Activities

 
Biking Biking at Raccoon River Valley Trail
The Raccoon River Valley Trail is a multi use recreational trail - great for walking, running, roller blading, skate boarding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and snowmobiling where allowed when conditions permit. The trail uses the former right‐of‐way of a railroad built in the 1870s and early ’80s to connect the city of Des Moines with the Iowa Great Lakes region in the northwest part of the state. For more than 50 years, it was a popular rail line, taking many vacationers from central Iowa right to the shores of Storm Lake, the Okobojis and Big Spirit Lake.


Biking Biking at Redfield Depot
The Redfield Depot is a trailhead for the 89 mile paved Raccoon River Valley Trail (RRVT) that runs through 14 communities in three counties; Dallas, Guthrie and Greene.

The communities offer a variety of off trail activities and support services, from hotels to restaurants, bike shops to ice cream stores. 

The RRVT has become a popular location for trail events, including the annual BaCoon Ride, and Market to Market relay race,
Biking Biking at Sportsman Park
1/2 mile from Raccoon River trail
Boating Boating at Dawson Boat Ramp
Located 1 mile north of Dawson, the Dawson Boat ramp offers easy access for boaters and anglers to the scenic North Raccoon River water trail. The area includes a gravel parking area, paved boat ramp and 20 acres of public hunting area in a forested wetland habitat.
Cabins Cabins at Glissman Conservation Area
 The Glissman  Lodge sleeps up to 8 people when using the queen sized master bed, two sets of bunk beds and the futon. The lodge features a fully equipped kitchen, 2 bathrooms (one with an ADA shower and one with a bathtub), and a deck with a beautiful panoramic view. Pillows, towels and linens are not furnished. The Glissman Conservation Area boasts a 7.5 acre pond on 60 acres to hike, fish, bird watch, picnic or mushroom hunt.
Cabins Cabins at Sportsman Park
Sportsman Park has two cabins available to rent. These cabins provide visitors who wish a “camping out” experience but may not have the necessary equipment for typical camping. The 18’ X 14’ cabins sleep 5 people: one set of bunk beds and a bunk bed with a futon below. The cabins contain an ADA shower and restroom, microwave, refrigerator and sink with running water. They have heat and air conditioning for all season use. All you need to bring is your pillows, towels, linens, camping supplies and the spirit of adventure!
Camping Camping at Sportsman Park
Sportsman Park has 40 peaceful acres overlooking the North Raccoon River.

SPORTSMAN CAMPING AREAS
A showerhouse with restrooms is available during the season (May through October)
The electrical camping area has rock pads and electrical upgrades.

Primitive Camping (no electricity),  $8.00/night 

Modern Camping-electrical hook-up sites,
10 sites available, $12.00/night
Four of the ten sites are reservable. Reservations must be made at least 14 days in advance and there is a $5.00 reservation fee per site. 
Camping Camping at Kuehn Conservation Area
The Kuehn Conservation Area is 770 acres of native and re-established prairie, riparian and upland forests, archaeological sites and hiking trails.  It offers two separate hike-in, primitive camping areas.  A small one next to the South Raccoon River with the larger area on top of an upland ridge. There is a water pump and modern restrooms at the education building.

KUEHN CAMPING AREAS       
Camping Fee: $8 per tent, per night

Area#1: Accessed by walking service road from Houston Trail. Set-up for 3-4 tents.  1/4 mile walk from restrooms & Nature Center. Parking available at Nature Center.

Area #2: Lower prairie along the Middle Raccoon River. Accessed by walking service road from Houston Trail. Set-up for 2-3 tents.  1/2 -3/4 mile walk from restrooms & Nature Center. Parking available at Nature Center.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Hanging Rock
Hanging Rock is located along the Middle and South Raccoon Rivers, part of a designated water trail system. 

There is dedicated access to the Middle Raccoon River just upstream of Hanging Rock at the Redfield Dam.

There is dedicated access to the South Raccoon River at the south edge of Hanging Rock.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Redfield Dam
The Redfield Dam area offers easy access to the Middle Raccoon River with a large gravel parking lot and paved boat ramp, both located below the low head dam.

The boat ramp is located at the southern edge of the 88 acre wildlife refuge. It is a very popular place to start a  leisurely float down a river that has great scenery and the opportunity to view wildlife including bald eagles, river otters, great blue herons, belted kingfishers and many others. 

