On the Road: Bluffton and the Upper Iowa River - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

On the Road: Bluffton and the Upper Iowa River

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BLUFFTON, Iowa (KTTC) -

Named one of America's top 100 Greatest Adventures by National Geographic, the upper Iowa River is the perfect place to come and see beauty. 

One of the best ways to experience the river is by canoe. There are plenty of rental places to choose from, including Hruska's Canoe in Bluffton. Tom Overlie recently took us On the Road and took a paddle a few miles upstream, from Chimney Rock to Bluffton.

The lazy s-turns bring paddlers through what geologists call entrenched meanders, featuring majestic limestone walls, some reaching nearly 300 feet tall. Anchored to the chalk white bedrock are towering white pines, red cedars and firs. 

The area is not like much of Iowa. 

"It's bluff country. It's not flat like the rest of Iowa," said Philip Miller from Moline, Illinois. 

The upper Iowa River draws thousands of canoeists, kayakers and tubers each summer. For many, it's a family tradition. 

"I've done it a couple of times before," said Ian Miller of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "Dad dragged me along before. I think this is my third time."

Visitors planning to canoe down the river should pack plenty of time. The 15 mile stretch from Kendallville to Bluffton can take more than six hours. 

"It's one of the best kept secrets of Iowa," said Philip Miller. "It's a cool place to come, spend a day and kick back and relax."

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