In conjunction with the Summer of Paddling 2012, Iowa’s newest water trail will be designated during a ceremony at the American Trust Rivers Edge Plaza in the Port of Dubuque at 9 a.m., June 23, in Dubuque.
The Dubuque Water Trail was developed with the support of a Water Trails Development Grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Located in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, the Dubuque Water Trail is 11 miles of shoreline along the western edge of the Mississippi River and the Catfish Creek, beginning at A.Y. McDonald Park and boat ramp and concluding at Massey Marina Park and boat ramp.
The trail was designed with five access points that can provide trips of various lengths for paddlers of all skill levels.
“Whether you are paddling the shoreline of the main channel or enjoying backwater excursions, the trail is an exceptional sightseeing and recreational opportunity. It is where history, nature, commerce and recreation come together to create an amazing experience like none other,” said Todd Robertson, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Rivers Programs and Water Trails.
Paddlers are invited to join the designation ceremony and bring their paddle craft to participate in the inaugural, guided paddle from the Rivers Edge Plaza and up Catfish Creek.
There will be two paddling options following the designation ceremony.
More experienced paddlers comfortable with a 6.5 mile trip are encouraged to organize and depart from the River's Edge Plaza.
Paddlers with less experience and those who prefer a shorter trip can organize at the Catfish Creek Canoe Launch in the Mines of Spain at 11 a.m., to join the group from the River's Edge Plaza and paddle the final four miles up the scenic Catfish Creek together.
Life vests are mandatory to participate in the inaugural paddle and paddlers will be responsible for arranging transportation.
Erica Wheeler, an award-winning singer/songwriter with a background in environmental studies, will be joining paddlers at the Catfish Creek Canoe Launch.
As part of her Soulful Landscape programs, Wheeler helps people reconnect with places. She will be offering a sense of place activity, for those who are interested, at the Julien Dubuque Monument during the Catfish Creek portion of the event.
Wheeler will also be performing a public concert at the first annual National Mississippi River Boat Fest at 5 p.m., at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium public courtyard. The concert will relate to the paddling experience on the Mississippi River and Catfish Creek.
The inaugural paddle will officially conclude upon return to the Catfish Creek Canoe Launch.
The Dubuque Water Trail was made possible through partnerships between the City of Dubuque, Friends of the Mines of Spain, Dubuque County Conservation Board and Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium Boat
The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium Boat Fest at the River Edge Plaza in the Port of Dubuque has activities planned for June 23 and 24.
Boats of all kinds from canoes to yachts will participate in the festivities that include a sailboat regatta, boat contest, children's village, Rock n' Rollin' on the River party, birch bark canoe, knot tying and paddle making demonstrations and more.
Information on the Summer of Paddling 2012 is available at http://www.sop2012.org/