Activities

 
Biking Biking at Grammer Grove Wildlife Area
Mountain biking is allowed on marked trails.
Biking Biking at GrimesFarm & Conservation Center
The Linn Creek Recreational Trail from Marshalltown to the GrimesFarm and  Conservation Center was completed in 2005.  This is now another way to access the GrimesFarm and Conservation Center, by bicycle or on foot. In the Spring of 2012, the Linn Creek Trail was connected with the Hwy. 330 Trail and the Heart of Iowa Trail at Rhodes. These trail segments are part of the American Discovery Trail
Biking Biking at Linn Creek Recreational Trail
The Linn Creek Recreational Trail is a hard surfaced linear trail built mainly on the dike along Linn Creek and the Iowa River in Marshalltown.  It comes from Riverview Park to Grimes Farm and then the trail was recently connected with the Highway 330 trail that takes riders to Melbourne and Rhodes (Heart of Iowa Nature Trail)
Camping Camping at Forest Reserve
Primitive tent camping is allowed at Forest Reserve.
Camping Camping at Grammer Grove Wildlife Area
Tent camping only is allowed at Grammer Grove.   This campsite is on a first come/first served basis.  There is electricity, shelter houses, and trails for hiking which include the unique feature of a granite boulder.
Camping Camping at Timmons Grove Park
This campsite is located on the south segment of Timmons Grove and contains facilities for RV campers with 30 amp electrical hookups.  There are 18 electrical hookups available.  This campsite is on a first come/first served basis.  There is a hiking trail close by, a shelter house, a boat ramp with access to the Iowa River, and you are only minutes from Marshalltown and Albion.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Timmons Grove Park
Enjoy a canoe or kayak trip on the Iowa River.  Timmons Grove Park is located on the Iowa River.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Three Bridges County Park
A boat ramp allows access to the Iowa River for canoeing and kayaking.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Furrow Access
With access to the Iowa River, canoeing and kayaking is allowed at  Furrow Access.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Forest Reserve
With access to the Iowa River, canoeing and kayaking are allowed at Forest Reserve.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Green Castle Recreation Area
Carry in canoes and kayaks only are allowed on Green Castle Lake. 
Education Education at Green Castle Recreation Area
Bison
American Bison were once the most abundant mammal in North America but by the late 1800’s less than 1000 bison survived. This massive six foot tall, 2,000 pound animal once roamed most of North America with only one natural predator -  the wolf.  Even the wolf couldn’t take down a mature, healthy animal, instead they preyed on the young, sick, and older animals.  People, however, did have an impact.   Population decline was due to unregulated hunting as settlers and railroads moved west. The last reported bison in Iowa was in 1869 in the northwest corner of the state. The small bison herd at Green Castle is one of the few places that bison can be found in Iowa. Once on the verge of extinction, the bison population is now on the rise throughout the United States. 

Bison roamed the tall grass prairie eating grasses and sedges, slowly grazing through an area mostly  during the morning and late afternoon. Bison also wallow in the mud or dirt to get relief from insects.  At Green Castle, watch for a wallowing hole on the east side of the enclosure or on the west side where they dust themselves. Notice their thick long coats which they slowly shed as summer approaches. 

Bison mating occurs in the fall and the gestation period is around nine months, with the calves being born in April or May. The calves are light brown in color and are able to walk a few hours after being born.  There are a couple new residents at Green Castle this spring with two bison calves being born in late April. Both calves were born the same weekend and both are healthy and doing great. 

Imagine seeing thousands of these magnificent animals roaming the prairies. What a sight that would have been!  Watching the bison at Green Castle can give you a small glimpse of bison behavior and of what Iowa used to be like.  When you visit the bison remember that even though they are captive, they are a wild animal with young to protect. 

Trumpeter swan
Also, located next the bison corral is the Trumpeter Swan exhibit.  Located on the pond is  a pair of breeding swan and in the Spring it is not uncommon to see cygnets.  Trumpeter Swans vanished from most of the United Sates over 100 years ago due to over hunting and lead poisoning.
Education Education at GrimesFarm & Conservation Center
Classroom programs and outdoor educational programs for school groups, civic organizations, and general public
Classroom can be rented by business groups for meetings
Equestrian Activities Equestrian Activities at Grammer Grove Wildlife Area
Horseback riding is allowed on the trails. 
Facility Rentals Facility Rentals at Green Castle Recreation Area
Come the newly renovated Gander Lookout Shelter.  Shelter has plenty of picnic tables, metal serving counters, grills, and a wrap around deck that is perfect for wildlife observation.  Playground eqiupment and restrooms are close by.
Fishing Fishing at Green Castle Recreation Area
Green Castle Lake provides habitat for many species many game fish including: largemouth bass, northern pike, bluegill, crappie, bullhead, channel catfish, red-eared sunfish, and walleye.  Additionally jetties have been created for easy shore line fishing, and numerous submerged fishing shelters to provide habitat to promote health fish populations. Historically Green Castle Lake is the site of the current state record Crappie which weighed in at 4 lbs. 9 oz. and was 21 1/4 inches long.
Fishing Fishing at Grammer Grove Wildlife Area
An Iowa River Greenbelt area.  Take the hiking path from the upper shelter to gain access to Iowa River.

