Iowa has all kinds of trails for hiking and biking but no official trails for paddling canoes — but that’s about to change. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Saturday morning on what will be Iowa’s premiere "water trail" in the southeast corner of the state. Stacey Glandon is executive director of the Villages of Van Buren.
Glandon says, "We are going to be designated as the first Iowa Water Trail by the DNR, so we’re pretty excited about that. We’ve been working on this for three or four years. Each access point, we have signage. We have portable toilets. We have kiosks with information and maps, making it easier than ever to come down and float on the river." She says the ribbon-cutting in Selma on Saturday (7:45 AM) will correspond with an event for canoe and kayak enthusiasts.
Glandon says: "The Des Moines River Water Trail is 41 miles. It starts at Selma in the northwest corner of Van Buren County all the way through Farmington, down in the southeast corner." The Canoe Van Buren event will run 22 miles of the water trail on Saturday and the other 19 miles on Sunday. She expects many dozens of paddlers to be taking part in the weekend event on the waterway.
She calls the event a casual float down the scenic river through the county with staff volunteers at every access point to help folks into and out of the water, literally rolling a red carpet out for guests. Other towns along the water trail include: Douds, Pittsburg, Keosauqua, Bentonsport and Bonaparte. For more information, visit www.villagesofvanburen.com .