Activities

 
Biking Biking at Pony Hollow Trail
In 2005 the Clayton County Conservation Board lime-chipped an old railway bed that began in Elkader, Iowa. Today Pony Hollow Trail is used as a hiking, biking, walking, snowmobiling, and horseback-riding path.  Along the trail there are three interpretive signs that explain the topography, trees, and wetlands that can be seen throughout the trek. Pony Hollow Trail can be utilized throughout the year and is four miles in one direction with a round trip excursion of 8 miles.
Camping Camping at Bloody Run
With over 19 primitive campsites, campers have the opportunity to enjoy nature without the hum of air conditioners.  The campground is located along Bloody Run Trout Stream and is also home to Iowa’s largest woodpecker, the Pileated.   Primitive camping is available for $10.00 per night, on a first come first serve basis. Check in at the campground kiosk.
Camping Camping at Buck Creek
With two private campsites this campground offers hiking and fishing opportunities.  Spend the day or night and discover how much wildlife roams the hills of Clayton County Iowa.
Camping Camping at Frenchtown Park
Camp along the Mississippi River and enjoy the sights and sounds of the great father of waters. This intimate park has 3 primitive sites and is free to all hopeful campers.  Located within the park is a boat ramp with access to the Mississippi River. Frenchtown Park is located three miles north of the scenic town of Guttenberg and is sure to be of interest to any river enthusiasts. Camping, Fishing, Day Use.
Camping Camping at Frieden Park
This small park is five and a half miles northwest of Elkader, across the Turkey River from Big Springs Trout Hatchery. There are three primitive camping sites available, for $5.00 per site on a first come first serve basis. Register at the park kiosk.
Camping Camping at Joy Springs
Campers and fisherman lucky enough to discover this park will find land and water seldom bothered by people.  Within the park is a large shelter and five primitive campsites. 
Camping Camping at Motor Mill Historic Site
Primitive camping is available for $10.00 per night. There are 5 campsites, on a first come first serve basis. Self check-in at the kiosk.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Motor Mill Historic Site

A popular boat ramp is located at Motor Mill near the campground. The Turkey River offers a great paddling experience with Motor Mill located about  5.5 miles downstream from Elkader. From Motor Mill one can continue paddling to the town of Garber, which is another 11.5 miles. You will have opportunities for viewing wildlife and good fishing as you travel along the Turkey River.

Turkey River Water Trail Guide

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Frieden Park

This park offers canoe/kayak access to the Turkey River right across from the Iowa DNR Big Springs Trout Hatchery.

Turkey River Water Trail Guide

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Turkey River Park

Located on the east edge of Elkader, Turkey River Park offers the perfect place to start a canoe or kayaking adventure.  With easy access to the Turkey River, canoeists can enter the river and spend the day canoeing to Motor Mill or Garber.  Plan on spending nearly two hours on the river in order to get to Motor Mill and almost six hours to get to the quaint town of Garber.  Both floats have beautiful views of Northeast Iowa’s limestone bluffs, forests, and wildlife.  

Turkey River Water Trail Guide

Disc Golf Disc Golf at Osborne Park
Osborne Park features a 9-hole disc golf course winding through the forest & prairie near the Osborne Pond. The course is managed to maximize acres of prairie while maintaining a quality disc golf experience; players should expect tight fairways bordered by tall grass. The course is exceptionally scenic, and often shared with deer, wild turkey, bald eagles, and kestrels.
Education Education at Osborne Park
The Osborne Welcome Center has a nature center that has rotating exhibits including a karst cave, augmented reality sandbox, reptiles, and much more. This facility is located in the bottom level of the Welcome Center. 
After checking out the nature center head outdoors to see the native animal exhibit, pioneer village, Nature Explorer outdoor classroom, and trails.
Equestrian Activities Equestrian Activities at Pony Hollow Trail
In 2005 the Clayton County Conservation Board lime-chipped an old railway bed that began in Elkader, Iowa. Today Pony Hollow Trail is used as a hiking, biking, walking, snowmobiling, and horseback-riding path.  Along the trail there are three interpretive signs that explain the topography, trees, and wetlands that can be seen throughout the trek. Pony Hollow Trail can be utilized throughout the year and is four miles in one direction with a round trip excursion of 8 miles.
Equestrian Activities Equestrian Activities at Motor Mill Historic Site
The south trail at Motor Mill allows equestrian use.
Facility Rentals Facility Rentals at Turkey River Park
The shelter at Turkey River Park was new in spring of 2017. It has lights, 8 picnic tables, and three electrical outlets. pit toilet, boat access area, along the Turkey River, lots of parking and is available to be reserved by calling Clayton County Conservation at 563-245-1516.
Facility Rentals Facility Rentals at Osborne Park
We have multiple shelters located throughout the Osborne park that can can be rented for 1/2 or full day rentals. More information and rental forms can be found here.
Fishing Fishing at Buck Creek
Three miles north of Garnavillo, Buck Creek is surrounded by over 100 acres of forested land and is located along the banks of Buck Creek Trout Stream. The creek is stocked with trout by the IA DNR.
Fishing Fishing at Turkey River Park
Turkey River Park offers a great area to fish off the bank. The Turkey River has an abundance of fish species such as trout, walleye, bass, catfish, and many more.
Fishing Fishing at Joy Springs
Located along Joy Springs Trout Stream, Joy Springs Park is a great destination for any trout angler. Just a short drive west of Strawberry Point, Joy Springs covers approximately 90 acres of rolling forested land.
Fishing Fishing at Frenchtown Park
 Located within the park is a boat ramp with access to the Mississippi River. Frenchtown Park is located three miles north of the scenic town of Guttenberg and is sure to be of interest to any river enthusiasts.
Fishing Fishing at Bloody Run
Bloody Run Park is located just west of Marquette Iowa.  Nestled between rolling limestone bluffs, Bloody Run is a 135-acre park that provides both excellent trout fishing and camping opportunities. Bloody Run is a stream stocked with trout by the IA DNR and offers excellent fishing opportunities.
Geocaching Geocaching at Motor Mill Historic Site
Geocachers have discovered Motor Mill as one stop in a series of caches. A container with a sign-in notebook and simple trinkets inside was hidden at Motor. The coordinates of the container are posted on a geocache website and searchers bearing GPS (Global Positioning System) units often come to test their skill.
Historic Visits Historic Visits at Osborne Park

