Canoeing

Jones County

The Maquoketa River - South Fork

South Fork-

Maquoketa River

The scenic Maquoketa River begins in Fayette County and passes through Delaware, Jones, and Jackson County and joins with the North Fork of the Maquoketa before entering the Mississippi River near Green Island.  In Jones County the Maquoketa flows roughly 35 miles passing through the community of Monticello before entering Jackson County near Canton.  Several canoe liveries provide canoe and tube rental opportunities.

CAUTION: Use extreme caution near the Mon Maq Dam near Monticello. Low head dams are extremely dangerous. Uniformly falling water below the dam scours holes where the water recirculates trapping its victims under water. People should not venture over, on, or close to these structures or will risk drowning.

 

The Maquoketa River - North Fork

North Fork-

Maquoketa River

The North Fork of the Maquoketa River passing through Jones County gives one the opportunity to imagine oneself in true wilderness.

 

Averaging 70 feet wide this shallow stream is characterized by a sandy bottom sometimes interspersed with rocks and boulders below steep bluffs and wooded shorelines.

Entering Jones County in the town of Cascade paddlers should portage around the Dam found in the center of town. CAUTION: Use extreme caution near the Dam in Cascade. Low head dams are extremely dangerous. Uniformly falling water below the dam scours holes where the water recirculates trapping its victims under water. People should not venture over, on, or close to these structures or will risk drowning.

The Wapsipinicon River

The Wapsipinicon River

The Wapsipinicon, or Wapsi, as it is locally known, is a tributary of the Mississippi River, and the longest of the area, reaching approximately 225 miles.

 

Beginning in Mower County, Minnesota, the Wapsi enters Iowa in Mitchell County, and flows southeast through Howard, Chickasaw, Bremer, Black Hawk, Buchanan, and Linn Counties before it arrives in Jones County. Entering Jones County just north west of Stone City, it flows for roughly 43 miles, before exiting the county approximately 5 miles southeast of Oxford Junction. Along the lower 25 miles, it turns east, and forms the boundary between Clinton and Scott Counties. From there, it joins the Mississippi southwest of Clinton.

There are several legends of how the river was named. One interesting version comes from a Native American love story of two young lovers, Wapsie and Pinnekon, who went on a canoe trip, where a jealous rival for Wapsie’s love shot an arrow into the heart of Pinnekon. When Wapsie jumped to help Pinnekon, the canoe tipped, and the lovers were drowned in the fast-moving waters. Their names were joined and given to the river, thus unifying them forever.

Downstream recreationalists will need to portage around the dam at Anamosa. CAUTION:  Use extreme caution near the Anamosa Dam. Low head dams are extremely dangerous. Uniformly falling water below the dam scours holes where the water recirculates trapping its victims under water. People should not venture over, on, or close to these structures or will risk drowning.

River Accesses

River Maps

River Level and Paddling Clubs & Organizations

Canoe Rentals

Conservation Board Canoes

Central Park Lake is a great location to learn canoeing skills!

 

Because of many generous donations the Jones County Conservation Board has six canoes, life preservers, and paddles for organized youth groups and schools to use at no charge at Central Park Lake.

 

Reservations may be made after the first of the year for that calendar year by calling the Jones County Conservation Administrative Office at (563)487-3541.

  

Canoe Usage Rules

 

A special “Thanks” to the following donors:The Robert Byse Family, The Charlie Becker Family, Monticello Lions Club, Monticello Jaycees Club, Pumpkinfest/Anamosa Chamber of Commerce, Twin Rivers Pheasants Forever, Jones County Ducks Unlimited, Monticello Campfire Council, Wapsi Bottoms Whitetails Unlimited, The Sheryl Welper Family, and Jamie Appleby.

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