Activities

 
Biking Biking at Heart of Iowa Nature Trail
Currently the trail is completed to limestone surfacing from:
Slater to Huxley (4.5 miles) with 1/4 mile of gravel road on 535th Avenue and one mile of paved shoulder along E63 on the west side of Huxley.
Huxley to Cambridge (4 miles)
S14 to Maxwell (3 miles)
Maxwell to Collins (4.5 Miles) 
Marshall County Trailhead on 730th Avenue (two miles east of Collins)  to Rhodes (4.1 miles).  This section contains the Hoy Bridge over Clear Creek.

The Heart of Iowa Nature Trail connects to the paved High Trestle Trail which runs from Ankeny to Woodward at Slater.
Biking Biking at Skunk River Greenbelt
The Skunk River Greenbelt is open to pedestrians and off-road bicyclists only from Sopers Mill (170th) to Bear Creek.

It is open to pedestrians, off-road bicyclists, and equestrians from the Anderson Canoe Access (150th) to the E18 Greenbelt Access.  

All trails in McFarland Park are open to pedestrians and most are open to off-road bicyclists. Watch for signs. We have posted No Bikes signs on some trails due to heavy pedestrian use and to protect extensive stairway systems.  

Trails in Peterson Park are open to pedestrians, off-road bicyclists, and equestrians.
Boating Boating at Peterson Park

Peterson Park has approximately 31 acres of water along the Skunk River Greenbelt.  This is an old mining area with three gravel pits which contain a variety of fish including largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish. 

Only electric trolling motors are allowed on Story County Conservation Lakes; gasoline-powered motors are prohibited.  Canoes and kayaks are welcome.

Boating Boating at Hickory Grove Park

Hickory Grove Lake is 98-acres and is stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, and grass carp.

Only electric trolling motors are allowed on Story County Conservation Lakes; gasoline-powered motors are prohibited.  Canoes and kayaks are welcome

Boating Boating at Dakins Lake

Dakins Lake is a twenty-acre lake stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, and perch.  

Only electric trolling motors are allowed on Story County Conservation Lakes; gasoline-powered motors are prohibited.  Canoes and kayaks are welcome.

Camping Camping at Hickory Grove Park

Breezy Bay (the main campground) features:

  • 43 modern camping sites, electric only
  • Shower house with flush toilets and hot water in main campground
  • Dump station
  • Water hydrants
  • Playground

The primitive campground on the south side of the lake features:

  • 11 primitive camping sites
  • Portable toilets only

Reservations are only available online for all primitive campsites and the campsites west of the shower house in the main campground.  The rest of the sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis only.  Camping Reservations

Camping Camping at Dakins Lake

The main campground features:

  • 12 full hook-up sites 
  • 17 sites with electricity and water - one of these sites is ADA accessible
  • Modern shower house
  • Natural playscape
  • Dump station

The primitive campground features:

  • 10 electric only sites 
  • Portable toilets only

Reservations are only available online for all primitive campsites and the odd numbered campsites in the main campground.  The rest of the sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis only.  Camping Reservations

Camping Camping at Robison Wildlife Acres

Remote camping (one site).  Reservations (with payment) are accepted at least five days prior to camping date.  On-site registration is available on a first-come first-serve basis if site is not reserved at $7/night. This is a hike in site with a pit toilet nearby.  No water is available.  Carry-in, carry-out garbage policy.

Reservations are available at www.mycountyparks.com

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Peterson Park

Peterson Park is an old mining area along the Skunk River Greenbelt.  There are three gravel pits (approximately 31 acres of water) to canoe or kayak.  There is also access to the Skunk River Water Trail.   The water trail offers approximately 34 miles from Story City Park (below the dam in Story City) to C.J. Shreck Access (South of Cambridge).

Skunk River Water Trail Access Points (listed from north to south):

Story City Park #246 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Broad Street, Story City, 50248

Lekwa Access #242

56156 130th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.25 miles east of 560th on E-18)

Anderson Access #239

56743 150th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.1 miles west of Pleasant Valley Road on 150th Street)

Soper’s Mill Access #235

56364 170th Street, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of 170th and 563rd)

Peterson Park Access #233

17952 Templeton Road, Ames, 50010 (1.5 miles east of Highway 69 on 180th)

Sleepy Hollow Access #230

646 W. Riverside Road, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of Riverside Road and Highway 69)

River Valley Park Access #227  ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

725 East 13th Street, Ames, 50010

South 16th Street #224 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Ames

265th Street Access #220

56091 265th Street, Ames, 50010 (Near 560th Avenue)

Askew Bridge Access #217

57887 290th Street, Cambridge, 50046 (Intersection of 580th Avenue (R70) and 290th Street)

C.J. Shreck Access #212

59627 Highway 210, Cambridge, 50046 (South of Cambridge on Highway 210; north side of road)

 

For up-to-date information on water levels, view the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's website: River Gauges

 

Best float periods:

· April-July

· September-October

· When river is high

Hazards:

· Log jams are usual between Story City and Soper’s Mill

· There is a major log jam 0.5 miles below the Anderson Access which must be portaged

· Sharp turns and other obstacles are present in many sections

· Dam above Sleep Hollow/Riverside Road; portage on river right

· Dam at River Valley Park must be  portaged  

 

Water Trail - South Skunk River

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Robison Wildlife Acres
Robison Wildlife Acres has a small 1 acre pond near the parking area.  Canoes/kayaks are allowed; swimming is prohibited.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Skunk River Greenbelt

The water trail offers approximately 34 miles from Story City Park (below the dam in Story City) to C.J. Shreck Access (South of Cambridge).  The Skunk River Paddlers provide excellent information about the water trail on their website and have provided much of the labor needed to create and maintain the trail.

