Group turns to waterway trails in next planning session


KEOKUK – With area bike trail mapping completed, a three-county effort is now moving to mapping out potential recreational waterways.

The Mississippi and Des Moines Rivers SET Confluence Region of Lee County, Iowa, Clark County, Missouri and Hancock County, Illinois will host a water trails planning session on February 6th from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at the Southside Boat Club in Keokuk.

The public is invited to attend any of the sessions to provide input on developing water trails along the Des Moines, Skunk, and Mississippi rivers.  
In October of 2018, the group got together and used community forums to identify where new. bike paths could be located the would connect the three county area. Those plans have been submitted and now the group is taking on the second phase which is the waterway trails.

Brian Leaders, a landscape architect with the National Park Service (NPS) has extensive experience facilitating community trails and routes planning sessions throughout the Midwest. The local planning sessions are supported through a technical assistance grant and awarded through the NPS Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program. The RTCA program supports community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the nation. The SET Confluence steering committee submitted this grant request in accordance with goals in the regional plan.

The planning sessions will begin with a presentation on the community and economic benefits of water trails development and end with an active mapping session identifying possible trails, water access points and additional amenities.

For further information on the planning sessions, please contact Nathan Unsworth at Lee County Conservation at or at 319-463-7673.

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