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Paddle Fest 2024 - Adult Registration

Iowa Paddle Fest 2024 - The W at Wartburg College

Hosted by CrawDaddy Outdoors and Vern Fish


West Room

Middle Room

East Room

Far Room

7:30 - 9:00

Registration/ Exhibits

8:00 - 9:00

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail Challenge

Vern Fish

9:00 - 9:15


9:15 - 10:00


Water Quality Improvement Through Watershed Projects

Faith Luce


Paddling the Okefenokee Swamp

Dale Mills

Basic River Rescue Techniques

Glenn Harman


Getting Ready to Paddle the BWCAW/Quetico

Jim Janssen

10:15 -11:00

Paddling for Nature - Incorporating Citizen Science into Your Next Paddle Trip

MJ Blaisdell and Beth Rausch


Connecting Rivers Through Dam Removal and Modification, Why Dams are Not What You Think

Glenn Harman

Canoe, Stand Up Paddle & Kayak Paddle Choices

David Hillman and Piper Wall



Kayak Fishing in Iowa

Tanner Speidel


11:15 -12:15

Keynote Speaker

Whitewater Kayaking in the SE US

Dave Hillman and Piper Wall

12:15 -1:00

Lunch /Exhibits/ CrawDaddy Outdoors 18 years of Trips Slide Show

1:00 - 1:45

Iowa Water Quality – Basic Skills Test

Clark Porter

Paddling in SE Iowa

Katie Hammond

Solo Paddling for Women; Men Welcome!

Beth Rausch




2:00 - 2:45

INHF – Land Protection and Rivers

Brian Fankhauser


Paddling The Little Sioux River

Dan Cohen

Paddling Emergency Procedures -Are You Ready

Vern Fish


Water Trails Crew - A Year in Review

Aaron Demory


2:45 -3:15

Community Share

3:15 – 4:30

Iowa Whitewater Coalition Annual Meeting at The W        and   Reception At CrawDaddy Outdoors



7:30 - 9:00       Registration and Exhibits

8:00 - 9:00       Session 1

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail Challenge - Vern Fish                                                                                                                                                                       

The NFCT stretches 740 miles from Old Forge, New York to Allagash Village, Maine.  The most difficult segment of the trail stretches across northern Maine.  To complete the last 150 miles you must paddle across the largest lake in Maine paddle, line up the "Horserace Rapids", portage three miles in Allagash Lake, and run Seboomook Ledges, Allagash Stream, and Chase Rapids.  For your effort you will get to see moose, eagles, osprey, Mt. Katahdin, camp at Thoreau Campsite and have lunch below both Little Allagash and Allagash Falls.  Did I mention the portage though the abandoned train station?

9:00 - 9:15       Welcome

9:15 - 10:00     Session 2

Water Quality Improvement Through Watershed Projects - Black Hawk Creek - Faith Luce

I will be talking about the water quality impairments in the state of Iowa and what programs are put in place to help remediate those impairments. As well as touching on the importance of remediation and some of the incentives the state has started to offer and how these incentives have pushed Black Hawk Creek Watershed to be successful as a watershed project.

Paddling the Okefenokee Swamp – Dale Mills                                                                   

This presentation will focus on the magic and mystique of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia and a way-out-of-the-ordinary experience for this native Iowa farm boy!

River Rescue Techniques for All PaddlersGlenn Harman


Glenn is an American Canoe Association Swift Water Instructor. He will be demonstrating some basic River Rescue Techniques that all paddlers can use to keep themselves and their groups safe on the water. The presentation will focus on ropes and basic gear all paddlers should have with them. 

Getting Ready to Paddle the BWCAW/Quetico– Jim Janssen

This session will target both first-time and veteran paddlers preparing to travel within the BWCAW and Quetico.  Time will be spent on necessary permits and logistics, basic equipment, route planning, and reasons to explore these world-case watery treasures.  We'll conclude with a sharing of the collective wisdom within the room.



10:15 - 11:00   Session 3

Paddling for Nature - Incorporating Citizen Science into Your Next Paddle Trip – MJ Blaisdell and Beth Rausch

Are you tired of catching the Grand Slam? Have you crossed all the BWCA portages, there and back? 

Take your paddling prowess to a new level; learn about opportunities to become a Citizen for Science and contribute valuable data to conservation efforts: lakes, loons, songbirds and woodland caribou benefit from your observations. 

Connecting Rivers Through Dam Removal and Modification, Why Dams are Not What You Think  Glenn Harman

Glenn is part of the Iowa DNR's Rivers Program, where he works on Dam removals, modifications and stream restoration throughout Iowa. Glenn has been involved with most of the 38 dam modifications and removals that have been completed since the inception of the Rivers Program in 2007. Glenn's presentation will focus on the history of lowhead dams in the Midwest, the problems of dams and what the Iowa DNR is doing to reconnect rivers. 

