Activities

 
Biking Biking at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
15 miles of mult-use trails can be found throughout the prairies, woodlands and savannas of Pioneer Ridge Nature Area. Trails consist of mowed grass and bare soil.
Cabins Cabins at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area

Four cabins are available for rent at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area. Both Bur Oak and White Oak are fully modern, and Goldfinch(East) and Bluebird(West) Camping Cabins have no running water.

Camping Camping at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
A small campground can be found at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area. 9 electric and water sites and 3 primitive sites can be used on a first-come-first-served basis. No reservations are taken for campsites at this time. 
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Gray Eagle Wildlife Preserve
While there are no ramps into the backwaters or the river on our property, one can put a canoe or kayak (no motors) into these waters for a paddle or to fish. You must carry your canoe or kayak from the paved parking area. Please respect private property and stay on Wapello CCB property.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Rock Bluff Park
While there is no boat ramp, there is access to the Des Moines River from the lower parking area. If you are feeling adventurous, you can put your canoe or kayak in the river for a short float.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Sycamore Natural Area
If you would like to fish or view wildlife from your canoe or kayak, this is a nice, quiet place to do so. You will have to carry your non-motorized boat in from the parking lot as there is no pond-side access.
Disc Golf Disc Golf at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
The disc golf course at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area is 10 holes. The first tee is directly behind the nature center.
Education Education at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
The Wapello County Conservation Board has a full-time naturalist available for school, senior, community group, scout, and other environmental education programs. Public events and presentations take place throughout the year including summer camps, adult presentations, hikes, astronomy and more. Contact the naturalist to set up your program.
Equestrian Activities Equestrian Activities at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
15 miles of multi-use trails can be found within Pioneer Ridge Nature Area's 995 acres. Trails consist of upland mowed grass trails, and woodland bare soil trails. A large parking area for horse trailers is available as well as a round pen, 4 loafing sheds, and a small shelter for riders to rest after a long ride.
Fishing Fishing at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
Four stocked ponds are available for licensed individuals. Channel catfish, bluegill, crappie, and bass are stocked regularly. State rules for size, daily catch and possession limits apply.
Fishing Fishing at Rock Bluff Park
The lower parking area of Rock Bluff Park offers access to river fishing. State rules for size, daily catch and possession limits apply.
Fishing Fishing at Gray Eagle Wildlife Preserve
Hike in access to the Des Moines River and backwater areas behind the levee offer a good selection of fish. Bow fishing is allowed. Please respect private property and stay on Wapello CCB property. State rules for size, daily catch and possession limits apply.
Fishing Fishing at Sycamore Natural Area
This five acre pond offers a quiet fishing spot. You will find bass and bluegill among others. Part of the shoreline is mowed, but some is more rugged. Feel free to carry a canoe or kayak in from the parking lot to fish on the water (non-motorized vessels only). State rules for size, daily catch and possession limits apply.
Hunting Hunting at Sycamore Natural Area

The mix of grasslands and grassland/brushy edge habitats is ideal for upland game birds, deer and other wildlife. 

Hunting Hunting at Garrison Rock Resource Management Unit
Hunting is allowed at Garrison Rock Resource Management Unit. State Laws Apply.
Hunting Hunting at Bluewing Marsh
The 6 acre wetland surrounded by prairie and agricultural land is great for Upland and Waterfowl Hunting.
Hunting Hunting at Cardinal Wildlife Area
Cardinal Wildlife Area may be small at 40 acres, but it does offer good upland game hunting.
Hunting Hunting at DeVol Wildlife Area
DeVol Wildlife Area offers hunting for deer, rabbit and pheasant.
Hunting Hunting at Eddyille Sand Dunes Prairie
Eddyville Sand Dunes Prairie is open to bow-hunting only. The sand prairie and woodland areas here attract white-tail deer.
Hunting Hunting at Rock Bluff Park
Rock Bluff Road divides the area forming two distinct areas. The west side of the road is made up of undeveloped oak/hickory timber open to public hunting. 
Hunting Hunting at Johnson/Noel Buckeye Wildlife Area
This area is composed of good deer and turkey habitat.
Hunting Hunting at Kirkville Wildlife Area
Public Hunting is allowed.
Hunting Hunting at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
Public hunting is allowed on most of Pioneer Ridge Nature Area's 995 acres. State laws apply.
Other Activities Other Activities at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area

Pioneer Ridge Nature Area is a great place for wildlife viewing and birdwatching as it is an important bird area and part of the Stephen's Forest Bird Conservation Area. A bird blind is located near the nature center.

