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:
Monday, June 29 Grab a pail and start imagining raspberry shortcake, ice cream with raspberries, raspberry pie…if you can get them all home without eating them first. Wild raspberries should be ready for picking, but be sure to go along with an experienced berry expert or wild edibles expert the first few times to make sure you have your ID skills down. You can remove mushrooms, berries and nuts from public lands unless posted otherwise, but it’s always a good idea to ask first.
Tuesday, June 30 What better way to beat the heat of July than by heading up to the cool streams of Iowa’s trout country in northeast Iowa? Today, we’ll be stocking Bailey’s Ford, Richmond Springs, Sny Magill, Grannis Creek and Patterson Creek (can’t make it on Tuesday? Here’s the full stocking schedule and maps). Make sure you have your fishing license and trout fee, of course.
Wednesday, July 1 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? In geocaching, a container (or “cache”) is hidden in a public area with its coordinates posted on the Internet. Then, using a handheld global positioning system (GPS) device or smartphone app, you locate the cache, and sign the log book inside. Often, you can take a little prize from the cache and replace it with a trinket of your own. Here are some tips to get started on your own Iowa scavenger hunt, or attend a geocaching class offered by Polk County Conservation from 1 to 3 p.m. at Thomas Mitchell Park.
Thursday, July 2 If you think whitewater kayaking is only a Colorado thing, then you’ve clearly never been to Charles City. Experience the whitewater course on the Cedar River right off of Main Street in a kayak or a tube, and then stick around for the town’s annual Fourth of July Festival this weekend with food, live music, parade and fireworks. If Manchester’s more in your neck of the woods, a new whitewater park just opened there, too.
Friday, July 3 Watch the Clear Lake Yacht Club set sail with races on Clear Lake today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More info on the races is available on the club’s website, and you’ll want to head into town for the annual Fourth of July festival with fireworks over the lake on Saturday. Also check out the latest issue of Iowa Outdoors magazine (the cover image is the sailboat in our Facebook post) for a full story on regattas and sailing in Iowa.
Saturday, July 4 Get the kids to Lake Icaria near Corning for the 4th of July Youth Fishing Clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where they can learn about basic spin casting instruction, fish identification, fishing regulations, cleaning/cooking fish and water safety.
Sunday, July 5 Explore the beauty of Hardin County on two wheels on a 24-mile round-trip from Iowa Falls to Alden. Registration ($5 suggested donation) begins at 1 p.m. at Spoken Wheel Cyclery and tour leaves at 2 p.m.
For more ideas, explore Iowa State Parks on the web or on Pinterest, and check out our Take It Outside and We Love Summer in Iowa Pinterest boards, too.