Skunk River Water Trail Access Points (listed from north to south):

Story City Park #246 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Broad Street, Story City, 50248

Lekwa Access #242

56156 130th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.25 miles east of 560th on E-18)

Anderson Access #239

56743 150th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.1 miles west of Pleasant Valley Road on 150th Street)

Soper’s Mill Access #235

56364 170th Street, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of 170th and 563rd)

Peterson Park Access #233

17952 Templeton Road, Ames, 50010 (1.5 miles east of Highway 69 on 180th)

Sleepy Hollow Access #230

646 W. Riverside Road, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of Riverside Road and Highway 69)

River Valley Park Access #227  ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

725 East 13th Street, Ames, 50010

South 16th Street #224 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Ames

265th Street Access #220

56091 265th Street, Ames, 50010 (Near 560th Avenue)

Askew Bridge Access #217

57887 290th Street, Cambridge, 50046 (Intersection of 580th Avenue (R70) and 290th Street)

C.J. Shreck Access #212

59627 Highway 210, Cambridge, 50046 (South of Cambridge on Highway 210; north side of road)

 

For up-to-date information on water levels, view the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's website: River Gauges

 

Best float periods:

· April-July

· September-October

· When river is high

Hazards:

· Log jams are usual between Story City and Soper’s Mill

· There is a major log jam 0.5 miles below the Anderson Access which must be portaged

· Sharp turns and other obstacles are present in many sections

· Dam above Sleep Hollow/Riverside Road; portage on river right

· Dam at River Valley Park must be  portaged  

 

Water Trail - South Skunk River

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Soper's Mill
Soper's Mill Access is part of the Skunk River Water Trail.   The water trail offers approximately 34 miles from Story City Park (below the dam in Story City) to C.J. Shreck Access (South of Cambridge).

Skunk River Water Trail Access Points (listed from north to south):

Story City Park #246 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Broad Street, Story City, 50248

Lekwa Access #242

56156 130th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.25 miles east of 560th on E-18)

Anderson Access #239

56743 150th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.1 miles west of Pleasant Valley Road on 150th Street)

Soper’s Mill Access #235

56364 170th Street, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of 170th and 563rd)

Peterson Park Access #233

17952 Templeton Road, Ames, 50010 (1.5 miles east of Highway 69 on 180th)

Sleepy Hollow Access #230

646 W. Riverside Road, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of Riverside Road and Highway 69)

River Valley Park Access #227  ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

725 East 13th Street, Ames, 50010

South 16th Street #224 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Ames

265th Street Access #220

56091 265th Street, Ames, 50010 (Near 560th Avenue)

Askew Bridge Access #217

57887 290th Street, Cambridge, 50046 (Intersection of 580th Avenue (R70) and 290th Street)

C.J. Shreck Access #212

59627 Highway 210, Cambridge, 50046 (South of Cambridge on Highway 210; north side of road)

 

For up-to-date information on water levels, view the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's website: River Gauges

 

Best float periods:

· April-July

· September-October

· When river is high

Hazards:

· Log jams are usual between Story City and Soper’s Mill

· There is a major log jam 0.5 miles below the Anderson Access which must be portaged

· Sharp turns and other obstacles are present in many sections

· Dam above Sleep Hollow/Riverside Road; portage on river right

· Dam at River Valley Park must be  portaged  

 

Water Trail - South Skunk River

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at McFarland Park
McFarland Park features a 6 acre lake.  Canoeing & kayaking are allowed.  Vessels must be carried from the parking area.  Swimming is prohibited at McFarland Park.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Lekwa Access
Lekwa Access is part of the Skunk River Water Trail.   The water trail offers approximately 34 miles from Story City Park (below the dam in Story City) to C.J. Shreck Access (South of Cambridge).

Skunk River Water Trail Access Points (listed from north to south):

Story City Park #246 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Broad Street, Story City, 50248

Lekwa Access #242

56156 130th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.25 miles east of 560th on E-18)

Anderson Access #239

56743 150th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.1 miles west of Pleasant Valley Road on 150th Street)

Soper’s Mill Access #235

56364 170th Street, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of 170th and 563rd)

Peterson Park Access #233

17952 Templeton Road, Ames, 50010 (1.5 miles east of Highway 69 on 180th)

Sleepy Hollow Access #230

646 W. Riverside Road, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of Riverside Road and Highway 69)

River Valley Park Access #227  ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

725 East 13th Street, Ames, 50010

South 16th Street #224 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Ames

265th Street Access #220

56091 265th Street, Ames, 50010 (Near 560th Avenue)

Askew Bridge Access #217

57887 290th Street, Cambridge, 50046 (Intersection of 580th Avenue (R70) and 290th Street)

C.J. Shreck Access #212

59627 Highway 210, Cambridge, 50046 (South of Cambridge on Highway 210; north side of road)

 

For up-to-date information on water levels, view the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's website: River Gauges

 

Best float periods:

· April-July

· September-October

· When river is high

Hazards:

· Log jams are usual between Story City and Soper’s Mill

· There is a major log jam 0.5 miles below the Anderson Access which must be portaged

· Sharp turns and other obstacles are present in many sections

· Dam above Sleep Hollow/Riverside Road; portage on river right

· Dam at River Valley Park must be  portaged  

 

Water Trail - South Skunk River

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Peterson Park Access

Peterson Park Access is part of the Skunk River Water Trail.   The water trail offers approximately 34 miles from Story City Park (below the dam in Story City) to C.J. Shreck Access (South of Cambridge).

