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Racoon River in Iowa

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

We wanted to kayak the Raccoon River by Adel, IA for some time. Here in Iowa, and especially central Iowa we have been in a drought for a couple months so the water has been pretty low.

We paddled a little over 11 miles yesterday in a little under 6 hours, mainly due to all the log jams and sand bars. We put in at the Snyder Access just west of Minburn, IA and our end point was the Kinnick-Feller Riverside Park in Adel, IA.

Snyder Access is just before and to the left of the bridge on the map. Don't go to fast or you will miss it, it's hard to see and looks like it may be someone's driveway. Snyder Access is a good access point and has plenty of parking.

Like I said above the water was pretty low. Between Snyder access and HWY 44 Access we had to get out and drag our kayaks over multiple sandbars. There are no serious rapids, and only a couple riffles and some large rocks. There were countless dead trees in the water though-out the trip but no major issues. There were a few sharp bends that were problematic because of the numerous trees and brush that were down in the river.

There was only one complete blockage of the river and this was when the river forks to the left and right, about 9.2 miles downstream from Snyder access. Take the river right and it brings you to Kinnick-Feller park only 1.8 miles from the fork, take the river left and it brings you to Adel Island Park roughly an extra 5 miles and the last 1/3 mile is paddling upstream.

We went to the right. Coming up on the fork the entire river was blocked with dead trees. We had to get out and drag our kayaks over some logs to get to the other side. Once on the other side however, the river was completely calm and looked like glass. Nice calm water all the way to the finish. Only had to portage a couple times, not like the first half of the trip. Float past a cemetery on your right and end up at the boat ramp at Kinnick-Feller Park.

We saw a couple of cars in the water, both were north of HWY 44 access. Saw numerous Bald Eagles soaring above the river and it was completely calm. Not a single house was seen along the 11-mile trip. Even with the trees in the water and sand bars its was a nice, relaxing trip down the river.

Take some extra water and TP with you. It was a long float.


Restrooms at Kinnick-Feller Park

Nothing at Snyder Access




The two drop off points in Adel are Kinnick-Feller Park and Adel Island Park and both are marked by the brown recreation signs on HWY 169 through Adel.

Snyder Access in right off 169. Head north from Adel or Hwy 44 on 169 and turn left on F51 and Snyder access is approx. 2 miles west on F51.


Paddling Iowa bought from Sportsmans Warehouse in Ankeny

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location