your paddlesports destination

Winnebago River in Iowa

Trip Overview

Put in:

Island Park just below dam in Fertile Iowa. One portage at some rapids at about mile 12. Easy short portage on river right. Encountered a few fences across the river, all of which were pretty easy to pass under.

Be careful of the fence right at the I 35 bridge.

Take out:
Just above dam at Lime Creek trailhead in Mason City at about mile 18.

Trip took me 3 1/2 hours. I paddle pretty steadily and averaged about 5 1/4 mph. Flow rate was 700 cfs at the Mason City gauge.


Campgrounds at:

- Pilot Knob State Park Forest City

- Clear Lake State Park

- MacNider Campground in Mason City




Take county road S18 4 miles south from Fertile to county road B20. Go east on B20 about 9 miles to Highway 65. Go south 2 miles on Highway 65 to 12th St NE. Go east about 1/2 mile to Elm Drive. Turn left and go about 1 block to trailhead.


Printed out map from Google Maps.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip