Skip Navigation LinksHome > Counties > Hardin > Parks > Calkins Nature Area > Activities

Calkins Nature Area

Education Education at Calkins Nature Area
Calkins Nature Center contains a Native American and Natural History Museum that tells the story of the county’s ecological and cultural history. The museum is home to one of central Iowa’s largest collections of Native American artifacts dating back to the earliest inhabitants of North America. There is also a classroom, resource library and great room that is available for meetings and public programs.
Facility Rentals Facility Rentals at Calkins Nature Area

Calkins Nature Center contains a classroom and a great room that is available for meetings and public programs. Calkins also features an outdoor amphitheater with a stage that seats over 120 people. The nature center and amphitheater are available as rentals.

The maximum occupancy for the Calkins Nature Center is 64 for the actual meeting space (if needing seating around tables). The amphitheater can hold 150 people.


Calkins Nature Center & Amphitheater
Fishing Fishing at Calkins Nature Area
Enjoy stream fishing along the banks of the Iowa River.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Calkins Nature Area
With a keen eye, many of Iowa’s native wildlife species can be spotted year round while exploring the extensive network of nature trails at Calkins. There are miles of trail system on the grounds of Calkins Nature Area for exploration and discovery. 
Winter Activities Winter Activities at Calkins Nature Area

Looking for a fun and challenging activity to break up the doldrums of winter? Come out to Calkins and give cross country skiing a try. We have equipment that can be checked out for free during business hours provided it is being used on the grounds at Calkins.

You may also rent equipment from us if you would like to take it off the premises or plan on keeping it over the weekend. Please download the rental agreement above for fees and guidelines.

Hardin County Conservation will groom ski trails with a groomer soon after an adequate snowfall. Trail grooming is currently being performed at Calkins Nature Area and Hardin County Conservation Headquarters Segment and we are looking at expanding our network of groomed trails soon.