The Des Moines river is a popular, quiet paddle in southeast Iowa and the farthest from our store that we provide rental services for. Groups on this river must be 30 paddlers for a rental trip.

The favorite section of the Des Moines river is through the historic villages of Van Buren county - Keosaqua, Bentonsport, Bonaparte. This section makes a nice day trip. Lacey State Park is located in Keosaqua and is a beautiful rolling hill park with hiking, swimming, camping, cabins, etc. The Manning hotel is a restored historic landmark with rooms and food service. The boat ramp is at the bridge into town.

You will paddle 8.5 miles to Bentonsport. Bentonsport is home to a number of "old time" businesses including a general store, an potter, and a blacksmith. There is also a historic rose garden and Presbyterian church.

The next 4 miles is to Bonaparte. If you are not stopping at this point you may want to portage around an old washed out dam, if the water is low. The riffled water, extending the width of the river could damage your canoe or kayak.

Bonaparte is home to antiques, a museum, Bonaparte Retreat restaurant and a bed and breakfast.

For more information contact us at River Basin Canoe & Kayak.