Walk on the water side
Looking for a way to get outdoors, cool off and avoid the crowd? Try visiting a local creek for a creek walk.
Creeks are nature’s playgrounds with water. All you need is public access to a creek, some sturdy shoes you don’t mind getting wet, a backpack with a few essentials, and a sense of adventure.
To stay safe, make sure you only walk where you can see the bottom of the creek. Still be careful, even in shallow areas, as rocks can be uneven and slippery due to algae growing on them.
Make sure to wear water shoes or old tennis shoes. Skip the flip-flops, which lack support if you slip. Apply sunscreen as if you were at the pool to avoid getting sunburned. A hat and sunglasses won’t hurt either.
Pack a backpack with snacks, water, sunscreen, dry clothes, towels, first-aid equipment and a waterproof bag for electronics, car keys, and anything else that shouldn’t get wet.
As you walk through the water, be sure to look for wildlife such as fish, turtles, snakes, crawdads and water striders. Some streams will have artifacts such as fossils, arrowheads, bones and antlers.
Leave no trace. Make sure to pack everything out you brought in. This includes taking your garbage home with you and not taking wildlife home with you.
Where to go?
- Backbone State Park – Dundee, IA
- Fourmile Creek – Gay Lea Wilson Trail in Ankeny, IA
- Trout Creek – Trout Run Trail in Decorah, IA
- Brenton Arboretum – Dallas Center, IA (Stream Stomp 7/19/2020)
- Pea’s Creek – Ledges State Park in Madrid, IA
- Hickory Ridge Trail, Shelter #5 or half a mile from natural playscape parking lot – Jester Park in Granger, IA