Lee County Conservation Closes Red Wing Access on Des Moines River

Red Wing Access is closed indefinitely along the Des Moines River. The Conservation Board voted back in April to close this area as the access has suffered a lot of erosion causing the bank to destabilize and become dangerous. Repeated high water events have also damaged the boat ramp.  Due to high water this summer and muddy conditions, it has taken some time to be able to close down the access point.

Nathan Unsworth, Lee County Conservation Director, states, “According to my staff’s calculations, we have lost over 10 feet of the bank at this location over the past ten years. The bank has eroded into the parking lot, creating an unsafe condition for vehicles.”

Boaters are encouraged to utilize the Turkey Run Access further upstream or the Keokuk public ramps to access the river.

“You can still access Red Wing Access by foot, but the area is closed to vehicles. There was a lot of sediment deposited by the recent flood at the access. Additional debris has temporarily been piled on-site as the Secondary Roads Department works to clean up sediment along the roadway. Please be patient as we work through this issue,” says the Lee County Conservation Director.

The Conservation Board is working with the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program exploring potential water trails on local rivers. The Conservation Board hopes to identify potential new access sites through the planning process.

For more information about this issue, the public is encouraged to call the Lee County Conservation Center at 319-463-7673