Skunk River Water Trail Access Points (listed from north to south):

Story City Park #246 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Broad Street, Story City, 50248

Lekwa Access #242

56156 130th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.25 miles east of 560th on E-18)

Anderson Access #239

56743 150th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.1 miles west of Pleasant Valley Road on 150th Street)

Soper’s Mill Access #235

56364 170th Street, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of 170th and 563rd)

Peterson Park Access #233

17952 Templeton Road, Ames, 50010 (1.5 miles east of Highway 69 on 180th)

Sleepy Hollow Access #230

646 W. Riverside Road, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of Riverside Road and Highway 69)

River Valley Park Access #227  ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

725 East 13th Street, Ames, 50010

South 16th Street #224 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Ames

265th Street Access #220

56091 265th Street, Ames, 50010 (Near 560th Avenue)

Askew Bridge Access #217

57887 290th Street, Cambridge, 50046 (Intersection of 580th Avenue (R70) and 290th Street)

C.J. Shreck Access #212

59627 Highway 210, Cambridge, 50046 (South of Cambridge on Highway 210; north side of road)

 

For up-to-date information on water levels, view the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's website: River Gauges

 

Best float periods:

· April-July

· September-October

· When river is high

Hazards:

· Log jams are usual between Story City and Soper’s Mill

· There is a major log jam 0.5 miles below the Anderson Access which must be portaged

· Sharp turns and other obstacles are present in many sections

· Dam above Sleep Hollow/Riverside Road; portage on river right

· Dam at River Valley Park must be  portaged  

 

Water Trail - South Skunk River

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at C.J. Shreck Access

C.J. Shreck Access is part of the Skunk River Water Trail.   The water trail offers approximately 34 miles from Story City Park (below the dam in Story City) to C.J. Shreck Access (South of Cambridge).

Skunk River Water Trail Access Points (listed from north to south):

Story City Park #246 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Broad Street, Story City, 50248

Lekwa Access #242

56156 130th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.25 miles east of 560th on E-18)

Anderson Access #239

56743 150th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.1 miles west of Pleasant Valley Road on 150th Street)

Soper’s Mill Access #235

56364 170th Street, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of 170th and 563rd)

Peterson Park Access #233

17952 Templeton Road, Ames, 50010 (1.5 miles east of Highway 69 on 180th)

Sleepy Hollow Access #230

646 W. Riverside Road, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of Riverside Road and Highway 69)

River Valley Park Access #227  ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

725 East 13th Street, Ames, 50010

South 16th Street #224 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Ames

265th Street Access #220

56091 265th Street, Ames, 50010 (Near 560th Avenue)

Askew Bridge Access #217

57887 290th Street, Cambridge, 50046 (Intersection of 580th Avenue (R70) and 290th Street)

C.J. Shreck Access #212

59627 Highway 210, Cambridge, 50046 (South of Cambridge on Highway 210; north side of road)

 

For up-to-date information on water levels, view the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's website: River Gauges

 

Best float periods:

· April-July

· September-October

· When river is high

Hazards:

· Log jams are usual between Story City and Soper’s Mill

· There is a major log jam 0.5 miles below the Anderson Access which must be portaged

· Sharp turns and other obstacles are present in many sections

· Dam above Sleep Hollow/Riverside Road; portage on river right

· Dam at River Valley Park must be  portaged  

 

Water Trail - South Skunk River

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at 265th Street Bridge Access

265th Street Bridge Access is part of the Skunk River Water Trail.   The water trail offers approximately 34 miles from Story City Park (below the dam in Story City) to C.J. Shreck Access (South of Cambridge).

Skunk River Water Trail Access Points (listed from north to south):

Story City Park #246 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Broad Street, Story City, 50248

Lekwa Access #242

56156 130th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.25 miles east of 560th on E-18)

Anderson Access #239

56743 150th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.1 miles west of Pleasant Valley Road on 150th Street)

Soper’s Mill Access #235

56364 170th Street, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of 170th and 563rd)

Peterson Park Access #233

17952 Templeton Road, Ames, 50010 (1.5 miles east of Highway 69 on 180th)

Sleepy Hollow Access #230

646 W. Riverside Road, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of Riverside Road and Highway 69)

River Valley Park Access #227  ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

725 East 13th Street, Ames, 50010

South 16th Street #224 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Ames

265th Street Access #220

56091 265th Street, Ames, 50010 (Near 560th Avenue)

Askew Bridge Access #217

57887 290th Street, Cambridge, 50046 (Intersection of 580th Avenue (R70) and 290th Street)

C.J. Shreck Access #212

59627 Highway 210, Cambridge, 50046 (South of Cambridge on Highway 210; north side of road)

 

For up-to-date information on water levels, view the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's website: River Gauges

 

Best float periods:

· April-July

· September-October

· When river is high

Hazards:

· Log jams are usual between Story City and Soper’s Mill

· There is a major log jam 0.5 miles below the Anderson Access which must be portaged

· Sharp turns and other obstacles are present in many sections

· Dam above Sleep Hollow/Riverside Road; portage on river right

· Dam at River Valley Park must be  portaged  

 

Water Trail – South Skunk River Map

 

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Anderson Canoe Access

Anderson Access is part of the Skunk River Water Trail.   The water trail offers approximately 34 miles from Story City Park (below the dam in Story City) to C.J. Shreck Access (South of Cambridge).

