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7 More of Iowa's Best Hikes

7 More of Iowa's Best Hikes

  • 7/16/2015 10:22:00 AM
  • View Count 23729
Whether you’re looking to get away from civilization for a weekend or just take in some beautiful scenery for an hour or two with the family, Iowa – yes, Iowa – offers some incredible hikes in our state parks and forests.
Explore This Iowan Urban Sanctuary

Explore This Iowan Urban Sanctuary

  • 7/10/2015 9:51:00 AM
  • View Count 2421
By Jennifer Wilson From the July/August 2014 issue of Iowa Outdoors magazine Ask park manager Lori Eberhard what George Wyth Memorial State Park has to offer travelers, and you’d better settle in for a long answer.
Quick Weekend Cabin Getaways Available

Quick Weekend Cabin Getaways Available

  • 7/8/2015 8:30:00 AM
  • View Count 2527
Currently, Lacey-Keosauqua State Park has five family studio cabins available this weekend for a two-day minimum stay, $50 per day each.
Leave It As You Found It: 6 Camping Tips

Leave It As You Found It: 6 Camping Tips

  • 6/26/2015 2:47:00 AM
  • View Count 7804
A weekend camping in the woods is a great way to reconnect with the outdoors. Thank your host - Mother Nature - by leaving your campsite as you found it or even better than it was when you set up camp with these tips.
Paddle Up To These Secluded Campsites

Paddle Up To These Secluded Campsites

  • 6/19/2015 10:02:00 AM
  • View Count 40977
The self-reliant can take advantage of several remote paddle-in primitive campsites, get surrounded by nature and leave other humans behind. The locations make for a Boundary Waters-like experience in Iowa.
Go Afloat with the Corps of Discovery: Lewis and Clark State Park

Go Afloat with the Corps of Discovery: Lewis and Clark State Park

  • 6/10/2015 8:51:00 AM
  • View Count 4136
“Cast away! Cast away!” With that resounding command, bellowed stem to stern o’er land and water, the stunning 55-foot reproduction of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s Missouri-wending keelboat, Discovery, gingerly takes leave of the shores at which the explorers’ expedition arrived on Aug. 10, 1804.
A Walk on the Wild Side: Preparation Canyon and Iowa's Loess Hills

A Walk on the Wild Side: Preparation Canyon and Iowa's Loess Hills

  • 6/3/2015 3:34:00 AM
  • View Count 9058
Visiting western Iowa’s razor-ridged Loess Hills on a hot, breezy summer afternoon that eventually succumbs to the ruling grandeur of a moonlit night is surely as intense an experience today as it was for renowned naturalist and University of Iowa professor Bohumil Shimek as he describes it in a section of the 1909 Iowa Geological Survey Annual Report.
7 Ideas to Celebrate Great Outdoors Month in Iowa

7 Ideas to Celebrate Great Outdoors Month in Iowa

  • 6/3/2015 3:01:00 AM
  • View Count 2054
Grab the kids or your friends, and get the bike, kayak or fishing pole - June is Great Outdoors Month! Throw the tent in the car and explore some Iowa state parks this month – and if you need a few ideas, here are some great activities and events going on in Iowa state parks this month. For more ideas, visit the DNR events calendar.
Three Off-The-Beaten-Path Places to Camp in Iowa

Three Off-The-Beaten-Path Places to Camp in Iowa

  • 6/2/2015 9:14:00 AM
  • View Count 24862
Iowa’s state parks and forests offer many beautiful and relaxing campgrounds, but if you’re looking to feel like you’re escaping civilization for a while, here are some top places to rough it in Iowa.
How to Build a Campfire [Tutorial]

How to Build a Campfire [Tutorial]

  • 5/27/2015 9:39:00 AM
  • View Count 8014
It’s just not a campout without a crackling fire (and the s’mores and hot dogs to roast over it). If building a solid campfire has always eluded you, here are some simple tips to make sure your next campfire keeps blazing bright.
Why We Camp

Why We Camp

  • 5/22/2015 8:11:00 AM
  • View Count 5208
Struggling to set up his fold-down camper, my brother-in-law asks, “Tell me again why we do this?”
Great Escapes: 7 of Iowa’s Best Hikes

Great Escapes: 7 of Iowa’s Best Hikes

  • 5/22/2015 6:55:00 AM
  • View Count 41491
Whether you’re looking to get away from civilization for a weekend or just take in some beautiful scenery for an hour or two with the family, Iowa – yes, Iowa – offers some incredible hikes in our state parks and forests.
7 Things To Do in Iowa's Outdoors This Week

