Des Moines County's newest lake - Big Hollow - is a paddler's paradise. 90 acres of standing timber inundated by the 178 acre lake offer paddlers opportunities to go where no larger craft can. Top it off with great scenery and high-quality fishing and paddlers could spend entire weekends exploring.
Managed by Iowa DNR and USFWS Just north in adjacent Louisa County, Lake Odessa offers great paddling and is well worth the drive. Part of the Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge, there are endless possibilities to see a variety of wildlife. Louisa County Conservation has established a great water trail and even offers rentals.
The best rivers for canoeing or kayaking in & around Des Moines County are:
Creating Des Moines County's southern border, the Skunk River is a direct tributary of the Mississippi. It is accessible via Welter Recreation Area or places farther upstream in Henry County.