Dallas County Conservation Board
14581 K Ave. 
Perry, Iowa 50220 
515-465-3577 
FAX 515-465-3579
Office Hours: M-F 8:00am - 4:30pm 
Email: conservation@co.dallas.ia.us 
Website: www.conservation.co.dallas.ia.us
Facility Rentals Facility Rentals at Sportsman Park
Sportsman's Lodge can accommodate 120 people and is available for your wedding, family reunion or business/club meeting year round. 
Facility Rentals Facility Rentals at Glissman Conservation Area
The Glissman Lodge sleeps up to 8 people when the 3 bedrooms and futon in the living room are utilized. The lodge features a fully equipped kitchen, 2 bathrooms (an ADA shower and a bathtub), and a deck with a beautiful panoramic view. Pillows, towels and linens are not furnished.  It is generally available from April through October, although November rentals are possible if weather conditions allow.
Facility Rentals Facility Rentals at Dayton Stagecoach Inn
Dallas County Dayton Stagecoach Inn is an overnight rental facility.  It has a fully equipped kitchen and sleeps 9 in three bedrooms.
Fishing Fishing at Dawson Boat Ramp
Located 1 mile north of Dawson, the Dawson Boat ramp offers easy access for boaters and anglers to the scenic North Raccoon River water trail. The area includes a gravel parking area, paved boat ramp and 20 acres of public hunting area in a forested wetland habitat.
Fishing Fishing at Glissman Conservation Area
Glissman Conservation Area has a 7.5 acre pond that is home to bluegill, redeared sunfish, crappie, largemouth bass, channel catfish and others. 

A fishing license is required for all anglers ages 16 and above, except during the annual Free Fishing Days, the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday in June. Check the Dallas County Conservation Board website for information about programming that weekend. 
Fishing Fishing at Redfield Dam
The Redfield Dam area  is 88 acres of wildlife refuge located both up and down river from the low head dam on the the Middle Raccoon River.

It is a very popular place for all types of fish lovers, from humans to bald eagles, river otters, great blue herons, belted kingfishers and many others!
Historic Visits Historic Visits at Dayton Stagecoach Inn
Located along the old Des Moines to Fort Dodge stagecoach route, the Dayton Stagecoach Inn was built in 1868 and used as a combination inn, bar and private home. It has been renovated to look like the original Inn. It is located on 10 acres of secluded land that  includes 150 year old oaks and some limited access to Beaver Creek.  
Historic Visits Historic Visits at Forest Park Museum
Forest Park Museum offers a wide range of artifacts and activities.
You can visit a well-stocked:
One room school house
Log Cabin
Scale House
Life of Early Settlers  exhibits.

Additional highlights include
prehistoric mammoth bones and teeth 
native nations artifacts
gun collection
Bonnie and Clyde artifacts
Modern traveling exhibits about Iowa habitats
small animal exhibits
Hunting Hunting at Big Bend Wildlife Area
Big Bend is composed of 640 acres of huntable, diverse habitat. There are some nice stretches of river bottom timber along the Middle Raccoon River, fields of reestablished prairie and sections of upland forest further away from the river. 

Populations of wild turkey, pheasant, quail, wood duck, white-tailed deer, red and gray fox, mink, raccoon and many non-game species can be found in this area. 

The zig-zag boundary of the area makes it important to always know your location to avoid trespassing.  

In all Dallas County Conservation Board managed hunting areas, green signs mark the boundary of the public hunting.  Yellow signs mark any boundaries of adjacent wildlife refuges.  Hunting and trapping of any kind is not allowed in a wildlife refuge. All park users need to be aware of park boundaries and respect private property.

All Iowa Department of Natural Resources laws and regulations apply on Dallas County Conservation Board areas.

The use of non-toxic shot is highly encouraged.
Hunting Hunting at Dawson Boat Ramp
Located 1 mile north of Dawson, the Dawson Boat ramp offers 20 acres of forested wetland habitat of public hunting area.  Parking is available in the gravel lot by the boat ramp.

Hunters are responsible for maintaining awareness of:
  •  the marked boundaries,
  • their location with respect to the roads, and
  • all applicable hunting regulations.
The use of non-toxic shot is strongly encouraged.
Hunting Hunting at Hanging Rock
Hanging Rock is a 469 acre park along the Middle Raccoon River at the southwest corner of Redfield. 212 acres of public hunting land is sandwiched between 257 acres of wildlife refuge. The hunting area includes woodland, a wetland area, fields of prairie plus some crop land.
 