Skunk River Water Trail Access Points (listed from north to south):

Story City Park #246 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Broad Street, Story City, 50248

Lekwa Access #242

56156 130th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.25 miles east of 560th on E-18)

Anderson Access #239

56743 150th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.1 miles west of Pleasant Valley Road on 150th Street)

Soper’s Mill Access #235

56364 170th Street, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of 170th and 563rd)

Peterson Park Access #233

17952 Templeton Road, Ames, 50010 (1.5 miles east of Highway 69 on 180th)

Sleepy Hollow Access #230

646 W. Riverside Road, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of Riverside Road and Highway 69)

River Valley Park Access #227  ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

725 East 13th Street, Ames, 50010

South 16th Street #224 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Ames

265th Street Access #220

56091 265th Street, Ames, 50010 (Near 560th Avenue)

Askew Bridge Access #217

57887 290th Street, Cambridge, 50046 (Intersection of 580th Avenue (R70) and 290th Street)

C.J. Shreck Access #212

59627 Highway 210, Cambridge, 50046 (South of Cambridge on Highway 210; north side of road)

 

For up-to-date information on water levels, view the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's website: River Gauges

 

Best float periods:

· April-July

· September-October

· When river is high

Hazards:

· Log jams are usual between Story City and Soper’s Mill

· There is a major log jam 0.5 miles below the Anderson Access which must be portaged

· Sharp turns and other obstacles are present in many sections

· Dam above Sleep Hollow/Riverside Road; portage on river right

· Dam at River Valley Park must be  portaged  

 

Water Trail – South Skunk River Map

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Askew Bridge/Cambridge Pond

Askew Bridge Access is part of the Skunk River Water Trail.   The water trail offers approximately 34 miles from Story City Park (below the dam in Story City) to C.J. Shreck Access (South of Cambridge).

Skunk River Water Trail Access Points (listed from north to south):

Story City Park #246 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Broad Street, Story City, 50248

Lekwa Access #242

56156 130th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.25 miles east of 560th on E-18)

Anderson Access #239

56743 150th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.1 miles west of Pleasant Valley Road on 150th Street)

Soper’s Mill Access #235

56364 170th Street, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of 170th and 563rd)

Peterson Park Access #233

17952 Templeton Road, Ames, 50010 (1.5 miles east of Highway 69 on 180th)

Sleepy Hollow Access #230

646 W. Riverside Road, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of Riverside Road and Highway 69)

River Valley Park Access #227  ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

725 East 13th Street, Ames, 50010

South 16th Street #224 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Ames

265th Street Access #220

56091 265th Street, Ames, 50010 (Near 560th Avenue)

Askew Bridge Access #217

57887 290th Street, Cambridge, 50046 (Intersection of 580th Avenue (R70) and 290th Street)

C.J. Shreck Access #212

59627 Highway 210, Cambridge, 50046 (South of Cambridge on Highway 210; north side of road)

 

For up-to-date information on water levels, view the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's website: River Gauges

 

Best float periods:

· April-July

· September-October

· When river is high

Hazards:

· Log jams are usual between Story City and Soper’s Mill

· There is a major log jam 0.5 miles below the Anderson Access which must be portaged

· Sharp turns and other obstacles are present in many sections

· Dam above Sleep Hollow/Riverside Road; portage on river right

· Dam at River Valley Park must be  portaged  

 

Water Trail – South Skunk River Map

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Dakins Lake
Dakins Lake features a 20 acre lake.  Canoeing & kayaking are allowed; swimming is prohibited.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Hickory Grove Park
Hickory Grove Park features a 98 acre lake.  Canoeing & kayaking are allowed.  Swimming is allowed in designated areas only.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at E-18 Greenbelt Access
E-18 Greenbelt Access is part of the Skunk River Water Trail.   The water trail offers approximately 34 miles from Story City Park (below the dam in Story City) to C.J. Shreck Access (South of Cambridge).

Skunk River Water Trail Access Points (listed from north to south):

Story City Park #246 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Broad Street, Story City, 50248

Lekwa Access #242

56156 130th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.25 miles east of 560th on E-18)

Anderson Access #239

56743 150th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.1 miles west of Pleasant Valley Road on 150th Street)

Soper’s Mill Access #235

56364 170th Street, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of 170th and 563rd)

Peterson Park Access #233

17952 Templeton Road, Ames, 50010 (1.5 miles east of Highway 69 on 180th)

Sleepy Hollow Access #230

646 W. Riverside Road, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of Riverside Road and Highway 69)

River Valley Park Access #227  ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

725 East 13th Street, Ames, 50010

South 16th Street #224 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Ames

265th Street Access #220

56091 265th Street, Ames, 50010 (Near 560th Avenue)

Askew Bridge Access #217

57887 290th Street, Cambridge, 50046 (Intersection of 580th Avenue (R70) and 290th Street)

C.J. Shreck Access #212

59627 Highway 210, Cambridge, 50046 (South of Cambridge on Highway 210; north side of road)

 

For up-to-date information on water levels, view the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's website: River Gauges

 

Best float periods:

· April-July

· September-October

· When river is high

Hazards:

· Log jams are usual between Story City and Soper’s Mill

· There is a major log jam 0.5 miles below the Anderson Access which must be portaged

· Sharp turns and other obstacles are present in many sections

· Dam above Sleep Hollow/Riverside Road; portage on river right

· Dam at River Valley Park must be  portaged  

 

Water Trail - South Skunk River

 
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow Access is part of the Skunk River Water Trail.   The water trail offers approximately 34 miles from Story City Park (below the dam in Story City) to C.J. Shreck Access (South of Cambridge).

