Charles City, Iowa – In less than 3 weeks, RAGBRAI riders and spectators alike will be entertained with an impressive lineup of local Iowa musicians. In addition to the music festival, the visitors will be offered various other unique attractions and events. These activities will highlight one of Charles City’s most outstanding features, the Cedar River. In 2008, the City of Charles City began to look at a process to replace its dangerous low head dam and make the Cedar River flowing through our downtown more desirable and more accessible. We are now able to offer some really special experiences and will be accentuating our whitewater course with some other extreme-outdoor sports.
Visitors will be able to experience a birds’ eye view with a ride down 100 foot of zip line located on Riverside Drive, near The Pub. The zip line will go along with the current, so you’ll have the feeling you’re zooming right down the river! The weight requirement allows only riders under 200lbs, and the rider must fit securely in the harness. All participants must sign an on-site waiver and the cost is $5/person.
After receiving a Great Places of Iowa grant, the City worked with Recreation Engineering and Planning from Boulder, Colorado, to create Iowa’s first whitewater course. The riverfront development includes three whitewater features, playable at multiple flows and skill levels, along with many other river and river bank improvements. The kayak course has attracted kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards from several states throughout the Midwest. During RAGBRAI’s day in Charles City, area kayakers will hold demonstrations behind City Hall and the Public Library highlighting the whitewater capabilities. Programs will be held at 3:00, 4:30, and 6:00 PM with kayak paddlers in the water “playing” in the rapids. This will be a free event.
To get another perspective of our beautiful town and riverfront, visitors can do a little rock climbing on the mobile rock climbing wall provided by The National Guard. This extreme sport attraction will also be located near the zip line on Riverside Drive. This event will be free, some age and size qualifications may apply.
Rapids End Outfitters will be providing an abbreviated river float for visitors to tube down the whitewater course. Inner tubes will be provided by Rapids End Outfitters on the river behind City Hall from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. A $5 fee will take you on a wild ride down the river through all three water features. Anyone interested is encouraged to pack a pair of water shoes or old tennis shoes to protect their feet during their float. A life jacket is also recommended.
To learn more about the overnight stop, check out their website here.