Spring Paddling

posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Water trails in the Cedar Valley

With our fluctuations in temperature, you may be considered a hardy kayaker or canoer if you venture onto the water this spring. But the time spent on the water this time of year has its rewards.

There’s more to see in the spring. The trees are not fully leafed and wildflowers cover the ground in the wooded areas adjacent the water. Ease along the shoreline with your camera in hand and you’ll capture a new perspective, a detail you would have missed had you been on the shore.   

Open waters are more quiet than summer with fewer boaters. We love outdoor recreation and the busyness of summer skiing, boating and jet skiing, but sometimes it’s nice to kick back, float and hear the wind in the trees. Work becomes a distant memory.

Wildlife is busy. Birds are nesting and the air is filled with their songs. You might spy an eagle’s nest or a blue heron at the water’s edge. Maybe you’ll spot the elusive Indigo Bunting. In the spring, he’s a brilliant blue and you may only see him in a flash before he disappears into the woods. 

Kayaking in the Cedar Valley

Being prepared before you head out onto the water is important. We’d like to suggest you bring the following:

  • Your camera. Capture flora and fauna you won’t see from the shore. 
  • Dress in layers, especially if you start early in the morning.
  • Wear sunscreen. You’ll need it whether it’s overcast or sunny.
  • Hat and sunglasses. Protect your head from insects and the sunshine.
  • A friend. Bringing a friend is more fun and it’s also a good idea for safety’s sake. 
  • And most important, your life jacket.

If you’d like to visit our water trails, visit our website to view a PDF of trails, or stop the Cedar Falls Visitor Center and pick up a trail guide. Water trails are shown on one side and paved trails are on the opposite side.

Our website also lists safety tips and resources. In the spring, please BE AWARE that water levels of riverways, tributaries and lakes change often and can become high with rainfall. To find out the river levels at the Cedar River in Cedar Falls, visit NOAA.    

Would you like more information about Cedar Falls? The Cedar Falls Visitor Center has information about Things to Do, Places to Stay and Places to Eat & Drink. Stop in and see us at 6510 Hudson Road or give us a call at 319-268-4266.


Happy paddling in Cedar Falls!

  1. canoeing
  2. kayaking
  3. outdoor rec
  4. things to do
  5. trails
  6. water trails

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