Water! Water! Water!

Upper Iowa River

Water! Water! Water!

The Upper Iowa River, a 150-mile tributary of the Mississippi River, is located in the Driftless Area of Northeast Iowa. One of the most beloved rivers in the Midwest, it is the only Iowa river to be nominated for inclusion in the nation's Wild and Scenic Rivers Program and canoeing the Upper Iowa River has been recommended as one of the top 100 adventures in the United States by National Geographic Adventure Magazine.

The remote nature of the river, towering limestone bluffs, public natural areas, exceptional fishery, and abundant wildlife, draw visitors from around the world. The watershed boasts water falls, cold water trout streams, hardwood forests, bucolic farms and small villages and towns. The public and private partners along the river and in the watershed take pride in working independently and with others to restore and protect the river and its watershed so that it can be enjoyed by many generations to come.

Upper Iowa River Alliance

Upper Iowa River Alliance

The Upper Iowa River Alliance is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that exists to promote, protect, and enhance the Upper Iowa River.

The Upper Iowa River Alliance was created as an opportunity for representatives of tourism groups, county conservation boards, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Upper Iowa River landowners to have a venue in which to speak to one another to resolve issues and develop opportunities for unique and strong partnerships.

This partnership from Howard, Winneshiek and Allamakee counties has proved crucial for the development of river resources, and with the state of Iowa's unique laws regarding ownership rights, it won't be disappearing anytime soon. Nearly all of the waterways in Iowa are privately owned (non-meandered) but the water is open to public use. This creates a unique and possibly troubling scenario for livery owners and other businesses who are reliant on the Iowa rivers. The opportunity the River Alliance has created for open dialogue has created a strong foundation in which both conservation and tourism focused on natural resources can be built. It is the foundation for win-win scenarios.

Lake Hendricks
and Campground

Lake Hendricks<br/>and Campground

The idea for Lake Hendricks Park first began in the autumn of 1951 when K.K. "Buck" Hendricks had asked a couple of friends to accompany him on a walk in "Hendricks Woods". During their walk, Buck expressed an interest in preserving the area for future generations.

During the period of 1958-60, the Howard County Conservation Board and the Mitchell County Conservation Board began planning the establishment of Lake Hendricks Park. The Army Corps of Engineers assisted with the design and specification of the dam. Local volunteers completed most of the construction of the lake bed.

Today Lake Hendricks Park is Howard County's largest and most popular park. This 234-acre park is one of the oldest in the county conservation board system and the largest man-made lake in Iowa.

Vernon Springs Mill Pond
Turkey River Campground

Vernon Springs Mill Pond<br/>Turkey River Campground

Take a walk (and maybe a fishing pole) on Iowa's first Rock Arch Rapids. Located on the Vernon Springs Mill Pond, this innovative fish ladder replaced a 150-year-old spill-water dam reconnecting hundreds of miles of river habitat. Over 280 feet of pools and rapids showcase this stunning new recreation area and is located at the end of the Prairie Springs Recreational Trail.

While you are there, leave enough time to tour the Prairie's Edge Nature Center and check out the newly renovated and spectacular displays of wildlife and plants native to our area. Next door is the ever-popular Turkey River Campground enjoyed throughout the camping season.

    Accessible to Persons with Disabilities
    Pets Allowed
    Full Hookups
    Boating
    Electrical Sites
    Dump Station
    Modern Restrooms
    Rate Range: $20 - $40
    Trails: Hiking, Biking, Cross-country skiing, Nature Observation, Snowmobiling