River Forks Access

In Fredonia

There is plenty of parking at this boat ramp located just below the confluence of the Iowa and Cedar Rivers.


About River Forks Access

Pay special attention on your way to and from River Forks. This road is know as the 1914 Convict Road and is believed to be one of the oldest original, still used concrete roads remaining in the nation. Built in 1914 using convict labor from the Anamosa Men’s Reformatory, it is quite unique. The road was built in order to help wagons and vehicles cross a treacherous and impassable bank of sand left from the glacial days. Here, at Fredonia four Iowa Registered Highways met to cross the Iowa River. This concrete road was paid for by local government, it was expensive and highly controversial at the time.

The road can be accessed from HWY 92, east of Columbus Junction. There are directional historic signs guiding visitors to an interpretive sign that tells about the 1914 Convict-Build Concrete Road. Four telephone poles have also been placed to demonstrate how these highways were marked. Visitors are welcome to drive along the Convict Road, it stretches from HWY 92 to the River Forks boat access (about 1.5 miles). Although the old wagon bridge is long gone, when the river is low, evidence of the old bridge pilings can be seen. Just upstream is a railroad bridge, that is still in use. Learn more and read stories about the Convict Road at www.tri-rivers.org/1914-build-convict-road-fredonia.

You can  read stories about the Convict Highway in the collection of poems and short stories titled, “Sands of Time”.


1001 Main Street
Fredonia, IA 52738
GPS: 41.28303, -91.345232
Size: less than 5 acres

  • Parking lot
  • Boat ramp, concrete-Iowa River
  • Paddling
  • Boating (all motors)
  • Fishing

Iowa River

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