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Best Places For Weekend Float Trips in Iowa

Young Man Canoeing With His Dog

Summer is here! With all of this warm weather, people are spending a lot more time outdoors.

One of my favorite summer activities is floating. Where I’m from (Missouri), the floating scene is huge. People will spend an entire weekend doing just that. Normally, you would drive to the campsite on a Friday night, set up camp, and hang out. The next day you would wake up, hop on a bus (usually an old school bus) that takes you up river, and float away! Usually, quite of bit of beverage drinking is included with an all-day float which is fine because you float right back to your campsite.

I’ve noticed that the floating experience in Iowa is a little different. The places I’ve been to don’t have campsites and are more just for day floating. So I asked listeners for some suggestions on places in Iowa where you can camp & float, like I do back home. I got some great suggestions! Here are some places in Iowa where you can spend your weekend outdoors on the river.


If you’re looking to float the Maquoketa River, this is the way to go. They offer full service floating too, meaning they will make sure you’re parked, transport you upstream, and you’ll end up back at the campground where you parked your car. You can float with a canoe, kayak, or on an inner tube. They also offer a variety of camping from primitive sites to cabins.



Canoe, camp, and tube at Lou Lous! They have two floating routes approximately seven miles long. They’ll shuttle you upstream and you will float to the campground sandbar, or downstream to the boat ramp where they will pick you up. If you’re interested in floating for the holiday, they’re offering tax-free rentals on the 4th of July!



Not only is this a scenic float on the Wapsipinicon River, but there’s a ton of other stuff to do! The campground is located in Pinicon Ridge Park and you’ll have your choice of tent camping, RV sites, and cabins. They also feature a wildlife exhibit, hiking & snowmobile trails, and an observation tower that provides a scenic overlook of the area!


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