Skunk River Water Trail Access Points (listed from north to south):

Story City Park #246 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Broad Street, Story City, 50248

Lekwa Access #242

56156 130th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.25 miles east of 560th on E-18)

Anderson Access #239

56743 150th Street, Story City, 50248 (0.1 miles west of Pleasant Valley Road on 150th Street)

Soper’s Mill Access #235

56364 170th Street, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of 170th and 563rd)

Peterson Park Access #233

17952 Templeton Road, Ames, 50010 (1.5 miles east of Highway 69 on 180th)

Sleepy Hollow Access #230

646 W. Riverside Road, Ames, 50010 (Intersection of Riverside Road and Highway 69)

River Valley Park Access #227  ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

725 East 13th Street, Ames, 50010

South 16th Street #224 ** Not owned or managed by Story County Conservation

Ames

265th Street Access #220

56091 265th Street, Ames, 50010 (Near 560th Avenue)

Askew Bridge Access #217

57887 290th Street, Cambridge, 50046 (Intersection of 580th Avenue (R70) and 290th Street)

C.J. Shreck Access #212

59627 Highway 210, Cambridge, 50046 (South of Cambridge on Highway 210; north side of road)

 

For up-to-date information on water levels, view the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's website: River Gauges

 

Best float periods:

· April-July

· September-October

· When river is high

Hazards:

· Log jams are usual between Story City and Soper’s Mill

· There is a major log jam 0.5 miles below the Anderson Access which must be portaged

· Sharp turns and other obstacles are present in many sections

· Dam above Sleep Hollow/Riverside Road; portage on river right

· Dam at River Valley Park must be  portaged  

 

Water Trail - South Skunk River

Education Education at Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor

This park is designed as a live learning laboratory demonstrating conservation techniques and sustainable technologies. Interpretive panels and interactive educational elements can be found throughout the park. The corridor demonstrates management of the urban-rural interface for both urban growth and resource protection.

The corridor will be incorporated into our educational program offerings. 

Equestrian Activities Equestrian Activities at Praeri Rail Trail

The Praeri Rail Trail is a 10.5-mile recreational corridor that runs from Roland through McCallsburg to Zearing.  Sections of the trail at Roland and McCallsburg have a limestone surface; the remainder of the trail is moved grass.  Horses are allowed on the trail except for finished surfaces of the trail through McCallsburg.

 

Equestrian Activities Equestrian Activities at Heart of Iowa Nature Trail

Horses are allowed on all of the trail.  However, Equetrians should stay on the mowed turf area adjacent to the limestone surface. The best trailer parking is available at Slater, Cambridge, Maxwell, Collins, and Rhodes. Huxley's trailhead does not accommodate equestrians; however, water and restroom facilities are available.  Equestrians are also allowed on the High Trestle Trail from Slater to Madrid.

Heart of Iowa Nature Trail Map

Equestrian Activities Equestrian Activities at Peterson Park

Peterson Park is a 200-acre park (approximately 31 acres of water) along the Skunk River Greenbelt.  This is an old mining area containing three gravel pits suitable for fishing.  

There are 3.7 miles of trails open to off-road bicyclists, hikers, equestrians, and cross-country skiers.

Trail Etiquette - Trail users should respect the environment and their trails by following these user ethics:

  • Educate yourself by reviewing trail maps and regulations and following signs.
  • Respect the rights of others.
  • When cyclists encounter hikers, slow down to their speed, or stop and pull over.  If approaching from the rear, greet them or sound a handlebar bell; then pass slowly. 
  • If approaching equestrians from the front, ALWAYS stop, pull over and let them pass. If approaching from the rear, ask them which is the best way to proceed. Ride slowly or walk around the horse and rider.
  • Use designated trails approved for your particular activity.
  • Stay on the trail treadway.
  • Enjoy the flora, fauna, geological, and archaeological wonders, and leave them for others to appreciate.
  • Avoid excessively wet or muddy trails. Waiting 24 hours after a rain event is recommended.
  • Ride in small groups, keeping them smaller than five if possible.
  • Wear a helmet.  Park staff appreciate your concern for your own safety, as well as for others.

 

Equestrian Activities Equestrian Activities at Skunk River Greenbelt

The Skunk River Greenbelt is open to pedestrians, off-road bicyclists, and equestrians from the Anderson Canoe Access (150th) to the E18 Greenbelt Access.  It is open to pedestrians and off-road bicyclists only from Sopers Mill (170th) to Bear Creek.   

 Trail Etiquette - Trail users should respect the environment and their trails by following these user ethics:

  • Educate yourself by reviewing trail maps and regulations and following signs.
  • Respect the rights of others.
  • When cyclists encounter hikers, slow down to their speed, or stop and pull over.  If approaching from the rear, greet them or sound a handlebar bell; then pass slowly. 
  • If approaching equestrians from the front, ALWAYS stop, pull over and let them pass. If approaching from the rear, ask them which is the best way to proceed. Ride slowly or walk around the horse and rider.
  • Use designated trails approved for your particular activity.
  • Stay on the trail treadway.
  • Enjoy the flora, fauna, geological, and archaeological wonders, and leave them for others to appreciate.
  • Avoid excessively wet or muddy trails. Waiting 24 hours after a rain event is recommended.
  • Ride in small groups, keeping them smaller than five if possible.
  • Wear a helmet.  Park staff appreciate your concern for your own safety, as well as for others.

 

Facility Rentals Facility Rentals at McFarland Park
The Story County Conservation Center multipurpose room located at McFarland Park is available to rent for social gatherings as well as meetings between 7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. daily. Please be aware that rental is for the multipurpose room only.  The lobby area and restrooms will remain open to the public during regular office hours (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).  Building displays (including photo exhibits and animal mounts) are not to be moved.  There are no vending machines in the building.  
Facility Rentals Facility Rentals at Hickory Grove Park
Two lodges are available to reserve at Hickory Grove Park. Lodges are available to reserve from 7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. between April 1-October 31. Firewood may be requested with a reservation for no additional fee. 

Oriole Ridge Lodge is located on the north side of the lake and can accommodate 80-100 people. It has a brick floor, fireplace, windows, and picnic tables inside and outside. There is a water hydrant and double grill near the building; a portable toilet is placed nearby during the summer. 

Snow Bunting Lodge is on the south side of the lake and is a bit smaller, accommodating 75 people. Snow bunting also includes a fireplace, picnic tables, and an outdoor drinking fountain.
 
