Martins Access

Canoeing & Kayaking at Martins Access

Canoe Trail
Canoe Trail

The Inkpaduta Canoe Trail on the Little Sioux runs from Spencer, in Clay County, Iowa, to Smithland, in southern Woodbury County. This span of river is approximately 134 miles in length. The Trail area is characterized by safe, convenient public access areas in each county. Martin Access is one of those access areas.


The Cherokee County Conservation Board maintains 12 river access areas from the northern county border to the southern. These various access points permit paddlers to experience a relaxing 1-4 hour float or to escape for a camping and floating adventure over 3 or more days.

Even during low-water conditions, the Little Sioux is generally navigable by kayak or canoe. High water warrants caution and perhaps a voluntary delay to wait for safer conditions. The river is ever-changing, as it winds through shifting sand, soil and gravel deposits left behind by ice age glaciers. Sandbars are littered with mussel shells, modern and petrified bones, fossils, polished stones, ancient shark teeth and the tracks of elusive river otters and bobcats. Whitetail deer, wood ducks, great blue herons and soft-shelled turtles are common sights. Fallen trees occasionally bar the way, and depth varies from too shallow to float to 8 ft. deep. This slow river is a safe river, however, with few dangerous obstacles, no fences and no dams within Cherokee County. An open mind to adventure is the only requirement beyond life preservers and paddles.


Martins contains a canoe/kayak ramps that provides for a perfect launching point or a great number of campsites to choose from if you need to stay overnight after a long day on the river.