Coralville Lake--Curtis Bridge Access

Coralville Lake--Curtis Bridge Access

North Liberty, Iowa 52317

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Tips for Birding

This is a public access boat ramp. Bring a scope if you have one.

Birds of Interest

Waterfowl and shorebirds in migration. When the water is low, mud flats can be exposed and these areas can be very productive for shorebirds.

About this Location

This provides access to one of the few late season ice free areas where the reservoir as the reservoir is narrow at this point. Above the entrance road to the marina, there is a steep road, beyond a gate that leads to an area which was formerly a COE picnic area. There is a small prairie surrounded by oak trees [mostly]. At the top of the hill you are on a high bluff above the reservoir.

North of North Liberty at the lower Coralville Reservoir in Johnson Co. VIEWING ACROSS FROM MARINA: 0.9 mile S of where Hwy. 965 from where it crosses I-380, take Meadow Rd. to the east. There is a very short distance until Curtis Bridge Rd goes off to your left. [the First Left]. Drive a short distance and park. You walk down to the Lake. In the winter, you can drive almost to the water. This is a working marina so please respect the private property. CURTIS BRIDGE BOAT RAMP: 0.3 south of where Hwy. 965 from crosses I-380, take Curtis Bridge Rd. to the east. Follow the road 3/4 of a mile, including an initial sharp left turn, to its end at the water.

The bulk of the land immediately adjoining the reservoir is managed by the Corps of Engineers. Mid-River Marina is privately managed.

About Coralville Reservoir/Hawkeye Wildlife Area/Lake Macbride State Park IBA

See all hotspots at Coralville Reservoir/Hawkeye Wildlife Area/Lake Macbride State Park IBA

This area has a large concentration of waterfowl and pelicans during migration. When water levels are right, large concentrations of shorebirds are found here during migration. The woodlands in the area produce significant numbers of migrating songbirds. Bald Eagle and Double-crested Cormorants nest in the area. There are large numbers of raptors in the area, some during migration and following the shorebirds, some nesting, and some wintering, such as Long and Short-eared Owls, Northern Harrier, and Rough-legged Hawk. There are heron rookeries, and large numbers of wading birds use the area during post breeding dispersal. The number of rare birds that have been found here over the years is quite large.

From highway 965 one and three-quarters miles north of North Liberty, go west on the Swan Lake Road to areas on the south side of Hawkeye WA. To reach areas on the north side, go west from highway 965 on the first road north of the reservoir (Amana Road).


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Linda Rudolph, Iowa Ornithologists' Union, and Coralville Reservoir/Hawkeye Wildlife Area/Lake Macbride State Park IBA

Last updated June 19, 2023