“The National Water Trails System will uniquely connect Americans to the nation’s waterways and strengthen the conservation and restoration of these waterways through the mutual support and cooperation of federal, state, local, and nonprofit entities by
- establishing a national system of exemplary water trails.
- becoming a catalyst for protecting and restoring the health of local waterways and surrounding lands.
- building a community that mentors and promotes the development of water trails and shares best management practices.”
We entered the Dubuque Water Trail through Catfish Creek and paddled a short distance to the Mississippi. The river flow was tame, making it very easy to cross into Illinois and paddle back. The City of Dubuque offers a map of the water trail, which can be downloaded here.
The Catfish Creek put-in is part of Mines of Spain park, which is offers beautiful walking and running trails, music concerts under the stars and several historical landmarks.
The park is home to numerous rare species, including thebobcat, red-shouldered hawk, flying squirrel, and bald eagle. In addition, the area hosts a large variety of songbirds, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and many small mammals. With diverse environments including wetlands, creeks, forests, prairies, cropland, meadows, and the Mississippi River waterway, Mines of Spain park offers a wide variety of Iowa’s natural world for those who take the time to look and listen. More information on Mines of Spain park can be found here.