Linn

Skip Navigation LinksHome > Counties > Linn > Parks > Pinicon Ridge Park > Activities

Pinicon Ridge Park

 
Cabins Cabins at Pinicon Ridge Park

 Four camping cabins with varying amenities are available for reservations.  All cabins have heat and air conditioning. 

Aspen
The cabin has 460 square feet of living space. This is a two room cabin with two twin over twin bunk beds & foldout double sleeper (futon) in living area. Aspen cabin sleeps a maximum of 6.  

Bob White
Bob White features 460 sq. feet of living space (16’ X 28’ cabin) and sleeps a maximum of 6.  This is a two room cabin with two twin over twin bunk beds and foldout double sleeper (futon).

Pintail
Pintail Cabin features 625 sq. feet of living space (24’ X 26’ cabin) and sleeps a maximum of 8.  The cabin has two bedrooms & great room; with two twin-over-full sized bunk beds in each bedroom; futon in great room with full-size mattress.

River Otter
The River Otter Cabin is the smaller of the four modern camping cabins offered for reservations within the Linn County parks. It's small size makes it perfect for a couple's getaway weekend. River Otter is a one room cabin - 350 sq. feet of living space (16' X 22' cabin). This cabin sleeps a maximum of 6. There are two twin over full sized bunk beds.

Click here to make your reservation and to find out more about Linn County Parks cabins
Camping Camping at Pinicon Ridge Park
Family Camping
Camping is a popular outdoor recreation activity at Pinicon Ridge Park. Campgrounds are open from April 15 through late October, ground conditions permitting. To provide a variety of camping experiences, the park offers campsites that range from primitive sites with no hook ups to modern sites with electricity and water. Campsites are equipped with a firepad and and picnic table with showers and restrooms nearby. Family campgrounds, such as Flying Squirrel and Plains are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.All campers must self-register and pay the required fee. A dumping station for use by campers who camped in Linn County parks is available. Camping discount booklets are also available from the park office and campground hosts.Firewood is available at the campground host site.

Group Camping
There are 7 group campgrounds available by reservation at Pinicon Ridge Park.  The group camps are designed for use by groups larger than 6 people and 3 camping units or more.  Group campgrounds are located on the south side of the river.  To reserve a group campground, click here and then click the group camp you'd like to reserve. 

Camping Cabins
Four camping cabins with varying amenities are available by reservation.  All cabins have heat and air conditioning.  Pintail Cabin has 2 bedrooms (sleeps up to 8 people); Bob White and Aspen cabins have 1 room living area with restrooms (sleeps up to 6 people); and River Otter Cabin is a 1 room cabin with a pit vault restroom nearby (sleeps up to 6 people). 
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Pinicon Ridge Park

The Watercraft Concession has been a special feature available at Pinicon Ridge park since the early 1970's.  Each year, just shy of 10,000 visitors utilize this watercraft rental and canoe trip service on the Wapsipinicon River.

 

CANOE TRIPS

Visitors are shuttled to one of the three up river drop points on the Wapsipinicon River.  the float trip back to the park is very scenice and proceeds at a relatively slow pace.  Trips are available that take approximately two, four or six hours - bringing you back to your point of departure at Pinicon Ridge County Park. Shuttles leave at fixed times: 9AM (6 hour); 11AM (4 hour); and 1PM (2 hour).  Groups must arrive at least 45 minutes prior to departure for a pre-trip orientation.  

All canoes are due back at the concession by 4:30PM.  All shuttles require at least a 24 hour notice. Groups of any size can be accommodated, pending equipment availability.   Smaller groups may be combined to enhance our ability to serve you.   It is suggested that you make your arrangements as far in advance as possible to ensure that your date, time and equipment needs are available. Canoe trip shuttles may be arranged weeks or months in advance with concession personnel.  

 

 IN-PARK RENTALS

The concession provides in-park rentals of paddleboats, canoes and kayaks. Calm backwater channels and the slow-flowing Wapsipinicon River provide miles of water trails throughout the park. Campsites and picnic areas along the waterways allow you to paddle right up to your family & friends! Frisbees, volleyballs, horseshoes and various snacks are also available at the concession for a nominal fee.

 

FEES ARE LISTED BELOW

Other Activities Other Activities at Pinicon Ridge Park

OBSERVATION TOWER

A landmark for Pinicon Ridge Park, the 72' Woodpecker Hill Observation Tower provides scenic views and lifetime experiences to hundreds of thousands of visitors since it was originally constructed in 1966.  The main shaft of the tower was constructed by the former Link-Belt Speeder Company of Cedar Rapids in the mid-1960's-destined to become a crane in New York city harbor.  Due to some construction mis-configurations, it never made the trip to New York and was acquired by the Linn County Conservation Board in 1965.   Due to liability concerns, the tower was closed for a couple years in the mid-1990's.   A $150,000 rennovation project included a facelife, enclosing the previously open stairwell, and general structural maintenance on the facility. The tower reopened in the late 1990's, for another long run of providing meories for park users.  

The Pinicon Ridge Observation Tower is open to the public and no charge from early April through October-sunrise to sunset.  At 1,028 feet abover sea leve, it is one of the highest points in Linn County.  From the observation platform, one commands a wonderfully scenic view of the Wapsipinicon River valley and adjoining country side as far as the eye can see. 

