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9 Hidden Surprises at Backbone State Park

9 Hidden Surprises at Backbone State Park

  • 8/20/2015 9:23:00 AM
  • View Count 58674
Backbone is one of Iowa’s largest state parks, checking in at just more than 2,000 acres. Even if you’ve been to the park before, do you really know all the surprises it has to offer? To test your knowledge and find new destinations at the park, check out the featured facts and attractions below from park manager Mary Shea.
How to Fish From a Kayak

How to Fish From a Kayak

  • 8/13/2015 9:52:00 AM
  • View Count 3039
Fishing from a kayak is great way to stay active and get up close with nature. There’s a unique angling challenge around each bend. Try these tips to get you started.
Stand-Up Paddleboarding: Tips for Newbies

Stand-Up Paddleboarding: Tips for Newbies

  • 8/13/2015 9:49:00 AM
  • View Count 2569
You might be familiar with canoes and kayaks, but a whole new paddling adventure can be had with stand-up paddle boarding (SUP for those in the know). See the tips and tricks below from certified SUP instructor Todd Robertson on how to get your own adventure started, and always check water levels before you go.
8 Iowa Animals You May Not Know are Threatened or Endangered

8 Iowa Animals You May Not Know are Threatened or Endangered

  • 8/11/2015 9:57:00 AM
  • View Count 9946
Nothing sounds more common than a mouse, owl, turtle or bat, but in Iowa, loss of habitat and other threats are creating serious conditions for different species of these critters, landing them on Iowa’s threatened and endangered species list.
Go Exploring: 14 Iowa Wildlife Tracks to Look For

Go Exploring: 14 Iowa Wildlife Tracks to Look For

  • 8/7/2015 10:18:00 AM
  • View Count 20437
When you’re out enjoying Iowa’s great outdoors, how often do you think to look down? One of the best ways for a burgeoning photographer, hunter or wildlife enthusiast to figure out what types of animals are around is to look for tracks.
7 Summer Things to Do with Your Kids Before School Starts

7 Summer Things to Do with Your Kids Before School Starts

  • 8/7/2015 10:05:00 AM
  • View Count 4855
The end of summer is always a touch bittersweet for families. There’s excitement for a new school year, anticipation of ever-busier schedules, appreciation of the summer vacation itself and perhaps a longing for it not to end. Good news: it’s not over yet! Grab your little ones, your not-so-little ones, and some adventure gear while the whole family can head outside together for these fun activities.
Cool Gadgets to Make Your Camping Trip Easier

Cool Gadgets to Make Your Camping Trip Easier

  • 8/5/2015 11:03:00 AM
  • View Count 11596
While camping in Iowa goes all the way from roughing it to glamping, there’s no denying there are gadgets and gear that are must-haves – and then there are some that are just fun!
Greening Up Your Yard: What You Can Do

Greening Up Your Yard: What You Can Do

  • 8/4/2015 11:07:00 AM
  • View Count 3312
Climate change, greenhouse gases, carbon footprints, water quality— the problems are huge and the impact we can deliver seems minimal. But, you can do something simple—cut back on yardwork. Most people don’t think about the carbon footprint left by their lawns and lawn care. Green is green, right?
4 Dutch Oven Recipes Your Taste Buds Want You to Try

4 Dutch Oven Recipes Your Taste Buds Want You to Try

  • 7/30/2015 8:18:00 AM
  • View Count 38037
Dutch ovens are the quintessential piece of campfire cookery. Switch up the hot dog and burgers routine with these mouth-watering recipes - after you review the basics, of course.

7 Best Iowa State Parks for Adventurers

  • 7/29/2015 10:18:00 AM
  • View Count 6493
Are you hearty, healthy and raring for some fun? Check out these state forests, recreation areas and parks for some challenging and rewarding adventure ideas right here in Iowa.
6 Tips for Hooking Summer Catfish

6 Tips for Hooking Summer Catfish

  • 7/29/2015 9:31:00 AM
  • View Count 12273
Fishing for catfish is a fun summer activity for the whole family. Bring along a cooler with ice to keep your catch cold and preserve that great taste. Try these simple tips for catching Ol’ Whiskers.
4 Before-You–Go Tips for Kayak Camping (and 7 Destinations)