Other Activities Other Activities at Kirkville Wildlife Area
The old coal mine offers a unique area to explore. Go hunting for morels, watch the birds, take in the views from the top of the pit, or hike down in for a different experience.
Other Activities Other Activities at Johnson/Noel Buckeye Wildlife Area

Cedar Creek flows through a portion of this area and it sometimes floods the lower lying areas. This is a great place for a leisurely, off the beaten path hike in search of woodland as well as aquatic species of animals and plants. The scenery offers photographers an out of the way opportunity for wildlife and scenery pictures.

Other Activities Other Activities at Rock Bluff Park
Both upper and lower areas on the east side of the road offer view of the Des Moines River and the animals that use that waterway. It is possible to see waterfowl, various mammals, woodland birds, butterflies/insects and more. The area on the West side of the road is open to public hunting, but is home to woodland birds, mammals, insects and others.
Other Activities Other Activities at DeVol Wildlife Area
Explore the prairie in search of wildlife such as deer, birds, insects/butterflies, and much more.
Other Activities Other Activities at Cardinal Wildlife Area
Cardinal Wildlife area offers off-trail wildlife viewing and photography.
Other Activities Other Activities at Bluewing Marsh
The 6 acre, seasonal wetland is an excellent resting place for migrating waterfowl during the fall and spring. Many species of ground nesting birds can be found throughout the restored grassland. Although small, this is also a beautiful area for wildlife photography.
Other Activities Other Activities at Garrison Rock Resource Management Unit
Garrison Rock Resource Management Unit is a very scenic area for photography and wildlife viewing. The ice falls that form in the caves during the colder months can be spectacular, and the view over the Des Moines River valley is worth the hike up to Garrison Rock itself. The woodlands here are excellent for the colorful spring ephemeral flowers.
Other Activities Other Activities at Eddyille Sand Dunes Prairie
This uncommon habitat of sand prairie is home to plants and animals not seen in other prairies of the area. You can find the prickly pear cactus and ornate box turtle along with a variety of more common prairie species. Bring your camera and your binoculars - as you are sure to need them both.
Other Activities Other Activities at Gray Eagle Wildlife Preserve
During spring and fall migration, this area lights up with the colors of songbirds and waterfowl. Pelicans, warblers, herons, egrets, ducks, turtles, frogs, beaver and many other animals call this home for some or all of the year. Please respect private property and stay on Wapello CCB property.
Other Activities Other Activities at Sycamore Natural Area
With the variety of habitats and wildlife, this is a nature-lovers paradise. Bring your camera, your binoculars and your identification guides as you saunter through this natural area. 
Picnicking Picnicking at Eddyille Sand Dunes Prairie
Just off the parking lot and hiking trail there is a small, open shelter with four picnic tables. No trash receptacles are provided, so please carry out all your trash.
Picnicking Picnicking at Rock Bluff Park
Rock Bluff Park offers scenic views of the Des Moines River and is a beautiful place for a picnic.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
Pioneer Ridge Nature Area has 15 miles of multi-use trails for hiking, biking, running, and horseback riding.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Eddyille Sand Dunes Prairie
A 1.3 mile lime chip trail will lead you around this rare and beautiful habitat as you search for prickly pear cactus, ornate box turtles, butterflies, birds and more. Along the trail you will also find educational signs to help you learn more about the area.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Gray Eagle Wildlife Preserve

While there are no trails at this area, there are mowed fire breaks that act as trails. This is a great area to see aquatic species of birds as well as beavers, muskrats and so much more. An osprey platform was constructed by a local eagle scout, and is awaiting its first osprey nesting pair. The​ paved parking lot offers great access to the paved bike trail as well.

Be sure to stay within the park boundaries and off of private property while exploring the area.

Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Garrison Rock Resource Management Unit
A portion of the Chief Wapello (Boyscout) Trail tracks through this property leading you to the top of Garrison rock, above Horse Thief Cave and past the Pioneer Cemetery. Other footpaths will take you into horse thief cave, into ridge-top prairies and to other scenic areas of this historic property.