp jambalaya meal at 5:30 p.m. at the lodge for those who make reservations by Wednesday, Sept. 28 through the Madison County Conservation Board at 515-462-3536.
“It is important that support is shown for the water trail and for the great work that both Madison and Adair counties have done for this beautiful stream,” says Robertson. “We invite people to come out and support not only this water trail, but all water trails in Iowa.”
The Middle River Water Trail was completed through a partnership between the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Rivers Program, the Adair County Conservation Board and the Madison County Conservation Board.
The Lake Red Rock Water Trail, Iowa’s 17th, is scheduled for official dedication on Oct. 8.