Turkey - Elkader Whitewater Park (PnP)

Turkey, Iowa, US


Elkader Whitewater Park (PnP)

Usual Difficulty II(III) (varies with level)
Length 0.01 Miles

Elkader Whitewater Park

Elkader Whitewater Park
Photo by Tom Gifford taken 07/30/14

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Turkey River above French Hollow Cr at Elkader, IA
usgs-05412020 300 - 5000 cfs II 00h20m 594 cfs (running)
Good beginner-to-intermediate play range for main feature. Gauge (903 sq.mi. drainage) is just downstream, so will very accurately reflect flow in this park.

River Description

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

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-03-30 13:53:29


Rapid Descriptions

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User Comments

Users can submit comments.
January 30 2015 (1451 days ago)
RiverBeauty (157136)
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!
July 21 2014 (1644 days ago)
THGIFFORD (156033)
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
July 18 2014 (1647 days ago)
THGIFFORD (156033)
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.
May 31 2014 (1695 days ago)
yellowdog (155225)
also check out "Elkader Whitewater project" on Facebook for more photos and description.
May 31 2014 (1695 days ago)
yellowdog (155225)
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.
May 23 2014 (1703 days ago)
yellowdog (155225)
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. the only downer
is the grain elevator on river left that is ugly as sin.