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Middle River Forest Area

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Middle River Forest Area
Adair County Conservation Board worked with the Madison County Conservation Board in the development of Middle River Water Trail. The new trail is now completed.  In addition to the natural beauty along Middle River there are also a few man-made attractions that will add to the scenery and water-trail experience. Spanning the river is two of Madison County’s famous “Bridges of Madison County” Roseman Covered Bridge and Holliwell Covered Bridge. Paddlers must also portage around the historic “ford” at Pammel Park which was built in the early 1900’s, and while making the portage one can catch a glimpse of the “Harmon Tunnel” originally constructed in 1958. The Middle River Water Trail begins at Middle River Forest Area County Park in Adair County and currently ends at the historic Holliwell Covered Bridge located approximately 3 ½ miles SE of Winterset, covering a distance of just over 45 miles.  For more information kiosks signs are conveniently located at the Middle River Forest Area County Park Access, Roseman Covered Bridge Access, Pammel State Park Access and Holliwell Covered Bridge Access. Other public accesses on Middle River are Schildberg Access and Middle River County Park Access.

Middle River Forest County Park - Access #89 (gradient of 4.44 feet/mile): Middle River Forest Park Access is the Trail-head access to the water-trail. It is located in eastern Adair County and can be found by driving west of Winterset on Highway 92 for approximately 14 miles, then north on Vinton Ave. for 3 miles and then east on 200th Street to the entrance of the County Park. Please take time to appreciate Middle River’s natural beauty of limestone outcroppings, woodlands and abundant wildlife. You should expect moderately challenging paddling as you navigate through the numerous river bends and riffles. Schildberg Access is approximately 11 miles (3 hours) downstream. 
Middle River is a moderately challenging paddle for experienced canoeist especially at high and low water levels. This stream provides an exciting paddle with occasional chutes and ledges that can be navigated with moderate effort.
The Middle River has its origin in the south-central Guthrie County. However the navigable section of Middle River begins in east-central Adair County near the Middle River Forest Area County Park. Middle River is a scenic stream that flows easterly through a mixture of Country side of croplands and pasture, rolling forested hills and limestone bluffs. It is twelve river miles from Middle River Forest Area County Park to the next downstream public access, which is Schildberg Access on highway 92.

For more information please visit ; Madison County Conservation Board - Middle River Water Trail
Fishing Fishing at Middle River Forest Area
Channel catfish and carp are the major species of fish found in these streams. The minor species found are flathead catfish, bullhead, and walleye.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Middle River Forest Area
There is a 3/8 mile hiking trail that provides foot access to ¾ mile of river in the park.