There are many rivers in Iowa, and for as long as people have inhabited this American prairie they have basked in the beauty of these phenomenal waterways. Here are just 10 of those gorgeous rivers, and we have excluded the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.
1. Upper Iowa River
The Upper Iowa River is part of the Driftless Area in northeast Iowa near Minnesota. This means it wasn't carved out by glacial drifts, and water erosion has caused high-walled canyons to form. It is a popular canoeing venue, and it isn't hard to imagine why; the sites are beautiful and unique for an Iowan river, and bald eagles and blue herons are likely to be observed along the way.
2. Raccoon River
The Raccoon River is a three-forked river, with the longest of them going on for over 200 miles. It is a tributary of the Des Moines river, and supplies the people of Des Moines with drinking water. It is a long, winding river, ideal for river floats and fishing trips.
3. Des Moines River
This is the largest river that runs through Iowa. It is a tributary of the great Mississippi River, and the Des Moines cuts right through Iowa, with plenty of healthy tributaries of its own.
4. Wapsipinicon River
Try saying this river 10 times fast! The Wapsipincon River has a very interesting name, and it is in a very interesting place. It makes up the western border of the Driftless Area. It winds for approximately 300 miles, and has a variety of flows and wildlife along the way.
5. Iowa River
The Iowa River flows southeastward, starting in upper-central Iowa and ending in the Mississippi River. It boasts a healthy amount of fish species, and even flows through the University of Iowa campus.
6. Maquoketa River
Like the Wapsipinicon River, Maquoketa River marks the border of the Driftless Area. It flows for roughly 150 miles, and is known to be one of the best rivers for trout and bass fishing. There is also Maquoketa Caves State Park, a popular outdoor attraction with beautiful Iowan caves.
7. Cedar River
There's a lot of history on this river. It was used for commercial trade and transport by steamboats traveling through the Mississippi River. The area around the waterway is the Cedar River Valley, and it flows through Palisades Kepler State Park.
8. Little Sioux River
The Little Sioux River starts near the Iowa Great Lakes area, and flows into the Missouri River. It was allegedly used by the famous outlaw Jesse James as a hideout from time to time. It harbors many cottonwood trees along its shores, and is a habitat for a variety of other wildlife.
9. Boone River
The Boone is a tributary of of the Des Moines River. It flows through some densely wooded areas, and is a popular spot for canoeing and fishing, and the DNR has designated the bottom 26 miles of the 111 mile river a "Protected Water Area."
10. Skunk River
Another river with unusual etymology, Skunk River is actually believed to have been mistranslated from its Native American name by early Iowan settlers. It flows in two branches, both of which start in central Iowa, and eventually joins the Mississippi River.
Which of these rivers is your favorite? Which did we leave out? Share and comment below!