4.9 Additional Areas

Cedar Valley Paddlers Trail

The Cedar Valley Paddlers Trail provides a truly unique experience for paddling enthusiasts. With 8.4 miles of water trail and 1.6 miles of portage spanning 6 separate lakes and the Cedar River, the Cedar Valley Paddlers trail is reminiscent of a Boundary Waters expedition. Four of the trail’s lakes (Alice Wyth Lake, Fisher Lake, George Wyth Lake, and Brinker Lake) are situated in George Wyth State Park on the northeast side of the Cedar River. The remaining two lakes (Lake Manatt and Shirley Lake) are located in the Hartman Nature Reserve Center on the southwest side of the Cedar River, an entity of the Black Hawk County Conservation Board. Each lake is unique and diverse, providing wonderful fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing.  

Another attractive feature of this trail is the loop aspect. The course offers rewarding experiences for a variety of skill levels and ages. Within the main loop, paddlers will enjoy smaller secondary loops and can start and finish at the same location without back tracking. 

Other features include outstanding camping facilities, connection to an 80-mile network of hard surfaced trails, two state cultural districts, shopping, dining, and award-winning events and attractions that create a total package that outdoor recreationalists will find hard to resist. 

Public Comments

Written comments were received regarding the Cedar Valley Paddlers Trail:

  • “It would be nice to have the portage put-in and take-out points improved to be less steep and better footing (particularly at the take-out from Alice Wyth to the Cedar River)… I assume this could be accomplished by some grading work, rip rap at the side slopes, and sand fill from the water line to the top of the slope.  Then it could be incorporated with the mowing/weed maintenance around the parks… The portage between Alice Wyth and the Cedar River would ideally have some sort of path.   When I’ve done it (a month or so ago was the latest) it was pretty much mud for a lot of what I determined to be the best path.” – Waterloo resident 


Although architectural site plan recommendations and cost estimates were not gathered for the Cedar Valley Paddlers Trail, the area would benefit from a number of considerations. 

  • Add additional signage for Fisher Lake to Alice Wyth Lake portage 
  • Alice Wyth Lake to Cedar River signage 
  • Sign to Shirey Lake 
  • Define portages from Shirey Lake to Lake Manatt to Cedar River 
  • Define portages from Cedar River to Brinker Lake 
  • Add signage from Brinker Lake to George Wyth Lake