Pioneer Ridge Nature Area

Pioneer Ridge Nature Center

Featured Events
»   CitSci Camp (Odonata 11-13yr olds)
July 17 - July 19, 2024   9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
»   Palamanders (Tree Frogs - 6 and 7 yr olds)
July 22 - July 23, 2024   11:30 AM - 3:00 PM
»   Run for the Ridge 5K
September 28, 2024   
»  more events
The 995 acre Pioneer Ridge Nature Area is the headquarters for the Wapello County Conservation Board. The topography is rolling with the primary vegetation type consisting of relatively mature oak/hickory timber and open grass ridge tops. An effort is underway to convert all of the non-native pasture grasses to diverse native prairie as well as restore oak savanna plant communities. With Pioneer Ridge Nature Center on site, a major focus of this area is educating both youth and adults in environmental and natural resource management issues. Primitive and electric/water campsites are available in a small campground. The area also has two fully furnished, modern log cabins, and two camping cabins available for rent all year.The hay barn shelter and pond side shelter is available for rent as well. An extensive trail system allows users to traverse this beautiful area by foot, bike or horseback. Areas of Pioneer Ridge Nature Area are open for public hunting per state regulations. All roads in the park are gravel. 


Six miles south of Ottumwa on Hwy 63 between 200th Street and the Wapello/Davis County line.


- Camping: 9 electric and water sites; 3 primitive sites

- Approximately 15 miles of multi-use trails: hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing

- Fishing in 4 stocked ponds

- Cabins: 2 fully modern (sleep 6); 2 camping (sleep 5)

- Shelters: Haybarn Shelter for larger events; Pond Side Shelter for smaller events

- Wildlife viewing

- Nature Center

Operating Hours & Seasons

The Nature Center/Offices are open 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM year-round.


The Nature Center/Offices will be closed on all observed county holidays.