Fountain Springs Park

Fountain Springs Park and Wildlife Area is located 2 miles northeast of Greeley in section 10, 15 and 16 of Elk Township (T90N-R4W) Delaware County Iowa.

The 239.0-acre Fountain Springs Area is heavily forested with hardwood timber. The property is interconnected by the county gravel road which runs the length of the property. The land is quite rough with high limestone ledges towering over the stream on both sides. On periods of heavy rainfall this area can be subject to flooding due to the narrow nature of the stream valley.

The history of this area goes back to 1834 when the early settlers homesteaded near the main spring. In 1852 a man by the name of “Odell” built a mill near the spring to grind wheat. Other settlers came from all over northeastern Iowa to have their wheat ground and camped in the area while waiting their turn at the mill. The mill remained in operation until the 1920’s when it was discontinued due to a lack of patronage and is no longer in existence.

Fountain Springs Timeline:

  • 1959 – Mrs. Ella Ellis Stone donated 40.0 acres to the Delaware County Conservation Board in memory of her father, William B. Ellis. He purchased the land from the government in 1853 and used it as a wood lot for the Ellis Farms, west of Greeley. Ellis operated a charcoal kiln where he made charcoal to sell to the local blacksmiths. They used this area for picnics, hunting and family gatherings for nearly a century.
  • 1960 – Mrs. Myrtle C. Holbert sold over 96 acres to the County Conservation Board in memory of her father-in-law, A. B. Holbert. Mr. Holbert was a major horse importer in nearby Greeley, IA.
  • 1964 – Delaware County Conservation Board purchased 30.0 acres from the Boehm Estate and former County Conservation Director, Lyle Retz, donated 10.0 acres as an addition to the park.
  • 1964 – Iowa DNR entered into a management agreement with the County Conservation Board to provide the stocking of trout in the Fountain Springs stream.
  • 1999 – Delaware County Conservation Board signed a management agreement with the Iowa DNR to oversee the management and maintenance of 60.0 acres adjoining the east side of the current park.

The County Conservation is committed to managing this area for upland woodlands for wildlife and trout stream habitat. Evergreen trees have been planted on almost 30.0 acres of existing fields as a way for erosion control and wildlife habitat diversity.

The County Conservation also planted over 7.0 acres to mixed hardwoods and over 20.0 acres of native prairie grasses in 2000 and 2001. This provides additional protection to the 1.6 miles of trout stream that runs through the property.

Delaware County Conservation, in cooperation with the Iowa DNR and the Natural Resource Conservation Service has completed extensive in-stream improvements which includes bank hides for trout and improved stream habitat. The unique beauty and easy access to the trout stream draw people from all over the state to fish for rainbow, brown and brook trout that are stocked by the Iowa DNR Fish Hatchery. The park also offers primitive camping for those that want to stay overnight.

Fountain Springs Park and Wildlife Area offers some of the most natural and beautiful scenery in northeast Iowa.


  • 2511 Oak Road, Greeley, Iowa

Fountain Springs is located 2 miles northeast of Greeley


The park amenities include:

  • Vault Restrooms
  • Trout Stream
  • Hunting and Trapping 
  • Wildlife Observation

Operating Hours & Seasons

This park is open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm


All parks and natural areas remain open all year. However, facilities are closed to vehicle traffic and allow only walk-in access during the late fall and winter season.