I lived in Ankeny and kayaked the Des Moines River a lot. I would kayak from the Johnston Bridge up toward the Saylorville Dam
Hey Flatlander, I've paddled around in those muddy waters before. I used to paddle my old man around in a two person kayak in that same area.
That's also close to where I first started "Mountain" Biking. There is a bunch of dirt paths and jumps and what not along the river there that is good biking, but after moving to Colorado I realized the "mountain" part was a joke.