The city removed a low head dam and created a whitewater feature. According to their website, the main feature is a 22' wide wave, designed to provide low-water surfs and spins down to 300 cfs, while flows of 1600 to 3000 cfs should provide more advanced freestyle moves (blunts, loops, cartwheels). A rock island below the main feature will be inundated at flows over 3000 cfs, and will provide 'big water' play for advanced boaters at flows of 3500 to 5000 cfs. Above 5000 cfs, expect the features to be mostly washed out, providing little or no play opportunity.
Check out the live webcam:
For more info (and photos) go to: Elkader Whitewater.
For more info about the overall park plan, go to: Elkader Park Plan
i paddled this today at about 1190 cfs. the main wave on river right was a flushy, fast white pile wave with nice green ramp. on the river left was a smaller spin wave that a local told me was for canoes to navigate through. in between the two features is a line of large flat rocks that makes a little island at low flows and becomes the high water feature at higher flows. the river right feature looks like it could have some playability down to a pretty low level. there is a park there that is still under construction. there are porta-crappers but no obvious places to change so be careful. the locals are very nice and fairly curious and the town is really pretty.
Yes, the wave was improved…for boating. It sucks for sup surfing now. The wave does not support a sup for surfing at all. It would not be worth it taking the sup, just bring your boat and have fun in that. Its great for boating!
Elkader is likely the smallest town in the US with a whitewater park. It also is on the Turkey River Water Trail which runs through forested bluffs to Motor Mill for great flatwater paddling. Off the water, Elkader is the smallest town in Iowa with a designated Cultural and Entertainment District including an opera house, movie theater, 2 museums, restaurants, coffee shops, a vibrant shopping district with many specialty stores, and the Pony Hollow Nature Trail (bring your bike!). The entire downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places. A great place to spend the weekend.
The Gobbler (main wave) was significantly improved in June 2014 when the alluvial berm of construction material was removed downstream of the feature allowing it to function better. The wave was amplified and puffed up at all levels. Should function well down to 500 cfs and lower for beginners, allowing flat spins in both directions. Wave grows in intensity up and through 3100 cfs before starting to flush out. Levels of about 1800 and above allow all vertical moves. River left feature allows vertical moves down to about 1200 cfs.
also check out "Elkader Whitewater project" on Facebook for more photos and description.
i paddled it today at 751 cfs. it was lower but still good for front surfing and clean right hand spins. its shallow at this level so tuck well. i met a lot of locals today who seem pretty supportive of boating so its important to be respectful of their space.
A gauge is just downstream and will accurately reflect flows in the park.
Permits are not required for this reach.
This is a park-and-play in a downtown park, so 'shuttle' is by foot (from your vehicle in a parking lot to the river).
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Elkader Whitewater Park
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