All open shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 
Facility Rentals Facility Rentals at Dakins Lake

The open shelter overlooks Dakins Lake and features a large charcoal grill, water fountains, modern restrooms, electrical outlets, and a kitchenette serving area with a sink and counters (no appliances).

The shelter is available to reserve from 7:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m.

Reservations for the next calendar year are accepted starting November 1.

 Dakins Lake Shelter Reservations

Fishing Fishing at Hickory Grove Park

Fishing is a popular year-round activity at Hickory Grove Park. Crappie, bluegill, and largemouth bass reproduce naturally. Channel catfish are stocked by the IDNR. SCC cooperates with the IDNR in managing the lake.

Shore fishing is allowed on the south side of the lake after park hours. Fishing boats (electric motors only) are allowed on the lake surface 24 hours a day with access from the south boat ramp.

A fish cleaning station is located at the north boat ramp.

Ice houses are allowed on the lake. All ice houses must be removed by February 20 or ice melt, whichever comes first.

 

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Fishing Fishing at E-18 Greenbelt Access

This water trail access is a public fishing area on the Skunk River featuring bullhead, buffalo, carp, channel catfish, & smallmouth bass.   

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Seek permission from landowners for access to private property.  Although the water is public, some of the land along the river is private property.  

Fishing Fishing at 265th Street Bridge Access

This water trail access is a public fishing area on the Skunk River featuring bullhead, buffalo, carp, channel catfish, & smallmouth bass.   

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Seek permission from landowners for access to private property.  Although the water is public, some of the land along the river is private property.  

Public Fishing Brochure

Fishing Fishing at Askew Bridge/Cambridge Pond

Fishing is allowed during park hours in the 4-acre borrow pit on the area.  Typically the pond produces bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie, channel catfish, and bullhead.  The pond is not stocked and occassional flooding from the adjacent South Skunk RIver means other species may be present.

The South Skunk River runs along the eastern edge of the park and a low-impact water trail access has been created to the river. This water trail access is a public fishing area on the Skunk River featuring bullhead, buffalo, carp, channel catfish, & smallmouth bass.   

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Seek permission from landowners for access to private property.  Although the water is public, some of the land along the river is private property.  

Public Fishing Brochure

Fishing Fishing at Anderson Canoe Access

This water trail access is a public fishing area on the Skunk River featuring bullhead, buffalo, carp, channel catfish, & smallmouth bass.   

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Seek permission from landowners for access to private property.  Although the water is public, some of the land along the river is private property.  

Public Fishing Brochure

Fishing Fishing at C.J. Shreck Access

This water trail access is a public fishing area on the Skunk River featuring bullhead, buffalo, carp, channel catfish, & smallmouth bass.   

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Seek permission from landowners for access to private property.  Although the water is public, some of the land along the river is private property.  

Fishing Fishing at Dakins Lake

This newly expanded park features a new 15-acre lake built below (and in series with) the previously existing 5-acre lake.  There are two boat ramps (electric motors only), two fishing jetties, a dock with a fish cleaning station, and plenty of underwater fish habitat making the new lake very “angler” friendly.


There is a variety of fish species including largemouth bass, crappie, bullhead, and channel catfish.

 

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Fishing Fishing at Lekwa Access

This water trail access is a public fishing area on the Skunk River featuring bullhead, buffalo, carp, channel catfish, & smallmouth bass.   

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Seek permission from landowners for access to private property.  Although the water is public, some of the land along the river is private property.  

Fishing Fishing at McFarland Park
6.5-acre Lake: The lake is stocked with bluegill, bass, and catfish.
Fishing Fishing at Peterson Park Access

This water trail access is a public fishing area on the Skunk River featuring bullhead, buffalo, carp, channel catfish, & smallmouth bass.   

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Seek permission from landowners for access to private property.  Although the water is public, some of the land along the river is private property.   

Fishing Fishing at Skunk River Greenbelt

Each water trail access is a public fishing area on the Skunk River featuring bullhead, buffalo, carp, channel catfish, & smallmouth bass.   

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Seek permission from landowners for access to private property.  Although the water is public, some of the land along the river is private property.   

Fishing Fishing at Soper's Mill

This water trail access is a public fishing area on the Skunk River featuring bullhead, buffalo, carp, channel catfish, & smallmouth bass.   

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Seek permission from landowners for access to private property.  Although the water is public, some of the land along the river is private property.  

Fishing Fishing at Robison Wildlife Acres

Robison Wildlife Acres has a 1 acre pond.  Bluegill, largemouth bass, and crappie have been caught in the pond. 

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Fishing Fishing at Peterson Park

Fishing is allowed at the 31-acre lake (west entrance), along the Skunk River, or at the three ponds (former gravel pits suitable for fishing).

The is a variety of fish species including largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, bullhead, and catfish.  

A boat ramp is available at the lake on the west side. Only electric motors are allowed.

No alcohol of any kind or size can be possessed or consumed at West Peterson Park.

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Seek permission from landowners for access to private property.  Although the water is public, some of the land along the river is private property.  

Fishing Fishing at Sleepy Hollow

This water trail access is a public fishing area on the Skunk River featuring bullhead, buffalo, carp, channel catfish, & smallmouth bass.   

Iowa fishing regulations apply, for a listing of state rules/regulations please click here:  Iowa DNR - Fishing

Seek permission from landowners for access to private property.  Although the water is public, some of the land along the river is private property.  

Hunting Hunting at Roland Wildlife Area

This 80-acre wildlife area offers prairie and wetland habitats. Roland Wildlife Area is also a designated hunting area with upland and wetland hunting.

Hunting and trapping are allowed.  No target shooting is allowed.  Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed. Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918. 

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.  

Hunting Hunting at Ronald "Dick" Jordan Family Wildlife Area

Hunting and trapping are allowed.  No target shooting is allowed.  Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land. 

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s). For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www.iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918. 