 

 ALEXANDER WILDLIFE AREA

 Named after former Conservation Board member Dick Alexander for his efforts in wildlife conservation and education, this 5 acre area was started in 1968 to further the county's wildlife restocking efforts at that time.  Species on display include American elk, but have also included white-tailed deer, mallard ducks, and Canada geese. 

Picnicking Picnicking at Pinicon Ridge Park

There are many individual picnic areas in Pinicon Ridge Park that feature charcoal grills, picnic tables and close proximity to fun activities. In addition, for larger groups there are several shelters available for rent.

Eagle View Shelter
This facility is located on the "day use" portion of Pinicon Ridge Park, accessible from the south park entrance off Maine Ridge Road - directly west of Central City, IA. On Maine Ridge (west of Hwy. 13), turn right (north) into the park on Horseshoe Falls Road. Follow the main park aroad (and associated signs) to the Riverside area of the park, and the shelter is just off to your right near the playground complex. Open air (not enclosed) picnic shelter 23' X 35' Sheltered capacity - 40 - 50 people (more during fair weather) 6 picnic tables under roof + 4 tables on patio, Large charcoal cooking grill, Fire ring with additional cooking grate next to shelter, Potable chlorinated water at shelter, 2 refuse cans, 10 double electrical outlets, Large food preparation counter, Parking for 16 cars (additional parking for 100 cars within walking distance), Modern pit vault restroom with sidewalk adjacent to shelter, Utility closet including broom, hose, dust pan, horseshoes and first aid kit & fire extinguisher available  Watercraft Concession and boat ramp adjacent to shelter, Paved walking trail adjacent to shelter

Riverside Shelter
Riverside Shelter is located in the very popular Riverside Picnic Area in Pinicon Ridge Park. With adjacent playground, sand volleyball and horseshoe courts - the location along the backwaters of the Wapsipinicon River puts this facility much in demand during the warm summer months! This facility is located on the "day use" portion of Pinicon Ridge Park, accessible from the south park entrance off Maine Ridge Road - directly west of Central City, IA. On Maine Ridge (west of Hwy. 13), turn right (north) into the park on Horseshoe Falls Road. Follow the main park aroad (and associated signs) to the Riverside area of the park, and the shelter is just off to your right near the playground complex. 32’ x 56’ - 1792 square feet of sheltered use area. Open air shelter (not enclosed) picnic shelter. Sheltered capacity - 50 to 60 people Fair-weather capacity - 575+ people 10 picnic tables under roof + 4 tables on patio, Two large charcoal grills, 4 refuse cans, 6 double electrical outlets,  Large food preparation counter,  Parking for 134 cars directly adjacent (additional parking for 51 cars within walking distance),  Pit vault restroom nearby,  Watercraft Rental within walking distance,  Horseshoe court & playground adjacent, Sand volleyball court for exclusive use (horseshoes & volleyball available on request), Pressurized drinking water at shelter, Lighting available for evening use

Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Pinicon Ridge Park


(For a map of all park trails, visit the interactive park map)


Woodpecker Hill Trail
The trailhead is near the parking area located at the top of Woodpecker Hill.  1.69 miles in length, it takes about 45 minutes to walk.  The trail, which has some hills, features a unique limeston outcropping located in the valley of the forest and a small water cascade known locally as "the Horsehoe Falls".

White Oak Trail
The trailhead is located near the river just past the boat ramp.  The trail uses the group camp road for a short distance and connects the group campgrounds with the day use part of the park. The trail is approximately 1.85 miles long and takes approximately 2 hours to walk.  The trail traverses heavily wooded hills and valleys. 

Whip-Poor-Will Trail
This trail is 1.47 miles in length and begins in Plains Campground.  This trail connects with the Central City Trail - providing a great access to the City of Central City.   It takes about 1.5 hours to walk.  When the campground closes in the fall, this trail is expanded through Flying Squirrel Campground and becomes the only designated cross-country ski trail in the park.  Access to the cross-country ski trail is at the campground entrance located along Valley Farm Road.  Parking is also available at the Flying Squirrel Trail parking lot along Valley Farm Road.

Flying Squirrel Trail
The trailhead for Flying Squirrel Trail is on Valley Farm Road, 1 mile west of Highway 13. This trail includes stands of mixed pines and a splendid view of the river. It is 2.69 miles in length, has some hills, and takes about 2 hours to walk.  This area is open to hunting during the hunting season.

Snowmobile Trail
This trail is open from December 1st until April 1st, weather and ground conditions permitting (1" or more of snow cover required).  It is .88 miles in length and follows the main road through the park.  Snowmobiles must follow trail markers and stay on the trail at all times.  Speed limit on the trail is 15 m.p.h.

Winter Activities Winter Activities at Pinicon Ridge Park
Snowmobile Trail
This trail is open from December 1st until April 1st, weather and ground conditions permitting (1" or more of snow cover required).  It is .88 miles in length and follows the main road through the park.  Snowmobiles must follow trail markers and stay on the trail at all times.  Speed limit on the trail is 15 m.p.h.

Sledding
Pinicon Ridge park has a very popular sledding hill starting by Woodpecker lodge.

Cross Country Skiing
There are groomed trails at Pinicon Ridge.

Ice Fishing
Newly created fishing jetties at Pinicon Ridge make for excellent ice fishing opportunities on the Wapsipinicon River. 
 

158