During the summer months in Fairfield the three retired water reservoirs in Fairfield are refreshing places to go cool off and enjoy the lush greenery and to kayak, canoe, swim and fish. Or try the Cedar Creek Water Trail which uses a 6- mile scenic section of Cedar Creek, or the 72-mile Skunk River Water Trail which passes through Keokuk, Washington, Jefferson, and Henry counties.

Click here for an interactive paddling map of the area

At present, there are two designated water trails in Jefferson County:

Skunk River Water Trail

The real beauty of the Skunk River can be enjoyed by navigating the river in a boat, canoe or kayak. The 72-mile Water Trail traverses Keokuk, Washington, Jefferson, and Henry counties. The river provides excellent fishing, so bring your fishing pole and bait! The Jefferson County section is 10.5 miles long and can be accessed at the Coppock Access boat ramp. To exit from the beautiful river use the MacCoon Access boat ramp. Remember that the river should be enjoyed with respect and caution. After heavy rains, the river can rise rapidly and cause strong currents/floating debris.

The Cedar Creek Water Trail

This six-mile water trail is in the scenic section of Cedar Creek and has a different feel than the other larger rivers typically seen in southern Iowa. The limestone outcroppings and narrow channel create an intimate feel. This slow-moving creek does require paddling if you would like to make good time. Put your canoe or kayak into Cedar Creek at the Turkey Run Wildlife Area and take out at Round Prairie Park, about 6 miles downstream. Be ready for a beautiful and exciting trip downstream!

Fairfield City Lakes

The City of Fairfield and the Park & Recreation department are transforming the three city water reservoirs into water recreation areas, since the reservoirs were set aside as emergency sources of city water in 2005.

Non-wake boats are allowed on all 3 lakes, as well as row-boats, kayaks, etc.  Boats with internal combustion engines are not allowed.

Please have respect for the lakes and help keep them clean.


Suggestions on what to take on a float trip:

  • Extra paddle
  • First aid kit
  • Personal floatation device
  • A secure place for car keys
  • Food and water
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Water shoes or supportive old shoes
  • Extra clothing
  • A fun attitutde that is ready for a great day!