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Sheffield Wildlife Area

This is a small 3-acre upland hunting area located along I-35.  

Observe boundary signs.  Trapping is allowed in the public hunting areas.  No target shooting is allowed. Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).  Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Skunk River Flats

The Skunk River Flats is a 117 acre public hunting area with upland species.  A small area of floodplain forest is present near the Skunk River, but the area is mostly reconstructed prairie with a small restored wetland.  A parking area is provided and a mowed perimeter path is present.   Hunting and trapping are allowed.  No target shooting is allowed.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess  the proper license(s).   Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Soper's Mill

Soper's Mill is part of the Skunk River Greenbelt.  The Skunk River Greenbelt features 620 acres with deer, furbearers, and small game.  Some greenbelt properties are posted "No Hunting."  Other areas are easements and not available for public hunting.  Observe boundary signs.  Trapping is allowed in the public hunting areas.  No target shooting is allowed. Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).  Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Skunk River Greenbelt

620 acres with deer, furbearers, and small game.  Some greenbelt properties are posted "No Hunting."  Other areas are easements and not available for public hunting.  Observe boundary signs.  Trapping is allowed in the public hunting areas.  No target shooting is allowed. Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).  Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Praeri Rail Trail

4 miles between Roland and McCallsburg and 3 1/2 miles between McCallsburg and Highway 65 provide excellent cover for upland species.  Hunting and trapping are allowed.  No target shooting is allowed.  Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

 

Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

 

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Peterson Park

Peterson Park is a 200 acres public hunting area with upland, waterfowl, and woodland species.  Hunting is permitted only with shotgun, bow, and black-powder rifle; trapping is allowed.  No target shooting is allowed. Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed on this area. Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).   For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www.iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Cooper's Prairie Marsh

Cooper Prairie Marsh is a 10-acre park.  Native grasses and marsh habitat are best suited to upland game and waterfowl.

Story County Conservation owned marshes are designated public hunting areas.  Hunting and trapping are allowed.  No target shooting is allowed.  Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.

Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

 

Hunting Hunting at Crooked Bend

Crooked Bend is part of the Skunk River Greenbelt.  The Skunk River Greenbelt features 620 acres with deer, furbearers, and small game.  Some greenbelt properties are posted "No Hunting."  Other areas are easements and not available for public hunting.  Observe boundary signs.  Trapping is allowed in the public hunting areas.  No target shooting is allowed. Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).  Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15t o protect nesting birds  and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Askew Bridge/Cambridge Pond

This 26.5 acre area offers upland hunting in native vegetation as well as waterfowl hunting in a 4-acre borrow pit and along the South Skunk River which forms the park' s eastern boundary.  Hunting and trapping are allowed.  No target shooting is allowed.

Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).  Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Public Hunting Brochure

Hunting Hunting at Bear Creek

Bear Creek is part of the Skunk River Greenbelt.  The Skunk River Greenbelt features 620 acres with deer, furbearers, and small game.  Some greenbelt properties are posted "No Hunting."  Other areas are easements and not available for public hunting.  Observe boundary signs.  Trapping is allowed in the public hunting areas.  No target shooting is allowed. Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).  Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at E-18 Greenbelt Access

E-18 Greenbelt Access is part of the Skunk River Greenbelt.  The Skunk River Greenbelt features 620 acres with deer, furbearers, and small game.  Some greenbelt properties are posted "No Hunting."  Other areas are easements and not available for public hunting.  Observe boundary signs.  Trapping is allowed in the public hunting areas.  No target shooting is allowed. Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).  Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Ed Powell Wildlife Area

The Ed Powell Wildlife Area offers approximately 17 acres of public hunting adjoining the Praeri Rail Trail with upland species.  The entire area is reconstructed prairie and is bisected by a small stream.  A small parking area is provided.  Hunting and trapping are allowed.  No target shooting is allowed. Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land. 

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 and must be kept under control at all times.ets must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15.  Pets must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Heart of Iowa Nature Trail

Sections of the trail in Story County are open to hunting and trapping.  These areas are from 520th Ave. to 535th Ave., from 560th Ave. to 580th Ave., from 597th Ave. to 640th Ave., and from 663rd Ave. to 680th Ave.  The miles of trail adjacent to a city boundary are closed to hunting and trapping.  All sections of the trail from 680th Ave. eastward are closed.  This includes all sections of the trail in Marshall County. No target shooting is allowed.  Please obey the signs posted at intersections and respect the rights of all users. Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess  the proper license(s).  Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Hickory Grove Park

Hunting and trapping are allowed on the 80 acres located to the south and east sides of the lake (outside the paved road). This area provides upland and waterfowl species.  No target shooting is allowed at Hickory Grove Park. Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess  the proper license(s).   Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Archery Range Rules

Safety is the top priority; individuals participating in unsafe practices may be asked to leave. The use of the range is free of charge.
● Only archery equipment is allowed on the range. You must bring your own target. The range is marked at 10, 20, 30, and 40 yards.
● No firearms are allowed.
● Downrange area must be unoccupied prior to shooting. Never shoot an arrow until you are positive that no one is in front of you or behind the targets.
● NEVER point a bow and arrow at another person.
● NEVER shoot an arrow straight up into the air. You can injure another person or yourself.
● Shoot from firing line only. The only safe place is behind the shooting line. Don’t stand in front of a bow while it is being shot, even if you are to one side of the shooter.
● No camping is allowed in the range area
● Range hours are sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.
● Erecting tree stands is not permitted

Hunting Hunting at Doolittle Prairie

The 43 acre prairie is a designated public hunting area.  Hunting and trapping are allowed.  No target shooting is allowed.  Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  

Only non-toxic shot is allowed.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Jennett Heritage Area

171 acres with upland, waterfowl, and woodland species.  (Some ground is still being farmed). 

