July Update

It’s been a few months since the last update, but planning efforts are still alive and well for the Water Trails Master Plan.  Most recently, we’ve been working on signage plans for 22 accesses along the Cedar River.  These include directional signs on roadways, dam warning signs, and signage to be installed at each entry point.  This process requires much coordination between each City, Black Hawk County, the Iowa DNR, and the Iowa DOT.

For Black Hawk County residents, these signs may be the most visible outcome of the Master Plan process.  All 22 signage plans are currently under review.  The next steps are to meet with elected officials to review the Master Plan and identify maintenance responsibilities for each government entity.  The remaining chapters of the plan will be uploaded in the next few weeks (in draft form).  These will include the signage plans and proposed improvements to each access along the Cedar River and Black Hawk Creek.  Check back next month for more information, and stay safe out there!

March Update

After much review, we have begun uploading the Water Trails Master Plan in it’s final draft version.  The plan can be viewed in your current browser on the Master Plan page, and will also be available in PDF format to download.  Please be patient as we publish each section, one part at a time.

January Update

Here is a quick update on the Water Trails Master Plan.  Since this summer’s public meetings, lead staff have been busy reviewing public comments and meeting with park managers across Black Hawk County.  Recommendations for the Master Plan are currently being finalized for over two dozen river accesses throughout the county.

Altogether, 94 individuals provided input on the Master Plan.  This information has been used to help shape the plan document and recommendations.  The full document will be uploaded to this website shortly, including the results of the public input meeting surveys.

Also in January is Paddle Fest 2019 in Waverly!  The event will be held Saturday, January 26 and will feature presentations on several different paddling-related topics including the Black Hawk County Water Trails Master Plan.  Click here to visit the Paddle Fest website and learn more about this year’s presenters.



Take the Online Survey

Update: The 2018 water trails survey is now closed.  Thank you to all who participated in the public meetings and provided input.  Your feedback will be used to guide recommendations in the Black Hawk County Water Trails Master Plan.

Be Social!

Paddling is a great way to get away from it all and unplug.  It’s also a great way to interact and socialize with friends.

When you’re not out on the rivers, plug in!  And “Like” our new Facebook page www.facebook.com/cedarvalleywatertrails.  The page will feature highlights from the Master Plan, updates on new development along the rivers, and snazzy graphics showing the planned improvements at each river access.  Click, react, comment, and share.  Stay tuned for more!

CedarValleyWaterTrails.com is Here

It’s official.  The website cedarvalleywatertrails.com is now live!  Please click around the new site for more information about the Cedar River and Black Hawk Creek water trails.  Two public meetings will be held this summer to help shape the Black Hawk County Water Trails Master Plan.  They will be held July 31 in Cedar Falls and August 2 in Waterloo, which is the week leading up to Iowa Irish Fest.

Please familiarize yourself with the informational handouts available on this website.  The handouts address common questions related to paddling rules and the rivers in general.  Printed copies will be available at the public meetings.  Hope to see you there!

The Black Hawk County Water Trails Master Plan is Underway

A local planning effort is underway to improve recreational activities, particularly kayaking and canoeing, along the Cedar River and Black Hawk Creek in Black Hawk County.  This is a joint effort between several public agencies and community stakeholders:

  • Iowa DNR, River Programs Team
  • Iowa DNR, George Wyth Memorial State Park
  • Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments (INRCOG)
  • Black Hawk County Conservation Board
  • Black Hawk County Soil and Water Conservation District
  • City of Waterloo
  • City of Cedar Falls
  • City of Evansdale
  • City of Hudson
  • City of Janesville
  • City of Gilbertville
  • City of La Porte City
  • Black Hawk Creek Water and Soil Coalition
  • Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau
  • Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
  • Ritland+Kuiper Landscape Architects
  • UNI Department of Earth Science

This effort includes development of a Water Trails Master Plan for the county.  The Master Plan will describe planned improvements to river accesses, particularly improvements related to river launch design, parking, water quality, wildlife habitat, and quality of life.   The Black Hawk County plan will also include unique opportunities for bicyclists interested in pedal-paddle excursions using the area’s extensive paved trails network.

More information on the statewide Water Trails program is on the Iowa DNR website.