Many people ask the history of Osborne… when it was started, where it is headed and so on.  The name of the center comes from the gentleman that first occupied this site in 1865 and named it after himself- Thomas Osborne.  In 1878 Mr. Osborne began selling plots of land in order to form the town of Osborne.  By 1880 Osborne had grown to include 50 full-time residents, a 2 ½ story hotel, blacksmith shop, general store, grain elevator and railroad depot.However, due to low food prices the town began to fade until the town quickly shrank to less than 10 people. 

You can now come visit the Pioneer Village replica that includes a general store, depot, train, hotel, blacksmith shop, log cabin, and country schoolhouse.

Historic Visits Historic Visits at Motor Mill Historic Site
Guided tours will be offered each Saturday and Sunday afternoon from noon-5pm, May 26th-October 14th. Tour includes the historic 1860’s mill, related buildings, and town site. Group tours available by appointment.
Feel free to do self guided tours throughout the park with the new interpretive signs placed near each building and the bridge.
You can find more information by visiting the mill website.
Hunting Hunting at Motor Mill Historic Site
Bow hunting for deer and turkey is available at the south side of Motor Mill.  Spring turkey bow hunters must register at the Osborne Office before their first hunt.  Also in the fall, deer and turkey bow hunters must register at the Osborne Office before their first hunt.
Hunting Hunting at Buck Creek
Bow hunting for deer and turkey is available at Buck Creek Park.  Spring turkey bow hunters must register at the Osborne Office before their first hunt.  Also in the fall, deer and turkey bow hunters must register at the Osborne Office before their first hunt.
Picnicking Picnicking at Bloody Run
The Bloody Run park has one open air shelter located in the far end of the park. The shelter has picnic tables, trash/recycling bins, and a pit toilet.
Picnicking Picnicking at Joy Springs
Located along Joy Springs Trout Stream, Joy Springs Park is a great destination for any trout angler. Just a short drive west of Strawberry Point, Joy Springs covers approximately 90 acres of rolling forested land. Campers and fisherman lucky enough to discover this park will find land and water seldom bothered by people.  Within the park is a large shelter and five primitive campsites.
Picnicking Picnicking at Osborne Park
Osborne park offers many picnic spots throughout the park. There are shelters, gazebos, or just spread a blanket out on the lawn.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Pony Hollow Trail
In 2005 the Clayton County Conservation Board lime-chipped an old railway bed that began in Elkader, Iowa. Today Pony Hollow Trail is used as a hiking, biking, walking, snowmobiling, and horseback-riding path.  Along the trail there are three interpretive signs that explain the topography, trees, and wetlands that can be seen throughout the trek. Pony Hollow Trail can be utilized throughout the year and is four miles in one direction with a round trip excursion of 8 miles.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Motor Mill Historic Site
Motor Mill Historic Site has over 4 miles of trails throughout this 155 acre park.  With trails on both the north and south sides of the river, one can hike through forests, prairies, and savanna to find breathtaking views from the blufftops and abundant wildlife. The south trail system also provides equestrian use and limited hunting by permit during the hunting season.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Osborne Park
Osborne Park features over 6 miles of hiking trails ranging from very easy to challenging. Trails on the north side of the Volga River wind through woods and prairie near a small fishing pond, in addition to two wooded loops which include an archery range. On the south side, trails follow the Volga river and meander through upland conifer and hardwood forest.  Interpretive brochures are available inside the Welcome Center. Maps are located at trailheads and inside the Welcome Center.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Bloody Run
A rugged 1 mile hiking trail, with trail heads at the north and south end of the park, leads through dense forest to the blufftops, where spacious Oak Savannas provide splendid views of the valley below.
Winter Activities Winter Activities at Pony Hollow Trail

 Pony Hollow Trail is part of the Clayton County Snowbirds trail system and is utilized throughout the winter by snowmobiling enthusiasts.  

In 2005 the Clayton County Conservation Board lime-chipped an old railway bed that began in Elkader, Iowa. Today Pony Hollow Trail is used as a hiking, biking, walking, snowmobiling, and horseback-riding path.  Along the trail there are three interpretive signs that explain the topography, trees, and wetlands that can be seen throughout the trek. Pony Hollow Trail can be utilized throughout the year and is four miles in one direction with a round trip excursion of 8 miles.​

Winter Activities Winter Activities at Osborne Park
Cross-country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, ice fishing and snowmobiling are just a few of the winter activities found on the trails and ponds of Clayton County Parks.   Groomed cross-country ski trails, the ice fishing pond and sledding hills are found at Osborne Park.  Pony Hollow Trail is part of the Clayton County Snowbirds trail system and is utilized throughout the winter by snowmobiling enthusiasts.  Whatever winter activity you choose, Clayton County Parks are sure to offer a winter wonderland.
Snowshoes are available to rent from the Osborne Welcome Center.