Middle River Forest Area

Middle River Canoeing

Middle River Forest Area is owned and maintained by the Adair County Conservation Board.  Located at 3234 200th Street, Dexter, Iowa which is 10 miles SE of Stuart, Iowa or 13 miles NE of Greenfield, Iowa.  This 38 acre park provides access to Middle River, a hiking trail and a walk-in primitive tent camping area.  Small camping trailers can use the 2 parking lots for overnight primitive camping.  Most of the 38 acre park is a mix of mature bottomland and upland timber.

There is a 3/8 mile hiking trail that provides foot access to ¾ mile of river in the park.
Middle River Forest Area serves as a trail head to the Middle River Water Trail which includes fishing, hiking, canoeing, and wildlife watching.  A new hard surface carrier down canoe access ramp was completed in the fall of 2018.
Channel catfish and carp are the major species of fish found in these streams. The minor species found are flathead catfish, bullhead, and walleye.

The Middle River has its origin in the south-central Guthrie County, however, the navigable section of Middle River begins in east-central Adair County near the Middle River Forest Area County Park.  Middle River is a scenic stream that flows easterly through a mixture of countryside of croplands and pasture, rolling forested hills and limestone bluffs.  It is eleven river miles from Middle River Forest Area County Park  (Access No. 89) to the next downstream public access, which is Schildberg Access (No. 78) on Highway 92.

Downstream from the park is the Roberts family farm.  The section of land which Middle River Forest Area is located was settled by the early pioneer William McDonald in 1849.  A second early pioneer settler, John Roberts, built a cabin a little farther downstream in 1854.  Later, John Roberts’ son James married Emily McDonald, the daughter of William McDonald.  The land has been handed down for generations and is still owned by the Roberts’ family.  It is one of the oldest continuous operating family farms in western Iowa.


3234 200th Street, Dexter, Iowa 50070 or 10 miles SE of Stuart, Iowa or 13 miles NE of Greenfield, Iowa