Buy your Hunting and Fishing license online today! We offer multi-year packages and combos for whatever you need to stay licensed.
Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle.
Make your online reservation for state park cabins, camping sites and lodges.
Iowa DNR Customer Service
Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 4:30pm CST
Submit Online Inquiry
Information / Records Requests
Contact Information by County
Intro: Introduction and Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Water Trails in Iowa
Chapter 2: State Designation of Water Trails
Chapter 3: Design Development
Chapter 4: Land and Stream Management
Chapter 5: Managing River Recreation in Iowa
Chapter 6: Signage
New Water Trail Projects:
The statewide water trails plan Iowa Water Trails: Connecting People with Water and Resources identified the need for good initial planning. The first planning phase (pre-planning) generally requires 6 to 12 months. After this phase we require the project manager file a letter of intent with us in order to help us assess, advise, and prioritize future projects. This is a new process change that will be required for all new projects.
After you have finished your initial planning, please file a letter of intent, which includes the following:
Send your letter of intent to:
Water Trails Coordinator
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
502 E 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034
Iowa Water Trails - Connecting People with Water and Resources
The Water Trails Statewide Plan provides water trail developers, vounteers, dam owners, and others with information on Iowa's rivers and suggestions on how to work with them.
Communicating: Display Panels, Kiosks, Brochures, and Web Options
Water trails guidelines for creating various forms of brochures, electronic media, kiosks, and display panels
Water Trails, Disabilities, and Adaptive Paddling Resources
Adaptive paddling can open a whole new world for people with mobility impairments. Appropriately designed accesses can add help establish freedom and independence for a whole new set of Iowans. While there are no official Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for typical river access launches, Iowa DNR encourages water trail developers to be inclusive for varying abilities as possible, so long as the setting needs not be substantially altered. In addition, a new priority is the creation of paired "Universal Design" launches and landings, which are hoped to provide freedom and independence for a variety of users (See Chapter 3 of Developing Water Trails in Iowa)
The only type of access that must meet ADA design specifications are ones that include boarding piers. All other types of water launches are exempt from ADA guidelines. See ADA water access design guidelines and http://www.americantrails.org/resources/accessible/index.html for more details.
Water Trails Site Planning and Work Crew Assistance Application: (Closed)
Planning Work Crew Assistance
Planning Work Crew Assistance
The Iowa DNR River Programs is offering an opportunity for site planning and work crew assistance. This will be an ongoing opportunity with a deadline of November 29th, 2013. The crew is designed to help groups with a variety of low-tech projects in Iowa on Designated or In-Progress Water Trails that adhere to naturalistic river and surface trail design principles, or on a site of a low-head dam mitigation project. For questions please contact Luke Wright at Luke.Wright@dnr.iowa.gov or Zach Kopriva at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dam Mitigation Grants Available
The Iowa Legislature appropriated funds for fiscal year 2016 for the development of dam mitigation and water trail projects. A portion the funds are available competitively for dam mitigation cost-share grants. Dam owners and other eligible entities are encouraged to apply for cost-share assistance for projects that reduce recreational hazards and enhance aquatic species connectivity. For guidance on how projects might be approached, please read “Solving Dam Problems: Iowa’s 2010 Plan for Dam Mitigation” and/or “Developing Water Trails in Iowa.”
Application form: damgrantapp15.docx
Application Form: damgrantapp15.pdf
Application post-mark deadline: December 16th, 2015
Total amount available: $800,000