Cedar Creek 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. Catfish are common as well as smallmouth bass in rocky segments. Cedar Creek enters Jefferson County midpoint along its western border. It then flows southeasterly and leaves the county approximately 25 miles later. Along the way the creek connects three of the conservation board’s recreation and wildlife areas: Cedar Creek Timber, Turkey-Run Wildlife Area, and Round Prairie Park.
While much of Cedar Creek was channelized in the 1920’s and 30’s, the lower part of the waterway, a mile and a half past Turkey-Run, has been allowed to follow its own course. Just as in the early days, when Native Americans moved among its banks, the creek is lined with silver maple, sycamore, walnut, cottonwood, and river birch. The size of many of these trees, especially the maples, attests to their age.
Because Cedar Creek water levels vary greatly throughout the year, we suggest scouting the water levels before hitting the water.