7 Things To Do in Iowa's Outdoors This Week

  • 5/15/2015 9:01:00 AM
  • View Count 2048
While the cool weather forecasted for this week doesn’t seem to herald in the unofficial start of summer, it’s still a great time to get outside. If you’re looking for some new or different ideas to explore Iowa’s outdoors, we have a suggestion for each day of the holiday week:
6 Great Iowa State Parks for Spring Fishing

6 Great Iowa State Parks for Spring Fishing

  • 5/12/2015 10:41:00 AM
  • View Count 10880
Spring is a great time to head out fishing, so grab a buddy, call up Dad or Mom, or load the kids into the car and get out there. Plan a day trip or spend the entire weekend at one of Iowa’s great state parks. Enjoy the beautiful weather and “hook” some memories that will last a lifetime.
8 Surprising Memorial Day Camping Getaways

8 Surprising Memorial Day Camping Getaways

  • 5/1/2015 9:22:00 AM
  • View Count 11714
Not all hope is lost when it comes to finding a place to camp this Memorial Day weekend, May 22-25. For those who like a little more quiet, don’t mind more primitive camping or are willing to take a chance on a first-come, first-served or “walk-in” campsite, here are some nice possibilities. Try kicking off the summer season with one of these lesser-known state parks:
Take a Spring Wildflower No-Pick Scavenger Hunt

Take a Spring Wildflower No-Pick Scavenger Hunt

  • 4/24/2015 7:20:00 AM
  • View Count 5137
The colorful return of wildflowers to Iowa's woodlands each spring is a thankful sign that winter is (mostly) behind us. Head out to an Iowa state park or preserve to take in the show, and be sure to take along a guide or our no-pick scavenger hunt list.
Four Creative Morel Mushroom Recipes

Four Creative Morel Mushroom Recipes

  • 4/17/2015 8:01:00 AM
  • View Count 15203
There’s nothing better than some fresh-picked morels lightly sautéed in butter, but if you’re looking for a way to change up your morel routine, here are some new recipes to try. Remember, it's best to learn how to identify mushrooms (including what's edible and what's not) in-person from an experienced mushroom hunter.
Get Ready for Spring Camping [Checklist]

Get Ready for Spring Camping [Checklist]

  • 4/15/2015 5:56:00 AM
  • View Count 1921
It's that time of year when it's time to dust off the tents and equipment or pull the camper out of storage. With water being turned on soon in state park campgrounds (parks vary, always call ahead first), it won't be long before camping become a regular activity again. Use our handy checklist to get ready for that first outing of spring!
Four Great Spring Cabin Getaways in Iowa State Parks

Four Great Spring Cabin Getaways in Iowa State Parks

  • 4/10/2015 9:26:00 AM
  • View Count 3118
From now until mid-May, state park cabins can be rented for two-day minimums (instead of the week-long requirement during the summer season). Shake off the winter blues by renting a cabin for a couple of days. Take a spring hike or bike ride. Grab some binoculars and do a little wildlife watching. Birding is great during this peak migration time. And, of course, there is always fishing – spring offers some of the best!
Eight Historical CCC Parks To Visit in Iowa

Eight Historical CCC Parks To Visit in Iowa

  • 3/31/2015 10:26:00 AM
  • View Count 20068
From the iconic boathouse at Backbone, to the spillway at Beeds Lake, to the varied and beautiful stone lodges and shelters within so many of our parks, we owe a debt of gratitude to the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Celebrate the CCC’s anniversary, March 31, by planning a trip to one of these stand-out examples of CCC projects in Iowa.
Viking Lake Work Has Lasting Effect on Fishing, Water Quality

Viking Lake Work Has Lasting Effect on Fishing, Water Quality

  • 3/6/2015 6:35:00 AM
  • View Count 2284
Once so thick with algae that the water looked more like green paint than water, southwest Iowa’s Viking Lake has been on the up and up since a major watershed improvement there wrapped up in 2009.Five years of monitoring Viking Lake in southwest Iowa reveals the lake is clean enough to be removed from the list of Iowa impaired waters for algae growth.
7 Reasons to Visit Honey Creek Resort this Spring

7 Reasons to Visit Honey Creek Resort this Spring

  • 2/27/2015 9:50:00 AM
  • View Count 1843
Enjoy a close-to-home getaway for a wonderful meal or an outdoor spring break adventure. Honey Creek Resort State Park has seven exciting reasons to visit this March and April.
Jump Into Winter Wildlife Tracking

Jump Into Winter Wildlife Tracking

  • 2/25/2015 3:28:00 AM
  • View Count 3986
Kids (of all ages!) love discovery, and what better way to feed that need than by turning snowbound winter days into a fun family or couple’s outing. Better yet, set aside time for regular outdoor jaunts to create a memorable tradition.
Top Calorie-Burning Winter Outdoor Activities