Canoe, SUP and Kayak Paddle Choices David Hillman and Piper Wall


Spend 45 minutes with Piper and Dave for a lively, interactive discussion on canoe, SUP & kayak paddles. We'll talk about paddle materials, design with relationship to use, and cost, and we will answer the controversial question of "What's the best paddle blade offset?".


Kayak Fishing Iowa’s Rivers - Tanner Speidel                                                                       

Tanner is back for another presentation on kayak fishing.  You will be amazed at what he is catching on our rivers in NE Iowa.


11:15 - 12:15   Keynote Speaker

 Whitewater Kayaking in the SE US-Dave Hillmanand Piper Wall

Join Piper and Dave on a magical tour of various whitewater rivers/creeks in the Southeastern US. The presentation will include kayak, canoe, raft, and standup paddling on such delightful whitewater as the Ocoee, Nolichucky, Greenbriar, and Big Laurel. Lots of high energy paddling action and some entertaining rescue activities.



12:15 - 1:00     Lunch and Exhibits


1:00 - 1:45       Session 4

Iowa Water Quality – Basic Skills Test – Clark Porter

You spend a lot of time paddling and playing in Iowa's rural rivers. What do you know about Iowa's water quality challenges and state-wide efforts to clean it up? Test yourself and learn.

Paddling in SE Iowa – Katie Hammond


Southeast Iowa offers some unique paddling options. In this session, we will explore the Iowa River & Odessa Water Trails. We will also check out other great paddling locations including Deep Lakes Park, which is crystal clear, Cone Marsh, Big Hollow, the Cedar River, and the Mighty Mississippi. These areas offer excellent paddling and wildlife viewing opportunities including bird, fish, amphibians, and reptiles!

Solo Paddling for Women: Men Welcome! – Beth Rausch


Ladies (and Gentlemen) - are you staying awake at night planning a solo trip? Me too. I will share what I have learned about solo paddling and solo backcountry travel, as well as things I wish I would have known when I began. 

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2:00 - 2:45       Session 5

INHF – Land Protection and Rivers Brian Fankhouser

In this presentation you will learn about different ways landowners can permanently protect their land.  Examples of land protection projects along popular paddling streams will be highlighted.  See how conservation efforts are improving your paddling experience!

Paddling the Little Sioux River – Dan Cohen                                                                                                        

Dan’s program continues the adventure on the Little Sioux River in Western Iowa, with descriptive photos and information of what to expect while meandering down these shallow water trails. 


Paddling Emergency Preparedness (PEP) – Are you ready?Vern Fish

Have you ever had to deal with a serious injury on a canoe trip?  Have you ever been truly lost in the “wilderness”?  If it breaks, can you fix it?  Have you ever had to make either an emergency or a non-emergency exit? Do you carry whistle and are you PEP’ed and ready?  Experience an emergency exit and see the value of a satellite phone.  Dig into my first aid and repair kit and tell me what you carry.  In the past five years I have had to do one emergency and three non-emergency exits.  Together, we can both learn how to prepare for these unplanned adventures.


Water Trails Crew - A Year in Review- Monica Carroll

Conservation Corps Iowa’s first Water Trails Crew. Accomplishments, Challenges and Lessons learned.

2:45 - 3:15       Community Share                                                                                                                 

This is your opportunity to share with those in attendance anything you want to regarding paddling groups, trips, questions, or anything else related to paddling.

3:15 – 4:30      Iowa Whitewater Coalition Annual Meeting at The W    

The Iowa Whitewater Coalition will be having its Annual Meeting at Paddlefest! The IWC meeting agenda will include: (1) A short review of the 2023 IWC Year in Review Highlights by Dave Hillman; (2) An Update on the IDNR low head dam mitigation activities by Glenn Harmon. The IWC meeting is open to everyone - please join us to wrap up the Paddlefest day of paddling fun and education!

3:15 – 5:00      Reception at CrawDaddy Outdoors                                                                                   

We will have an afterhours reception back at the store only for those in attendance at Paddle Fest.  Join us for some beverages and snacks as well as some great deals throughout the store. 

After Hours Deals at CrawDaddy Outdoors

35% off all in stock Kayaks, Canoes, SUP’s               35% off clothing                     35% off everything else in the store.


CrawDaddy Outdoors

Conservation Corps of Minnesota/Iowa

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Dry Run Creek/Miller Creek Watershed Projects

Black Hawk Co Water Trails

Friends of Wabakimi Provincial Park

Green Iowa AmeriCorps – Trees Forever

Waverly Chamber of Commerce

Cedar Valley Paddlers

Tri By Knight

Rugged Toad Adventure Triathlon

Leave No Trace

Iowa Environmental Council

Linn County Conservation


Adult Rate, includes Lunch

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Included Materials



This class cannot be purchased online. Please contact the store for more information.