Jurisdiction: City of Hudson
Access number: 15
Launch type: Carry-down only
Next segment skill level: Advanced
Next segment classification: Wilderness
Distance to next access: 7.0 miles
Franck Park is a small triangular-shaped park immediately off Iowa Highway 58. While the park is owned by the City of Hudson, the carry-down launch is situated in the state highway right-of-way. There are no defined parking spaces in the park and maneuvering a vehicle can be challenging when others are present. There is a risk of parked cars getting boxed in.
Water trail access signs and wayfinding signs are already installed for Franck Park. The park entrance can be difficult to locate, however, especially for first-time visitors. The gravel driveway is shared for about 20 feet with a private residence and could be mistaken for private property. Trees along the property line can obscure the park entrance particularly for northbound traffic. The posted speed limit in this area ranges from 40 to 55 mph.
While the Franck Park access has a relatively small footprint, Black Hawk Creek runs through Hudson for a considerable distance. The land immediately surrounding Franck Park is privately owned. Further downstream, the creek runs past the municipal golf course and undeveloped land owned by Black Hawk County Conservation. Much of this land is prone to flooding, including Franck Park.
Two written comments were received regarding Franck Park:
- “Would like to see a concrete put in at Franck Park.” – Hudson resident
- “[There’s] no developed access at Hudson” – Waterloo resident
In addition, one respondent said they would like drinking water at Franck Park.
Recommendations for Frank Park aim to preserve its Wilderness classification. A gravel parking area is recommended which allows for up to 12 designated parking spaces, though fewer may be desired. Large rocks or wood bollards are recommended along the driveway and parking area. A shelter is also recommended, though it would need to be built to withstand regular flooding. A “No Trailers” sign is recommended due to the park’s tight configuration. A staging area for loading and unloading is also recommended near the existing trail and launch. These recommendations do not include construction of a new boat ramp, because the location for a new ramp has not yet been determined. Utility lines are buried near the existing launch.
In addition to the recommendations above, the Water Trails Master Plan supports any effort to improve visibility to the entrance of Frank Park and any future parks along Black Hawk Creek in Hudson. Furthermore, the Master Plan supports property acquisition along the creek in Hudson to create new recreational areas and expand public access to the creek. Lastly, a paved right-turn pocket along Iowa Highway 58 would improve traffic flow and navigation to the access for southbound traffic.
The original signage plan for Franck Park was developed in 2009. As signs are replaced, the Next Downstream Launch sign should be updated to reflect the mileage shown in this plan.