Story County is fortunate to boast a state water trail, complete with beautiful scenery and a rich history. The Skunk was formed as a major drainage for melting glaciers. Rounded cobble, large granite boulders, and gravel were left behind as the glaciers receded, and are found in and along the river. Rock riffles have been constructed at Story City, Soper's Mill, and River Valley Park. These areas of faster water provide excellent habitat for fish and aquatic insects and fun challenges for experienced paddlers.
Story County Conservation serves as the water trail manager, but heavily relies on the support of volunteers to keep the river clean and safe. A volunteer group called the The Skunk River Paddlers leads regular workdays and maintains a website with paddling information.
The Skunk is a "non-meandered" stream, which means the state owns the water but not the land adjacent to it or under it.
Access Points SCC manages 8 of the 11 river access points in the county
265th Street (56091 265th St., Ames 50010)
Anderson Access (56743 150th St., Story City 50248)