Charles City, Iowa – Iowa’s first whitewater park is officially open! Charles City has built a whitewater course on the Cedar River for all river enthusiasts, including: kayakers, tubers, rafters, boaters and stand-up paddle boarders. The course is now completed and open for public use.

“It’s the best whitewater within 500 miles!” declared Ty Graham of Prairie Rapid Paddlers.

The one-quarter mile rodeo course is rated at Class II and III levels with three distinct features for paddlers of all levels. The first feature provides glassy front surfing with an easily accessible foam pile for beginner/intermediate freestyle paddlers. The second feature is a powerful and aggressive freestyle hold that will be conducive to dynamic aerial moves for the more advanced paddlers and provide a challenge for others to punch the hole. The final feature is great for the beginning and intermediate paddlers with front surfing and freestyle moves. All features have large eddies below for rest and recovery and there are easy access points located within the park for park and play enthusiasts plus upstream and downstream access for float-through adventures.

“I love it, this is just awesome. The course is fluffy and friendly, yet big. It’s hard to get all of those in the same combo like this,” stated Iowa State University Kayak Club lead instructor Piper Wall.

The course was designed by Recreation Engineering and Planning (REP) from Boulder, Colorado. They have designed about 80% of the whitewater courses built in the United States. According to Gary Lacy of REP, "In all honesty, the two key ingredients – the gradient and the flow – are almost ideal, and I have been very impressed with the quality of the Cedar's water. It's going to be one of the best we've done!"

There is no cost to use the course. A grand opening celebration is planned for July 29th and 30th. Visit for more information, or go to for community information.