Hunting and trapping are allowed.  No target shooting is allowed.  Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s). For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www.iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918. 

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Jim Ketelsen Greenwing Marsh

Jim Ketelsen Greenwing Marsh is a 68-acre tract with a native prairie pothole and restored wetland, pasture grasses, restored and native prairie, sedge meadow, and shelterbelt with upland and waterfowl species.

Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.

Hunting and trapping are allowed.  No target shooting is allowed.  Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).   For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www.iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Hunting Hunting at Larson Marsh

This 12 acres marsh with upland and waterfowl species is a designated public hunting area.  Hunting and trapping are allowed.  No target shooting is allowed.  Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed. Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting on public land.  

All state hunting laws apply.  Hunters must possess the proper license(s).  For a complete listing of all state hunting regulations, visit www. iowadnr.gov or contact the IDNR in Des Moines at 515-281-5918.  

Pets must be on leashes at all times.  Pets shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle. Hunting dogs are permitted in designated hunting areas for training, exercise, or hunting, but must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds and must be kept under control at all times.

Picnicking Picnicking at Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor
Various gathering areas are available, as well as a  covered shelter made from recycled shipping containers. 
Swimming Swimming at Peterson Park

Swimming is allowed at West Peterson Park in the designated swimming area only. Swimming is at your own risk - no lifeguard is on duty.  Children must be supervised at all times.

Swimming Beach Rules and Regulations. 

A.  Users of the beach facility at West Peterson Park are subject to the following rules and regulations.    

    1.)  The beach area is closed and swimming is prohibited from sunset to sunrise.          

    2.)  Swimming is allowed inside the roped area only when the beach is open.   

    3.)  Certified divers or athletes training for long distance swimming may be allowed outside of the roped area by permit from the director or an authorized representative.   

 

B.  The following are prohibited at the beach area:

    1.)  Hanging from or attaching people or items to buoys.

    2.)  Using abusive language.         

    3.)  Using glass containers.         

    4.)  Amplification greater than 75 decibels.         

    5.)  Using external speakers from the parking lot.         

    6.)  Dunking people.         

    7.)  Throwing foreign objects, i.e. rocks, sand.         

    8.)  Standing on inflatable beach items in the water.         

    9.)  Fishing and boating from the beach or in the beach area.         

    10.) Using paddles or oars from inflatable beach items.                       

    11.) Pets.         

 

No alcohol is allowed at Peterson Park.

Swimming Swimming at Hickory Grove Park

Hickory Grove Park is the largest and most popular of the conservation board's parks. This 445-acre multiple-use recreational area southwest of Colo offers camping, swimming, fishing, hunting, an archery range, playground, trails, and much more. 

Swimming is allowed in the designated swimming area only.  Swim at your own risk - no lifeguard is on duty.  Children must be supervised at all times.

Swimming Beach Rules and Regulations. 

A.     Users of the beach facility at are subject to the following rules and regulations. 

   1.)  The beach area is closed and swimming is prohibited from sunset to sunrise. 

         2.)  Swimming is allowed inside the roped area only when the beach is open.

   3.) Certified divers may be allowed outside of the roped area by permit from the  director or an authorized representative.

 

  B.   The following are prohibited at the beach area:  

    1.)    Hanging from or attaching people or items to buoys.

    2.)    Using abusive language.

    3.)  Use of alcoholic beverages, liquors, and glass containers.

    4.)  Amplification greater than 75 decibels or using external speakers from the parking lot.

    5.)  Sitting or standing on another’s shoulders or back, throwing people, jumping on top of people.

    6.)  Dunking people.

    7.)  Throwing foreign objects, i.e. rocks, sand.

    8.)  Standing on inflatable beach items in the water.

    9.)  Fishing and boating from the beach or in the beach area.

    10.) Using paddles or oars from inflatable beach items.

    11.) Pets.          

Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at McFarland Park
This park will offer a network of paved and permeable surface trails. Phase III will connect the park to Ames and regional trails. 
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Skunk River Greenbelt
The Skunk River Greenbelt is open to pedestrians and off-road bicyclists only from Sopers Mill (170th) to Bear Creek.

It is open to pedestrians, off-road bicyclists, and equestrians from the Anderson Canoe Access (150th) to the E18 Greenbelt Access.  

All trails in McFarland Park are open to pedestrians and most are open to off-road bicyclists. Watch for signs. We have posted No Bikes signs on some trails due to heavy pedestrian use and to protect extensive stairway systems.  

Trails in Peterson Park are open to pedestrians, off-road bicyclists, and equestrians.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor
This park offers a network of paved and permeable surface trails. Phase III will connect the park to Ames and regional trails. 
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Robison Wildlife Acres
Trails are available for hiking.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Askew Bridge/Cambridge Pond
A 1.25 mile hiking trail surrounds the 4-acre borrow pit.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Dakins Lake
1.33 miles of trails through native grasses and around the lake. 
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Christiansen Forest Preserve
1.5 miles of hiking trails meander through woodlands and native vegetation.
Winter Activities Winter Activities at Christiansen Forest Preserve
1.5 miles of trail are available for snow shoeing and cross-country skiing.  The trails are not groomed and several areas include steep hills.
Winter Activities Winter Activities at Heart of Iowa Nature Trail
  • Snowmobiles are allowed on the trail when there is sufficient snow cover. All other motorized vehicles are prohibited.  The Saylorville Dam Snowmobile Club maintains the signs and grooms sections of the trail.
  • Cross country skiing and snowshoeing is also suggested, however the trail is not groomed for these activities.
Winter Activities Winter Activities at McFarland Park
While none of the 5.5 miles of trails are groomed, McFarland Park is a great place to snowshoe or cross-country ski.  Our trails wonder through prairie, woodlands, and around the 6-acre lake.