The Watercraft Concession has have been a special feature available at Pinicon Ridge County Park since the early 1970s. Following decades of management by private concessionaires – operations were assumed by the Linn County Conservation Department in 1994. Each year, just shy of 10,000 visitors utilize this watercraft rental and canoe trip service on the Wapsipinicon River.
CANOE TRIP SERVICE
Perhaps the most popular service available from the watercraft concession is the up-river shuttle canoe trip. Visitors are transported with the canoes to one of three up-river drop points on the Wapsipinicon River. The float trip to the park is very scenic and proceeds at a relatively slow pace.
Trips are available that take approximately six, four or two hours – bringing you back to your point of departure at Pinicon Ridge County Park. Shuttles leave at fixed times: 9AM (6 hour); 11AM (4 hour); and 1PM (2 hour). Groups must arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure for a pre-trip orientation. All canoes are due back at the concession by 4:30PM. All shuttles require at least a 24 hour notice.
Groups of any size can be accommodated, pending equipment availability. Smaller groups may be combined to enhance our ability to serve you. It is suggested that you make your arrangements as far in advance as possible to ensure that your date, time and equipment needs are available. Canoe trip shuttles may be arranged weeks or months in advance with concession personnel. A 60% non-refundable deposit is required to make a reservation. The deposit is applied toward your total bill upon final payment.
Reservations may be made by contacting the concession in person or by phone. As weather and high river levels could create unsafe conditions, scheduled shuttles may need to be cancelled or postponed (in this case, the deposit is refunded). Should this situation arise, the group’s representative will be contacted by concession personnel.
WATERCRAFT RENTALS “IN-PARK”
The concession provides “in-park” rentals of paddleboats, canoes and kayaks. Calm backwater channels and the slow-flowing Wapsipinicon River provide miles of water trails throughout the park. Campsites and picnic areas along the waterways allow you to paddle right up to your family & friends! Frisbees, volleyballs, horseshoes and various snacks are also available at the concession for a nominal fee.
The Watercraft Concession is located on the day-use side of Pinicon Ridge Park. For a map of the park, click here.
HOURS OF OPERATION
The watercraft concession at Pinicon Ridge Park is open seven days a week from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. It may also be open on weekends prior to and after this period as weather and river conditions permit. Normal hours of operation are as follows:
- SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS & HOLIDAYS – 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- WEEKDAYS – 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
HIGH WATER PRECAUTIONS
During periods of elevated flow (flooding) on the Wapsipinicon River, we observe strict safety procedures for allowing rental watercraft on the water. Even minor high-water events may cause cancellation of canoe shuttle trips and/or restricting vessels to backwater (those with no current) areas of the park.
Utilization of any watercraft available from the Linn County Conservation Department requires a signed rental agreement prior to authorization for use. Users of all Linn County Conservation watercraft must abide by all State Laws & Boating Regulations as determined by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. No pets or glass allowed in any vessel.
Pinicon Ridge Watercraft Concession
4729 Horseshoe Falls Road
Central City, IA 52214
Phone (Concession, in-season): (319) 438-1961
Phone (Park Office, year-round): (319) 438-6616
Phone (Conservation Headquarters): (319) 892-6450