# Tourism

Charles City named Iowa River Town of the Year

Iowa Rivers Revival announced today that Charles City won its 2011 “Iowa River Town of the Year” award. The non-profit organization, created to advocate for protecting Iowa rivers and streams, honored the Floyd County seat because city leaders “responded to record floods in 1999 and 2008 by embracing the Cedar River with new ideas and bold projects, such as transforming a low-head dam into Iowa’s first whitewater kayak course and installing the state’s largest permeable paving system.” A press release describing Charles City’s river projects in more detail is after the jump. UPDATE: Click here for more information about Charles City Whitewater at Riverfront Park.

Iowa Rivers Revival previously recognized Webster City (2007), Elkader (2008), Coon Rapids (2009) and Cedar Falls (2010) as River Town of the Year. Bleeding Heartland summarized those cities’ river programs here. Click here to download the full applications submitted by Charles City and the past winners.  

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2012 RAGBRAI route announced

On Saturday night the Des Moines Register announced the major stops on the 2012 Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). The 471-mile ride will start in Sioux Center on July 21 and end in Clinton on July 28.

Overnight stops are after the jump, along with findings from a new study on the economic impacts of recreational bicycling for Iowa.

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Des Moines Register announces full RAGBRAI route

Six weeks after revealing the overnight towns for the 2010 Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, the Des Moines Register announced the full 442-mile route that cycling enthusiasts will follow the last week of July.

RAGBRAI XXXVIII will treat riders to one of the shortest and flattest routes ever as it winds through northern Iowa from Sioux City to Dubuque from July 25-31. That combination means the 10,000 riders will navigate a 442-mile route that ranks as third-easiest historically, at least as far as hills and mileage go. The ride will be the sixth-shortest. The 14,527 feet of climb is fifth-lowest total, so rejoice and save the hill complaints until at least Day 3.

Click here for an interactive map. On day 1, riders will start in Sioux City, passing through Leeds, Kingsley, Washta and Quimby en route to Storm Lake. The second day, riders will pass through Varina, Pocahontas, Plover, West Bend and Whittemore before reaching the overnight stop of Algona. The third day, riders will pass through Wesley, Britt and Garner en route to Clear Lake. Day 4 will take riders through Swaledale, Rockwell, Cartersville and Rockford before they stop in Charles City. The fifth day, riders pass through Clarksville, Parkersburg, Stout and Dike on the way to Waterloo. Day 6 takes the riders through Washburn, Gilbertville, Rowley, Quasqueton and Winthrop on the way to Manchester. The route for the final day passes through Earlville, Dyersville, Bankston and Graf before riders reach Dubuque and dip their wheels in the Mississippi River.

Click here to register for RAGBRAI. You can follow @ragbrai_iowa on Twitter here for updates between now and the ride.

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