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  1. #1
    kc0qnx's Avatar
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    where to hang in Iowa?

    I saw an older post on someones trip to Backbone and I read about a group hang at Yellow River Forrest but as far as other places.....input?

    I read on the DNR's site looking for what they do and don't allow at regular camping areas and nothing was said about hammocks. I'm thinking places to take kids, other than the isolated "stealth" locations I may slip into for spot to set up.

    Stupid question maybe but if one hikes in along a river, does the state have jurisdiction of a given amount of river bank area that might be utilized? Of course around here that's asking to stumble into a homeless encampment or meth lab around the metro so you'd need to get fairly rural, which is where I am.

    Any ideas or knowledge on this is appreciated

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    check out the state forests. I have first/second hand knowledge of three:

    yellow river, first hand -hammock camping is allowed at the 'back country' sites along the hiking trail, not sure about at the camp grounds
    stephens state forest, first hand - allowed at the sites along the hiking trail in the white breast unit, not sure about the campgrounds at the other units
    backbone, second hand - a buddy of mine took his daughter out for an over night at the camp ground and was using stands for the hammocks. had a chat with a ranger who came through and was told he could have hung from the trees


    Quote Originally Posted by kc0qnx View Post
    Stupid question maybe but if one hikes in along a river, does the state have jurisdiction of a given amount of river bank area that might be utilized? Of course around here that's asking to stumble into a homeless encampment or meth lab around the metro so you'd need to get fairly rural, which is where I am.
    the state has limited jurisdiction along the banks on limited rivers, it must be a meandered river.

    " A Meandered river is one in which adjacent land owners own the land above the high water mark. Land below the high water mark is public, giving citizens the right to explore sandbars at leisure without worry of trespassing. Land above that level is usually private, and should not be utilized by people navigating streams except when portaging around an obstruction."

    i have thought about camping along the riverbanks but have yet to do so...
    see this page for a map and legal boundaries of meandered rivers under the heading - laws and regulations -
    http://www.iowadnr.gov/Recreation/Ca...ionSafety.aspx

    other than that i would suggest that the phone become your friend unless you prescribe to the thought - it's better the ask forgiveness than ask for permission

  3. #3
    kc0qnx's Avatar
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    I believe I have a contact in the DNR that I could contact. I am particularly interested in the riverside camping ( I do like catfish )

    Good points, thanks!

  4. #4
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    I'd recommend ledges state park over by Boone for where you live if you want something close. Good family campsites and you can go primitive down in the lower areas by the "drive over" steams.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hangin'Yankee's Avatar
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    I have hung in many Iowa state parks over the last couple of years with no problems.

    Also,WMA's(Wildlife Management Area's) are open to camping unless otherwise posted. Here's an excerpt from the WMA rules doc...

    571—51.12(481A) Camping restrictions. Primitive camping is allowed on all game management areas
    for a period not to exceed 14 days of consecutive use, unless specific restrictions are posted on site. The
    department may prohibit or restrict camping at any game management area by the posting ofsignsstating
    the applicable restrictions. Where posted, camping shall be prohibited within 100 yards of public parking
    lots, boat ramps, fishing jetties and other public use facilities.
    These rules are intended to implement Iowa Code sections 456A.24(2)“a” and 481A.6.

    Get out and have fun.

    Randy
    “Somebody told me it was frightening how much topsoil we are losing each year, but I told that story around the campfire and nobody got scared” - Jack Handy

  6. #6
    kc0qnx's Avatar
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    SUPERB INFO, thanks much. The excerpt of the wildlife management areas is definitely the diamond in the rough in my eyes....when it's not deer season anyway.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Banjoman's Avatar
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    Check this site out for county conservation area camping...

    http://www.mycountyparks.com/Activities/Camping.aspx

  8. #8
    Traverson's Avatar
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    I hung at a trout stream this fall with out issue.

  9. #9
    youbet's Avatar
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    river hiking in iowa

    I went hammocking on the raccoon river water trail last august. lots of walking in the river and on sand bars. It made for tough going in some points but the places to hang below the high water mark were plentiful. I hiked from Hobs river access to bennett river access in carroll county, around 12 miles. Make sure the water is low and there is no rain in the forecast, the river can raise rapidly. the deepest water I crossed was chest deep.

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