NO Swimming is allowed
Fishing Fishing at Furrow Access
With access to the Iowa River, fishing is allowed at Furrow Access.
Fishing Fishing at Forest Reserve
Fishing along the Iowa River is allowed at Forest Reserve.
Fishing Fishing at Arney Bend Wildlife Area
Fishing is allowed at Arney Bend Wildlife Area.  Arney Bend is located on the Iowa River.
Fishing Fishing at Timmons Grove Park
Located just south of Albion on the Iowa River, this location is great for fishing.  Timmons Grove Park also has a campground, so this park is ideal for a family vacation.
Fishing Fishing at Sand Lake Recreation Area
Bass, bluegill, crappie, and walleye pike exist in the ponds. Other river species include white bass, yellow bass, green sunfish, carp, big mouth buffalo, yellow perch, and quillback carpsucker. State DNR fisheries personnel assist the MCCB and make recommendations for underwater structures to enhance fish habitat.

Authorized PUBLIC USES for Sand Lake, set by policy of the MCCB, include: ·       
FISHING: Walk-in access            
State fishing regulations apply ·        
Motor vehicles restricted to parking lots and boat ramp ·       
Pets must be leashed at all times ·       
BOATS: Electric powered only and/or      
Rowboats, canoes, paddleboats ·       
NO SWIMMING
Fishing Fishing at Three Bridges County Park
This park is nestled in the trees on the Iowa River near Quarry which makes this a prime location for fishing.  There is also a boat ramp for easy access to the river.
Historic Visits Historic Visits at Mormon Ridge Log Cabin
The historical log cabin of northwest Marshall County may help you learn, remember, and reflect upon a time when pioneer families struggled to settle the “new” land.
Historic Visits Historic Visits at Three Bridges County Park
This park was once the site of a busy rock quarry and the ruins of the power of an old river power mill are still visible in the park.  This old quarry furnished most of the rock used to build the Marshall County courthouse and jail.  When the quarry was in operation there was a dam on the river, which flooded most of the area north of the present park. 

Last but not least you will find the oldest originally placed wagon bridge in Marshall County.  Built in 1885 the Quarry Bridge was constructed out of wrought and cast iron and cost Marshall County $3,295.  In May of 1998 the Quarry Bridge was placed on National Register of Historic Places.  
Historic Visits Historic Visits at Wehrman Prairie
Descendants of William and Emma Eibs Wehrman placed this native prairie under the care of MCCB so present and future generations that were interested in prairies were welcome to come see and study prairie growth.  Their motto was: "Leave only footprints. Leave it as it is. Agriculture has mde Iowa.  The prairie soil made agriculture what it is in this state.  This is one of the few remnants of original prairie land in this area.  Study it, enjoy it, respect it.
Hunting Hunting at Timmons Grove Park
The north segment is open for public hunting and is managed for natural resources of wildlife and forestry.
Hunting Hunting at Rhodes Timber Wildlife Area
Hunting is allowed at Rhodes Timber Wildlife Area, state hunting rules and regulations apply.
Hunting Hunting at Marietta Sand Prairie Preserve
Open to public hunting.  State hunting rules and regulations apply.
Hunting Hunting at Bear Grove Forest Area
This 23 acre oak hickory forest is open to the public for wildlife view and hunting.  State hunting rules and regulations apply.
Hunting Hunting at Arney Bend Wildlife Area
This 203-acre area which is primarily river bottom forest with several oxbows is a great location for hunting.  State hunting regulations/rules apply.
Hunting Hunting at Forest Reserve
The Forest Reserve is managed as a wildlife management area. It is home to deer, turkeys, and many species of birds.  State hunting rules and regulations apply.
Hunting Hunting at Iowa River Wildlife Management Area
The floodplain forests make up about 75 percent of all the trees. The trees provide good habitat for deer, wild turkey, squirrel and raccoon plus numerous migrating birds each spring and fall. River Otter use the river and predators like coyotes live there as well.

