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Choose your perfect fishing experience

Choose your perfect fishing experience

  • 6/13/2018 3:55:00 PM
  • View Count 309
Getting outdoors and fishing is a little different for everyone. Some people want to get away from it all, and others enjoy a few extra amenities nearby to extend the fun. Whatever you prefer, we’ve got you covered! Here’s suggestions for some excellent Des Moines area fishing spots if…
Stay safe outdoors in hot weather

Stay safe outdoors in hot weather

  • 6/12/2018 2:51:00 PM
  • View Count 788
There are many adventure-packed, outdoor summer activities to do in the sun, but it is crucial for your safety to know the proper precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses.
5 cool things you should know about worms

5 cool things you should know about worms

  • 5/15/2018 2:37:00 PM
  • View Count 5665
Most of us see earthworms after a long rainstorm, slinking across the sidewalk. You may have even eaten one or two after your friend dared you (although we wouldn’t recommend it!). While most of us dissected these critters in science class, how well do we remember our worm facts?
Build your own simple nest box for ducks

Build your own simple nest box for ducks

  • 4/12/2018 3:47:00 PM
  • View Count 2628
Get inspired to attract hooded mergansers and wood ducks to your area with these easy-to-make DIY nest box plans. They work best where these ducks love to nest—wooded wetlands, riverbanks and shorelines.
Fishing Frenzy: 2018 Fishing Forecast

Fishing Frenzy: 2018 Fishing Forecast

  • 3/28/2018 9:33:00 AM
  • View Count 6682
We have 10 categories of recommended angling fun—everything from beginner to challenging, best with a boat, off the beaten path, master angler worthy and best for the whole family. 
Cool things you should know about skunks (yes, skunks)

Cool things you should know about skunks (yes, skunks)

  • 1/8/2018 12:09:00 PM
  • View Count 3833
When you think of skunks, you probably think of their stinky spray or how they dig up your lawn. But did you know that they play an important role in insect control and sometimes even the production of fragrances?
All First Day Hikes for Jan. 1, 2018 Canceled Due to Frigid Temperatures

All First Day Hikes for Jan. 1, 2018 Canceled Due to Frigid Temperatures

  • 12/29/2017 3:25:00 PM
  • View Count 1321
DES MOINES – With temperatures predicted to dip well below zero, the Iowa DNR has decided to cancel First Day Hikes at 27 state parks scheduled for New Year’s Day. “While it’s a great disappointment to us to cancel this event, the safety of park visitors comes first,” said Todd Coffelt, State Parks Bureau Chief. “We know that frost bite can set in fairly quickly at those cold temperatures, so we are using caution in making this decision.”
Why doesn’t blaze orange give me away?

Why doesn’t blaze orange give me away?

  • 11/29/2017 11:57:00 AM
  • View Count 8605
If you’re trying to sneak up on a deer or pheasant, possibly decked out in some camouflage, it may not seem to make sense to top it off with a neon orange vest or hat. After all, wouldn’t that make you more noticeable?
9 ways to reduce food waste

9 ways to reduce food waste

  • 11/16/2017 11:52:00 AM
  • View Count 5221
Your parents told you to clean your plate for a good reason – Iowans send more than 190,000 tons of unopened, untouched food to the landfill.
Hiding Out in Union Grove

Hiding Out in Union Grove

  • 11/7/2017 3:27:00 PM
  • View Count 3841
Grab a backpack and discover this best-kept secret among Iowa’s state parks. Spend the day—or a season.
10 hidden surprises at Lacey-Keosauqua State Park

10 hidden surprises at Lacey-Keosauqua State Park

  • 10/16/2017 3:32:00 PM
  • View Count 6703
Tucked away in the southeast corner of the state, Lacey-Keosauqua is a bit of a hidden surprise in itself. But do you know about these other hidden gems, as suggested by park manager Justin Pedretti?
Fall is hawk watch time

Fall is hawk watch time

  • 10/10/2017 2:36:00 PM
  • View Count 3243
Fall is when birds of prey migrate. Attend a Hawk Watch event to see and learn about fascinating raptors!
8 hidden surprises at Pikes Peak State Park

