Top Best Outdoor Adventures in Decorah, Iowa

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A quaint college town, Decorah sits in the valley of limestone bluffs along the Upper Iowa River in Winneshiek County in Iowa. This scenic and historic town offers plenty for outdoor enthusiasts to do.

Canoe the Upper Iowa River

The Upper Iowa River is the only Iowa River eligible for designation as a national Wild and Scenic River. There is no better way to explore this beautiful river than on a canoe or kayak. The Upper Iowa meanders through a variety of terrain including cliffs, deep, dark forests of white pines, red cedars and balsam firs.

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Upper Iowa River canoeing – image by

If you don’t own a canoe there are several places to rent canoes and kayaks including The Chimney Rock Canoe Rental and Campground, Hruska’s Canoe and Kayak Livery and Bluffton Campground, River and Trail Outfitters, Inc.

Fishing in Decorah

Fisherman young and old will love to see the fish of all sizes at the Decorah Trout Hatchery. The hatchery stocks several trout streams in Decorah and surrounding areas. Fishing is plentiful in the area in the Upper Iowa River as well as several of the area streams. Big brown trout and even walleye are common catches in the area.

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Biking in the Decorah Area

The Trout Run Trail will eventually feature 12 miles of paved trails ideal for biking. Portions of the trail are currently open for biking, hiking and jogging. The scenic roads offer a challenging ride for experienced bikers. Bikers interested in finding out more about the Trout River Trail can find information on the Trails of Winneshiek web site.

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For bikers who prefer more rugged terrain, there are plenty of trails to provide a thrilling challenge. Some trails follow along the Upper Iowa River while others overlook the town of Decorah. A variety of terrain keeps bikers on their toes and invigorated after a fun ride. Some the trails include jumps and tricks to add additional adventure to the ride.

Camping in Decorah

With ten campgrounds in the area, you’ll be able to find a campground with the setting and amenities you desire. For camping right along the river check out the Chimney Rock Canoe Rental and Campground allows visitors to take in the rustic atmosphere along the Upper Iowa River while camping in either a tent or one of their affordably priced cabins.

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Camping in Decorah – image by

A full listing of camping destinations can be found on the Decorah area web site.

Whether you prefer to canoe or bike, Decorah provides outdoor enthusiasts with an affordable and memobrable outdoor experience. Located in the heart of the Midwest, Decorah is just over 150 miles from Minneapolis, Minnesota and Madison, Wisconsin.


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