Wildcat Trail

This park covers 46 acres of primitive land, with a great prairie area, stream fishing for the fisherman, and great timber for the hiker and open for hunting. 

The property was first purchased in two sections by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (3.22 acres) in 1988 from the Aswegan Family, and then 42.53 acres from Primadora Farm Inc. (Ben Primus) in 1989. The area is now under a management agreement between the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Hardin County Conservation Board until December 2020. Steep and moderately sloped hillsides, and a seasonal waterfall add to the beauty of this area. Rustic foot trails constructed in 1989 by the HCCB and MICA youth crews wind through the area.

This area gets its name from a foot trail constructed in 1989 by Hardin County Conservation with MICA youth crews that winds through the park and to Wildcat Cave. Rumor has it that this cave was once a hang out of the infamous outlaw Jesse James.

Hiking through the area you will find native plant life that include oak, hickory, clumps of paper birch, and a prairie that overlooks the Iowa River. The river valley creates a moderate slope to steep terrain that creates a seasonal waterfall that adds to the beauty of this area. Besides hiking, this area is open to stream fishing and hunting.


This area is located 1 ½ miles south of Steamboat Rock on Co., Hwy. S56, then west on 215th Street for 1 mile. The entrance (walk in access) to the parking area is on the south side of the curve on 215th Street.


Beautiful prairie and primitive area. Great for hiking, stream fishing. Has lots of timber and open to hunting.

Operating Hours & Seasons

Opens at 6:00 A.M. and closes at 10:30 P.M.