Carlson Recreation Area

Carlson recreation Area is 176 acres of natural diversity. From the timbered bluffs to the upland prairie, and to the typically level bottomland, the Carlson Area affords the visitor a chance to explore the scenic Des Moines River Valley. The valley contains the largest remaining tract of woodland, predominately oak and hickory, in north central Iowa, which present an awesome color show in the fall. The Carlson Area is readily accessible via a graveled county road a mile and a half south of the highway 175 Des Moines River bridge, between Dayton and Stratford. Before being destroyed by fire in 1981, the site contained the historically significant Anderson cabin, one of the first built in Webster County. Hikers will find a variety of trails with varying degrees of difficulty, and wildlife photographers will enjoy the abundance of suitable subjects throughout the area. In season, hunters may pursue wild turkey, deer, squirrels, and rabbits among other game species. The angler will find easy access to the Des Moines River.


Located approximately five miles southeast of Dayton.