Top Calorie-Burning Winter Outdoor Activities

  • 2/19/2015 10:25:00 AM
  • View Count 3543
Need to work off those Valentine’s Day chocolates or finally make good on a New Year’s Resolution? Or just looking a fun activity to try this winter weekend? Try these top outdoor activities for burning calories.
Go Shed Antler Hunting

Go Shed Antler Hunting

  • 2/13/2015 8:54:00 AM
  • View Count 54054
Whitetail deer have about a two-month shedding period in Iowa, beginning mid-Jan. and ending mid-March. Around Feb. 20 is the best time to start looking for shed antlers.
Explore Pine Lake State Park This Winter

Explore Pine Lake State Park This Winter

  • 2/11/2015 10:04:00 AM
  • View Count 10914
Pine Lake State Park provides the winter adventurer 650 acres of woods garnished with a labyrinth of powdery trails to hike, ski and snowshoe; and spacious, remodeled cabins sporting super-sized stone fireplaces that breathe hickory-tinged heat into every nook and cranny.
Iowa Winter Treks and Trails to Test Those Fitness Trackers

Iowa Winter Treks and Trails to Test Those Fitness Trackers

  • 1/7/2015 8:59:00 AM
  • View Count 4706
If you’re looking for a way to put that new fitness tracker to the test and you’re sick of walking circles at the gym, take it outside and try some of these top winter trail activities in Iowa’s state parks, recreation areas and forests.
New Year's Iowa Checklist: Where to Go, What to Do Month By Month

New Year's Iowa Checklist: Where to Go, What to Do Month By Month

  • 1/6/2015 7:42:00 AM
  • View Count 17378
It’s a New Year. I don’t do resolutions. So, call this a New Year's Outdoor Checklist; places or events across Iowa for each month. Most are return trips for me; worth a second or seventieth visit. A couple, I haven’t taken the time yet to check out. Maybe it will remind you of a few special outdoor ports of call, in the months ahead.
Mush your way through Iowa with dogsledding this winter

Mush your way through Iowa with dogsledding this winter

  • 12/23/2014 7:31:00 AM
  • View Count 6461
Grab a pair of mukluks and hit the trails, towed by a team of hard-working huskies. Hunkered down under a toasty pile of blankets provided by avid musher Ginger Plummer, families can taste travel adventure at its best with a 3-mile jaunt down the Great Western Trail in Warren County.
Take a Winter Getaway in an Iowa State Park Cabin

Take a Winter Getaway in an Iowa State Park Cabin

  • 12/5/2014 9:11:00 AM
  • View Count 1943
From November through April, you can rent cabins at state parks for two-day minimums (instead of the week-long requirement during peak season). And you’ll still get to take advantage of hiking trails (many allow cross-country skiing and snowmobiling), wildlife watching (deer and birds aplenty!), ice fishing and more.
Take a Winter Getaway in an Iowa State Park Cabin

Take a Winter Getaway in an Iowa State Park Cabin

  • 12/5/2014 5:16:00 AM
  • View Count 3701
From November through April, you can rent cabins at state parks for two-day minimums (instead of the week-long requirement during peak season). And you’ll still get to take advantage of hiking trails (many allow cross-country skiing and snowmobiling), wildlife watching (deer and birds aplenty!), ice fishing and more.
Best Iowa State Parks for Fall and Winter Wildlife Viewing

Best Iowa State Parks for Fall and Winter Wildlife Viewing

  • 11/14/2014 9:18:00 AM
  • View Count 2698
Cooler temperatures in Iowa don’t have to mean hibernation – if you like watching Iowa’s wildlife, there are still sights to be seen in late fall and winter! Grab the binoculars and camera and get ready for a quiet drive or crisp hike to watch birds, waterfowl, deer and turkey.
6 Tips for Geocaching Newbies

6 Tips for Geocaching Newbies

  • 9/5/2014 3:01:00 AM
  • View Count 5031
If a high-tech treasure hunt in the great outdoors sounds fun to you, it’s time to try geocaching, and what better place to start than an Iowa state park?
15 Ways to Enjoy Iowa’s Outdoors this Labor Day Weekend

15 Ways to Enjoy Iowa’s Outdoors this Labor Day Weekend

  • 8/26/2014 6:11:00 AM
  • View Count 4028
If you’re looking for a way to mark the unofficial end to summer or just want to try something new instead of the old barbecue routine, try one of these 15 great Iowa outdoor activities this coming Labor Day weekend.
12 Iowa Camping Hacks and Tricks

12 Iowa Camping Hacks and Tricks

  • 8/25/2014 6:30:00 AM
  • View Count 20729
If you’re just getting started or are looking for some new ideas, try some of these camping tips and tricks.
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