8 hidden surprises at Pikes Peak State Park

  • 10/9/2017 4:00:00 PM
  • View Count 5059
Pikes Peak State Park may be known for its breathtaking views along the bluffs of the Mississippi River, but do you know about these “hidden surprises” suggested by park manager Matt Tschirgi?
7 cool things you should know about badgers

7 cool things you should know about badgers

  • 9/26/2017 2:55:00 PM
  • View Count 12735
You don’t need to dig too deep to know catching a glimpse of a badger is a rare sight in Iowa. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not around – they’re just good at keeping a low profile.
Iowa Fall Fishing Forecast for 2017

Iowa Fall Fishing Forecast for 2017

  • 9/18/2017 3:06:00 PM
  • View Count 4630
Fall offers fantastic fishing – get out and enjoy it. The air is cool, lakes are less crowded and fish are easy to catch. Add one of these destinations to your fall fishing itinerary.
7 things to know before you go tent camping

7 things to know before you go tent camping

  • 8/28/2017 12:51:00 PM
  • View Count 5396
The ability to successfully go tent camping in Iowa is a rite of passage for many. Roughing it without air conditioning or electronics doesn’t need to be hard, though. This list will prepare tent campers young and old, experienced or novice, with the knowledge to have a pleasant and well-prepared for adventure.
Iowa's most Instagrammed state parks

Iowa's most Instagrammed state parks

  • 8/22/2017 10:07:00 AM
  • View Count 5930
For many, when they step outside to enjoy Iowa’s state parks, snapping some pictures is a natural part of the journey. Explore parks all over the state by hiking, biking, relaxing lake side and experiencing extraordinary views – you can start with these 10, which are the parks posted about the most by Iowans on Instagram
9 animals you probably won’t see in Iowa

9 animals you probably won’t see in Iowa

  • 8/4/2017 2:15:00 PM
  • View Count 20382
Whether they are on the endangered species list, only come out during certain times of the year, or are simply hard to see, these animals are rarely seen in Iowa.
How do fish breathe?

How do fish breathe?

  • 8/4/2017 11:50:00 AM
  • View Count 2621
Humans and fish both require oxygen to survive. The difference is, we get our oxygen through air while fish get it through water.
Why you should wash your car on the lawn

Why you should wash your car on the lawn

  • 7/21/2017 10:42:00 AM
  • View Count 6503
If you’re looking for a creative way to spend a hot summer afternoon with your kids and be productive, consider washing your car on the front lawn. Washing the car on the lawn instead of the driveway may look odd to the neighbors, but it conserves water and helps preserve the ecosystem in your community.
Rock the Rapids: turning dangerous dams into places for family fun draws crowds to communities

Rock the Rapids: turning dangerous dams into places for family fun draws crowds to communities

  • 7/6/2017 2:57:00 PM
  • View Count 10798
The mist burns off of a cozy Sunday morning as I sit, watching a flock of geese trade honks with a train. They’re preening in the calm water above the first drop of the Manchester Whitewater Park, and occasionally a brave one floats down the chute before flapping back up to its friends. Tucked between industrial buildings and Main Street, the park is already humming with cyclists, dog walkers and photographers doing portrait shoots. The structured banks of ochre boulders look amazingly inviting, and upstream, a to...
Blue bullfrogs spotted in Iowa

Blue bullfrogs spotted in Iowa

  • 7/5/2017 2:14:00 PM
  • View Count 27496
There are several genes that make a frog green or brown, and these genes result in various structures being created in the frog’s skin layers.
Iowans creating connections with creeks with signs

Iowans creating connections with creeks with signs

  • 6/28/2017 2:39:00 PM
  • View Count 5371
Thousands of motorists drive over Iowa’s waterways, big and small, each day. But unless it’s a major river, most people are crossing these streams unaware of what’s below. 
Osprey: fishing perfection in feathers