The use of non-lead shot is strongly encouraged.
Hunting Hunting at Kuehn Conservation Area
The Kuehn Conservation Area, 5 miles north of Earlham, includes 190 acres of public hunting land, 130 acres designated for bow hunting only and 450 set aside as a wildlife refuge.

Habitat at Kuehn Conservation Area includes prairie, woodland, riparian forests and crop fields along and near the South Raccoon River. 


For all public hunting areas managed by the Dallas County Conservation Board, green signs mark the boundaries of the public hunting areas.. Yellow wildlife refuge signs mare the areas where hunting and trapping of any type is not allowed. All park users need to be aware of park boundaries and respect private property.
Hunting Hunting at North Raccoon River Wildlife Area-Snyder Tract
The North Raccoon River Wildlife Area - Snyder Tract has 115 acres of public hunting, with and additional 30.5 acres set aside as a wildlife refuge.

The area is mostly river bottom timber along the North Raccoon River area. It includes several old sandpits that attract waterfowl. 

The use of non-toxic ammunition is encouraged. 

Fishing is also allowed.

Hunting Hunting at Voas Nature Area
Voas Nature Area west of Minburn has two public hunting areas.

100 acres is set aside as a Youth Only Hunting area - with a special permit required. In this area, hunters ages 15 and under are the only ones allowed to carry or be in possession of a firearm. The youth MUST be accompanied by an licensed adult 21 or older. 

There is an additional 333 acres of public hunting area that through wetland restoration is shaping up to be a high quality habitat area.

Both areas require the use of non-toxic ammunition.

In all Dallas County Conservation Board managed hunting areas, green signs mark the boundary of the public hunting.  Yellow signs mark any boundaries of adjacent wildlife refuges.  Hunting and trapping of any kind is not allowed in a wildlife refuge. All park users need to be aware of park boundaries and respect private property.

All Iowa Department of Natural Resources laws and regulations apply on Dallas County Conservation Board areas.
Picnicking Picnicking at Trindle Park
Trindle Park is located on a ridge south of Van Meter, giving it a beautiful view over the Raccoon River Valley.  Its 24 acres includes two covered, reservable picnic shelters, modern restrooms and a playground.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Voas Nature Area
The Voas Nature Area is a 705 acre park located approximately 1 1/2 miles west of Minburn. Much of it is farmland that is being restored to its earlier state as wetlands and prairies. It includes around 110-acres of oak/hickory forest, and nearly 600 acres of restored prairie and wetland complex. It's gently rolling hills lead hikers and cross-country skiers through prairie, woodland, and wetland 

From May 1 - October 31, restrooms and drinking water are available at the geology museum located near the west parking area.

Trail map

Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Kuehn Conservation Area
The Kuehn Conservation Area is 770 acres of native and re-established prairie, riparian and upland forests, archaeological sites and hiking trails.  Trails range from the easy strolls along the upland ridges to challenging scrambles up and down the Bemis moraine. Highlights include the bird blind (an easy hike), two rushing streams (one loaded with clay, fossils and small waterfall), and panoramic views of floodplain prairies.

Trails map
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Dayton Stagecoach Inn
Nice dirt walking trail from Inn to small creek.  It is only a few minutes drive to the High Trestle Trail or Raccoon River Valley Trail.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Forest Park Museum
Raccoon River Valley Trail
Surface:
Asphalt and Concrete
Grade: The Raccoon River Valley Trail is mostly flat, with only 1% to 2% grade 
The Raccoon River Valley Trail (RRVT) is a  multi-use recreational trail. It extends from the Clive Greenbelt Trail to Jefferson, and passes through the communities of Clive, Urbandale, Waukee, Adel, Redfield, Linden, Panora, Yale, Herndon, Cooper and Jefferson, Dawson and Perry. A North Loop addition to the trail is being constructed from Herndon to Waukee. 
Winter Activities Winter Activities at Raccoon River Valley Trail
The Raccoon River Valley Trail is an 89 mile paved multi use recreational trail - great for walking, running, roller blading, skate boarding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and snowmobiling where allowed when conditions permit.