4 Before-You–Go Tips for Kayak Camping (and 7 Destinations)

  • 7/29/2015 8:30:00 AM
  • View Count 18126
Kayaking is a great way to explore the state and get some exercise, but if you intend to stay the night at a paddle-in only campsite, you have to pack thoughtfully. Check out the advice below, approved by DNR paddling expert and instructor Todd Robertson, to help you start camping comfortably with your kayak. And remember, always check water levels before you go.
Explore Guthrie County: A Sleeping Giant

Explore Guthrie County: A Sleeping Giant

  • 7/23/2015 10:27:00 AM
  • View Count 3039
Take a look east, it’s nothing but flat expanse of Iowa gold. Look west, he says, and you’ve got a whole different matter. On the other side of the road, the terrain is hilly and plump with trees—the kind of place people generally drive for hours to pitch their tents on.
9 Quick Camping Cabin Getaways

9 Quick Camping Cabin Getaways

  • 7/22/2015 11:03:00 AM
  • View Count 22205
If tent camping isn’t quite your cup of tea or there’s no truck to pull a camper, there’s no need to give up on the idea of camping altogether. If you want a solid roof over your head or a hassle-free weekend camping getaway, rent a basic family cabin, a camping cabin or a yurt at an Iowa state park!
6 Animals You Might Not Know are Protected in Iowa

6 Animals You Might Not Know are Protected in Iowa

  • 7/17/2015 9:59:00 AM
  • View Count 37843
An animal doesn’t need to be endangered to receive legal protection. In Iowa, there are plenty of animals that might frighten or startle you, but these animals have important roles in our state’s ecology. So the next time you see one of these animals don’t panic, and consider what they contribute to the environment around you.
What To Do If You Have Poison Ivy

What To Do If You Have Poison Ivy

  • 7/17/2015 8:11:00 AM
  • View Count 10213
There can’t be a worse feeling. The itch. The burn, almost sizzling at times. The ugly blotches and blisters on your arms, your legs...anywhere you contacted it. Poison ivy.
Four Water Trails to Explore This Summer

Four Water Trails to Explore This Summer

  • 7/17/2015 7:01:00 AM
  • View Count 4439
If you’re looking to blaze a new trail this summer, consider hitting the water for something different. Iowa boasts a number of water trails, which offer a unique perspective on Iowa in summer.
Create a Cleaner, Safer House with DIY Cleaners

Create a Cleaner, Safer House with DIY Cleaners

  • 7/17/2015 5:59:00 AM
  • View Count 5396
Sure, that spray cleaner can cut through grease and grime quickly. But did you know it might be a household hazardous material? Household hazardous materials (HHMs) are found in nearly every home, under sinks, and in closets, basements and garages. They may make chores easier, but they could also pose a threat to your family’s health, safety and the environment if used or disposed improperly.
7 More of Iowa's Best Hikes

7 More of Iowa's Best Hikes

  • 7/16/2015 11:22:00 AM
  • View Count 24423
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.
Coralville Makes Green Strides for Water Quality

Coralville Makes Green Strides for Water Quality

  • 7/15/2015 9:03:00 AM
  • View Count 2015
Generally, Coralville Lake, just upstream from its namesake town, does its job as a flood control reservoir. But the lake was no match for the floods of 1993 and 2008, creating millions of dollars in damages for the eastern Iowa town.
6 Reasons You’re Not Catching Fish

6 Reasons You’re Not Catching Fish

  • 7/14/2015 8:58:00 AM
  • View Count 45178
Are you struggling to catch fish? Don’t get discouraged – you are not alone. Here are some common reasons why you aren’t catching fish and tips for being more successful.
11 Energy Saving Ideas for Summer Heat

11 Energy Saving Ideas for Summer Heat

  • 7/14/2015 6:50:00 AM
  • View Count 3544
Although this summer has been mild overall so far, the usual July weather has officially arrived with its rising temperatures. Check out these money- and energy-saving tips so you can be prepared to beat the heat.
Explore This Iowan Urban Sanctuary

Explore This Iowan Urban Sanctuary

  • 7/10/2015 10:51:00 AM
  • View Count 2609
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.
6 Nature Foolers: Can You Tell the Difference?