Osprey: fishing perfection in feathers

  • 6/23/2017 2:30:00 PM
  • View Count 5662
From a hundred feet in the air, a hovering angler folds its wings, silently slipping downward like lightning from the sky, careening until a four-foot portion of the lake thunders into plumes of diamondized water droplets.
Flathead catfish: Iowa's Dracula of the Deep

Flathead catfish: Iowa's Dracula of the Deep

  • 6/22/2017 3:24:00 PM
  • View Count 14992
They are the aquatic version of Count Dracula, quietly resting in the same dark, hidden location by day, and prowling for living prey by night. And like a vampire, they are legendary for both their great physical strength and ability to achieve a ripe old age.
Glamping: Decoration and Recreation Gone Wild

Glamping: Decoration and Recreation Gone Wild

  • 6/8/2017 11:19:00 AM
  • View Count 12258
Glamping is a marriage between the words “glamour” and “camping.” Original glampers coveted the escapism of camping with the amenities and comforts of home. It has since become a popular term among women who turn vintage campers into personalized, stylized retreats.
2017 Iowa Fishing Forecast: #MissionFishin

2017 Iowa Fishing Forecast: #MissionFishin

  • 6/6/2017 4:03:00 PM
  • View Count 5568
We released a record 156 million fish last year, renovated a gob of lakes, increased fish habitat, added angler access and improved water quality. Now it’s your turn to help.
Kerns family deeply rooted in conservation

Kerns family deeply rooted in conservation

  • 5/19/2017 3:18:00 PM
  • View Count 7611
Jim and Jody Kerns’ belief in conservation and education is as deeply rooted as the trees that protect the banks along their Volga River property.
Spring panfish bite is heating up

Spring panfish bite is heating up

  • 5/16/2017 11:28:00 AM
  • View Count 7290
Crappies and bluegills are biting in small ponds and lakes across Iowa. Here's a few hotspots to try this spring.
A Spring Quadfecta

A Spring Quadfecta

  • 4/7/2017 11:15:00 AM
  • View Count 16617
Last year was the first year I attempted a spring quadfecta: a turkey, a limit of trout, morels and wild asparagus.
Spring turkey hunting? Stay at a state park cabin

Spring turkey hunting? Stay at a state park cabin

  • 4/5/2017 1:33:00 PM
  • View Count 5274
Several Iowa state parks have cabins near some of the state's best wildlife management areas for turkey hunting. As you make your spring plans, consider one of these options for a convenient, comfortable place to stay: 
Cedar River: the heart of Charles City

Cedar River: the heart of Charles City

  • 3/31/2017 10:14:00 AM
  • View Count 7725
After Cedar River floodwaters hit hard in 2008 and 2016, even washing away the iconic century-old suspension bridge in 2008, you wouldn’t expect Charles City to embrace the river. 
Our picks for Iowa's top nine trout streams in 2017

Our picks for Iowa's top nine trout streams in 2017

  • 3/29/2017 11:54:00 AM
  • View Count 27448
More than 300,000 catchable-sized rainbow and brook trout, and 110,000 fingerling brown trout will be stocked in hundreds of miles of northeast Iowa streams between April 3 and October 2017.
Unplug at Pictured Rocks Park

Unplug at Pictured Rocks Park

  • 3/10/2017 3:58:00 PM
  • View Count 7281
The first oar through the cool clear water sends ripples of excitement down my spine. I’ve never canoed the Maquoketa River from Monticello to Pictured Rocks Park/Indian Bluffs, but trust the stream will get me there safely.
Build a Leopold bench

Build a Leopold bench

  • 3/10/2017 3:24:00 PM
  • View Count 18693
This model holds a functional usefulness not readily apparent. By sitting backwards with legs through the opening, the backrest now provides a sturdy support for the elbows while using binoculars or cameras to observe nature around you.
Five reasons to rent an Iowa State Parks cabin in the off-season

Five reasons to rent an Iowa State Parks cabin in the off-season

  • 3/10/2017 2:13:00 PM
  • View Count 5284
Have you ever considered staying in a cabin in Iowa state parks? We offer more than 90 cabins in 19 parks across the state. Here are five reasons why you might want to book now and stay in a cabin before Memorial Day:
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