Ken Sidey Nature Area

Ken Sidey Nature Trail

The Ken Sidey Nature Area is located 2 1/2 miles southwest of Greenfield at 2521 Lewis Avenue.  There are 107 acres of timberland and 3 miles of walking trails.  Ken Sidey Nature Area is owned and managed by the Adair County Conservation Board.  It was named honoring Kenneth H. Sidey for his many columns in the Adair County Free Press newspaper titled “Nature Notes” during the 1930s and 1940s.  Mr. Sidey hiked the area often and used information he gathered for his column.


2521 Lewis Ave.
Greenfield, Iowa 50849


From boyhood, Ken Sidey was an enthusiastic student and observer of nature, particularly in the area west of Greenfield which includes this trail.  Fifty years ago, he took his sons and their friends on hikes through this very spot, before the existence of Lake Nodaway, and he would recount how he himself and his friends had hiked this area not many years after the turn of the century.

Although he never took a formal course in zoology or botany, he became a self-taught expert on the wildlife, wild flowers and prairie grasses native to Adair County, through experience and reading. In the 1950s he began writing his "Notes and Notions" column in the Free Press, through which he shared his observations on his weekly hike through these woods.  Mr. Sidey was the editor of the Adair County Free Press for many years.  His column and his slide collection led to speaking engagements during his later years.
Ken Sidey was still alive when this area was acquired by the county and named for him. He was present when Iowa conservationist Sylvan Runkle led the members of the Greenfield Service Club on a dedicatory tour.  Ken Sidey’s comment on that occasion was that “a man could ask for no finer monument than a woodland preserve like this.”
 --Ed Sidey Four Park Hiking Trail Complex
The Ken Sidey Nature Area is part of a 4 park complex.  Adjacent to the Ken Sidey Nature Area are Nodaway Lake, Land between Two Lakes and Lake Greenfield. These three adjacent areas are managed by the City of Greenfield.  There are 10 miles of hiking trails in this 4 park complex.  Eight miles of trails have a grass surface among the southern Iowa rolling hills.  Most of the grade on these hiking trails is moderately steep.  There is a 2 mile concrete surfaced trail around Lake Greenfield that has very little change in grade.