4.3 Evansdale

Deerwood Park

Jurisdiction: City of Evansdale
Access number: 158
Launch type: Boat ramp
Next segment skill level: Beginner
Next segment classification: Recreational
Distance to next access: 1.0 miles (currently), 1.3 miles (planned)

Deerwood Park is the premiere recreation area in the City of Evansdale.  The park includes a large camping area with full hook-ups for campers as well as tent camping areas.

The park also includes two rentable shelters, a disc golf course, two large playground areas, ball fields, and restrooms.  Deerwood Park is situated along the River Forest Road Levee Trail which connects directly to the Cedar Valley Lakes Trail and Cedar Valley Nature Trail.

The parking area that serves the boat ramp is a small paved lot with limited space for maneuvering large vehicles with trailers.

Public Comments

One respondent indicated they would like a restroom at Deerwood Park, presumably closer to the boat ramp.

Site Recommendations

Above all, the main recommendation for Deerwood Park is reconfiguring the parking area.  Adding two parking islands with pollinator plantings will help improve circulation for large vehicles with trailers and help define the parking area.  The pollinator plantings will improve the habitat for pollinators near the boat ramp.  The redefined parking area includes nine stalls for pull-through trailer parking, including one accessible stall with an adjacent 10’ x 10’ staging area.  Additional improvements to the parking area include a tie-down lane, a staging area, and rock or wood barriers around the parking area to protect the existing and proposed vegetation.

Recommendations for Deerwood Park also include a total of 6,000 square feet of vegetation to serve as a filter strip between the parking lot and the Cedar River.

Cost Estimate

Signage

New Evansdale Access

Jurisdiction: City of Evansdale
Access number: None (possibly define as 156)
Launch type: Boat ramp (planned)
Next segment skill level: Beginner
Next segment classification: Recreational
Distance to next access: 5.5 miles

A new river access is proposed along River Road in the City of Evansdale.  This site is uniquely situated between the Cedar Valley Nature Trail and the Cedar River.  The site is also located within the Interstate 380 right-of-way owned by the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT).

In addition to recreational uses, the proposed river access would also improve response times for emergencies in the Cedar River.  The access would effectively reduce the distance between the Evansdale and Gilbertville boat ramps from about 7.5 miles to 5.5 miles.

The proposed river access has a confined footprint, and a new parking lot would not be feasible next to the proposed boat ramp.  However, there are currently a few parking spaces along River Road.  There is some open space further west which could allow for a small parking area.

Flooding is another issue with the proposed river access area.  During high water events, the site is almost entirely underwater.  River Road itself does not flood, so the river is still accessible for emergency responders if necessary.

There were no comments regarding the proposed access in Evansdale.

Site Recommendations

There are numerous recommendations for the proposed river access in Evansdale.  These include improved surfacing, a new parking area, an eight-foot wide walking trail, a trail connection to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail, and a bike rack for pedal-paddle trips.

The new parking lot, as shown, includes two parking islands which are angled to optimize traffic flow for vehicles with trailers.  The new parking area includes six stalls suitable for pull-through trailer parking.  Wooden posts or large stones should be used to define the new parking area, and a vegetated filter area can be added west of the parking area to treat runoff and improve the landscaping of the site.  The planned walking path would cross River Road and continue east to the boat ramp.

Along River Road, an additional paved shoulder would accommodate up to three standard-sized vehicles or one vehicle with a trailer.  A circular driveway is planned to provide easy access to the river for boaters with trailers, and a staging area near the boat ramp will give paddlers space next to the boat ramp to load and unload.  The new boat ramp will be reinforced with new class B revetments.  Signage will be particularly helpful for motorists with trailers, as they navigate their way through the boat ramp area and the new parking area.

Cost Estimate

Signage