State hunting rules and regulations apply.
Other Activities Other Activities at Coppock Park
Mushroom hunting is allowed at Coppock Park.
Other Activities Other Activities at Arney Bend Wildlife Area
Mushrooming is allowed at Arney Bend Wildlife Area.
Picnicking Picnicking at Bangor Square Park
The open air shelter with picnic tables provides a great place to enjoy a picnic. 
Picnicking Picnicking at Dillion Park
A shelter picnic shelter provides a perfect area for a picnic.
Picnicking Picnicking at Grammer Grove Wildlife Area
Grammer Grove offers two shelter houses with picnick tables.   The many diverse habitat types offer numerous opportunities to view wildlife while enjoying your picnick.
Picnicking Picnicking at GrimesFarm & Conservation Center
Picnic tables surround the Nature Center and there is also an open shelter available.  After your picnic explore the many exhibits at the Nature Center and trials of Grimes Farm.
Picnicking Picnicking at Green Castle Recreation Area
Green Castle Recreation Area has two shelter houses that are on  a first come/first served basis that include picnic tables and grills.  While Gander Lookout Shelter remains locked unless it is rented, the wrap around deck is available on a first come/first served basis unless the shelter is rented.  There are grills and playground requipment  located by Gander Lookout.

Gander Lookout Shelter also can be rented for $75 a day plus a $100 clean up deposit.  If interested in renting please call 641-752-5490.
Picnicking Picnicking at Mormon Ridge Log Cabin
Picnic tables are provided to enjoy a picnic at this historic site.
Picnicking Picnicking at Three Bridges County Park
Enjoy a picnick at the park nestled in the trees along the Iowa River.  Picnick tables and restrooms are available.
Picnicking Picnicking at Van Cleve Park
An open air shelter is provided with picnic tables.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Timmons Grove Park
Timmons Grove Park offers two different trails to hike.  The South Timmons (area south of the Iowa River) hiking path starts at the shelter house and takes you on a hike to the Iowa River.  The North Timmons (the area north of the Iowa River) hiking path offers a hiking path through the timber area to view wildlife.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Three Bridges County Park
Enjoy a hike in this beautiful wooded area along the Iowa River and take a walk across the suspension bridge. 
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Green Castle Recreation Area
A hiking path completely encompasses Green Castle Lake allowing you to view the geese on the lake, prairie areas, the bison corral, the Trumpeter Swan exhibit,  and other wildlife.   Come take a hike and enjoy the outdoors!
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Green Century Farm
In the spring time visit this park to see an excellent display of woodland wildflowers including Bluebells, Buttercup, and Sweet William and enjoy a hike around the Farm.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Linn Creek Recreational Trail
This hard surfaced trial was built mainly on the dike along Linn Creek and the Iowa River in Marshalltown.   This trail starts at Riverpark, goes through Marshalltown to GrimesFarm and Conservation Center, and connects to the Highway 30 trail which leads to Melbourne.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at GrimesFarm & Conservation Center
Hiking trails provide access to the forests, wetlands, prairies, and crop fields. Public interpretive programs are scheduled periodically throughout the year.  An observation tower sits on the highest elevation point of the Grimes Farm.  The main viewing platform, large enough to hold groups of 12 – 15, stands 30 feet above ground level.  The view to the east overlooks the Marshalltown skyline and the Linn Creek Corridor as it winds its way to the Iowa River.  Westward, the tower immediately overlooks  pasture ground and further in the distance lays the flat landscape of Iowa that was carved out 14,000 years ago by glaciers with ice up to a mile thick.  On a clear day one can view miles into Story County.  The tower is 1/2 mile from the Conservation Center.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Grammer Grove Wildlife Area
Start the  trail at any of the parking lots at Grammer Grove and follow it throughout the park.  Parts of the path will lead to the Iowa River. 
Winter Activities Winter Activities at GrimesFarm & Conservation Center
Cross county skiing is allowed when the weather permits
Winter Activities Winter Activities at Green Castle Recreation Area
Cross county skiing, sledding/tobagganing, snow shoeing, snowboarding, ice fishing, and ice skating are allowed at Green Castle Recreation Area when the weather and conditions permit.  Remember that Green Castle Recreation Area is only  11 miles from downtown Marshalltown.
Winter Activities Winter Activities at Timmons Grove Park
Snowmobiling and cross country skiing is allowed in Timmons Grove South.