Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know

Interactive Paddling Map

Quick tips for easy use (or download the Interactive Paddling Map - How To):

  1. Click on “view larger map” link at the bottom left so map takes up your full screen.
  2. Click on the double arrow double arrow icon icon at top left to display map legend
  3. Zoom in (scroll) to view different map elements—symbols and their labels pop up as you zoom in)
  4. Click on map’s symbols to view details

To report hazards or any corrections to this map, please contact John Wenck at

Iowa rivers and creeks of paddle-able size are shown below. Various hazards are frequent, including constructed hazards such as dams and bridge construction, and natural hazards such as downed trees and swift currents.

View larger interactive paddling map.

map legend

Canoeing and Kayaking

Water Levels and Weather

Knowing your weather and streamflows helps make planning your next river trip a snap. Always plan in advance and know how much rain is falling or expected to fall well upstream from where you want to paddle. Check the wind map before going out on larger streams and big lakes. If you need assistance in understanding the streamflow table, contact

  • NEVER paddle when lightning is in the area
  • Always take a weather radio
  • If sandbar camping, be aware of weather farther upstream. River levels can rise quickly overnight.
  • Take your sunscreen
  • Know your water and air temperatures during cold weather months.

Iowa: Real-time Streamflow and Levels (USGS)

Iowa: Flood Information System (IFIS)

Join the Community

Paddling clubs and organizations are a great resource for paddlers, regardless of the type of paddling you do or skill level. Meet other paddlers, join groups on various outings and even lead your own trips.

Many paddling clubs have river clean-ups that they organize and occasionally travel outside of Iowa for paddling adventures. Stay connected and plug into a paddling club near you!

More resources: