What to Expect

As Nate Hoogeveen describes in Paddling Iowa, "Expect no dramatic bluffs or fast water on the West Nishnabotna - it is a very lazily meandering, tree-lined prairie stream, typically brown as cocoa for much of the season, with a sandy and occasionally muddy bottom." Pack a lunch and make it a day trip. Sandbars make good picnic stops, and for the treasure seeker, the Nishnabotna is always uncovering little bits of the past. Bones, fossils, rocks and teeth, give a person a small look at the history of animals that once did, and currently do, inhabit the area.

Entry Points Contact Information

Memorial Park, City of Avoca

Botna Bend Park

Chautauqua City Park, City of Oakland

Millstone City Park, City of Carson

Old Town Park (Contact Botna Bend Park)

For questions or more information, contact the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board at (712) 328-5638.


Rubber Duck Outfitters

Fish and Wildlife

If relaxation and wildlife viewing is what you are after, pack your binoculars and field guides and try to count the number of species you see. The river is lined in several spots with wooded areas, which provide excellent habitat. Possible sightings include: songbirds, white tail deer, beaver, turtles, coyotes, shorebirds, spiders, and insects such as mosquitoes and flies, so don't forget the insect repellent. It's not uncommon to follow a great blue heron, or a horned owl down the river. Bring your fishing poles. The Nishnabotna River is always changing, so good fishing holes pop up everywhere. Fish from the canoe, the sandbar, or the bank-you're sure to catch something. Fish species include: flathead catfish, carp, gar, and once in a while, a walleye.

Safety on the River

Although the Nishnabotna is generally a safe and easy river to navigate, there are some things you need to know:

West Nishnabotna River Water Trail Pottawattamie County, Iowa

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