6 Nature Foolers: Can You Tell the Difference?

  • 7/10/2015 8:54:00 AM
  • View Count 5222
Mimicry is about more than flattery for these Iowa organisms. Looking similar to a dangerous model helps the mimics of these pairs avoid confrontation, predation and disturbance, particularly from animals that learn to pick a meal based on what its prey looks like. Can you tell the difference?
Tips and Tricks for Avoiding and Removing Ticks

Tips and Tricks for Avoiding and Removing Ticks

  • 7/9/2015 11:19:00 AM
  • View Count 34429
Not everybody likes bugs and spiders, but even fewer people like a parasite. But don’t let these little critters keep you from enjoying the outdoors this summer. With some preventative actions, you can help keep ticks at bay.
Quick Weekend Cabin Getaways Available

Quick Weekend Cabin Getaways Available

  • 7/8/2015 9:30:00 AM
  • View Count 2745
Currently, Lacey-Keosauqua State Park has five family studio cabins available this weekend for a two-day minimum stay, $50 per day each.
Fishing the Thermocline for Better Summer Success

Fishing the Thermocline for Better Summer Success

  • 7/8/2015 6:57:00 AM
  • View Count 11090
Back in early May, the air was warm and the water was churning in Iowa lakes. Crappies were in tight to shore, ready to drop their life-giving bundle of eggs, and bluegills were just a cast away waiting for their turn. It was spring, the spawn was on and panfish were taking just about anything hook, line and sinker. Anyone could catch fish.
Must-Have Summer Fishing Tips

Must-Have Summer Fishing Tips

  • 7/1/2015 6:18:00 AM
  • View Count 3176
Making plans for summer outings with family and friends this summer? Add fishing to your list. Whether it’s part of your camping trip or just a day trip, schedule time to go fishing. Try these simple tips to get you started.
21 Outdoor Experiences Every Iowa Kid Needs to Try

21 Outdoor Experiences Every Iowa Kid Needs to Try

  • 7/1/2015 5:24:00 AM
  • View Count 22933
From something as simple as chasing fireflies or hiking a trail to bigger adventures like camping and skiing, there are lots of ways to get kids outdoors in Iowa. Use this as a checklist through the rest of the year to guide your outdoor explorations! Be sure, too, to help your kids make a connection between the activity and protecting Iowa’s natural resources. For example, explain how clean water helps the fish when you’re angling. Talk about habitat when chasing butterflies or frogs. Creating these connections ...
6 Tips for Foraging Wild Raspberries and Strawberries

6 Tips for Foraging Wild Raspberries and Strawberries

  • 7/1/2015 4:03:00 AM
  • View Count 15793
Ripe berries taste like a pop of sunshine, even out of a grocery store box. But in Iowa, anybody can go find the real wild thing, and the taste is incredible. The only hard parts are identifying the berries and finding them before wildlife and other foragers do. Use these tips to collect your share of wild berries:
7 Tips to Prevent Drowning

7 Tips to Prevent Drowning

  • 6/26/2015 5:43:00 AM
  • View Count 15237
Each year, drownings affect a wide swath of outdoor users, from people swimming in lakes and rivers, standing on docks and wading in rivers to warm-weather anglers, ice anglers and boaters. As hotter summers push more Iowans toward water, drownings can increase. Luckily, many of these deaths are preventable.
7 Things To Do in Iowa's Outdoors This Week

7 Things To Do in Iowa's Outdoors This Week

  • 6/26/2015 4:21:00 AM
  • View Count 2204
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:
Leave It As You Found It: 6 Camping Tips

Leave It As You Found It: 6 Camping Tips

  • 6/26/2015 3:47:00 AM
  • View Count 8026
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.
Wildlife Rehabbers: What it Takes

Wildlife Rehabbers: What it Takes

  • 6/19/2015 11:07:00 AM
  • View Count 6681
A summer storm. A crack of lightning. A thick tree limb crashes to the ground. From a cavity, once 20 feet above ground, high pitched “chirring” and scratching can be heard. A couple whiskered noses poke out, just ahead of the oh-so-familiar black masks. A litter of raccoons is displaced. Now what?
Paddle Up To These Secluded Campsites

Paddle Up To These Secluded Campsites

  • 6/19/2015 11:02:00 AM
  • View Count 41638
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.
Learn How to Fish By Depth

Learn How to Fish By Depth

  • 6/19/2015 9:09:00 AM
  • View Count 83210
Ever wonder why you're not catching a certain fish? You might be trying at the wrong time of day at the wrong depth. Check out our infographic below to make the right call.
Father's Day Fishing Coupons

Father's Day Fishing Coupons

  • 6/17/2015 4:11:00 AM
  • View Count 2883
Print off these fishing coupons for a quick, easy and fun gift for Dad this Father's Day! (Be sure, though, that Dad has his fishing license before he goes.)
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 9:51:00 AM
  • View Count 4455
“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.
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