We couldn’t stop at just six awesome winter hikes - here are five more Iowa State Parks that offer awesome winter experiences from hikes and beyond.
Green Valley State Park
A popular all-season park in Creston, Green Valley park staff make sure to keep paved trails clear for walking even during the winter. Green Valley Lake is a well-known spot for ice fishing (always check ice conditions first) and a grass trail, ideal for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, goes along the west side of the lake. The park has 3.5 miles of paved trails and 6 miles of grass trails for any exercise level.
Springbrook State Park
Head to Springbrook to view wildlife while snowshoeing or skiing across the park. Twelve miles of trail through rolling timber encourage visitors to keep their eyes out for whitetail deer, eagles, turkey, fox and other woodland wildlife. A few trails lead to small ponds, the Middle Raccoon River and the park’s 17-acre lake. On four miles of special designated snowmobile trails, visitors can ride over snow-covered prairie. The park is located at the end of the Des Moines glacial lobe, which created a beautiful carving out of an otherwise agricultural setting.
Lake Macbride State Park
Head to Solon for miles and miles of multi-use trails at Lake Macbride - seven miles, to be precise. Trails take you winding around the lake through hickory forest on snowshoes and skis and even snowmobiles on designated paths.
Pine Lake State Park
Trails in Pine Lake State Park take visitors all over, from a paved 2.5 mile trail to Eldora, along the bluffs of the Iowa River and through forest ecosystems. The Pine Lake bike trail is perfect for hiking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, offering an excellent sighting of the lake. Ski down the Wildcat Trail to see the Iowa River and possibly glimpse some winter wildlife. Consider spending the night in a cozy cabin with a full kitchen, bath and heating - including stone fireplaces and outdoor fire rings.
Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area
Pleasant Creek is an ideal spot for year-round activities. A 9-mile multi-use trail for hiking, snowmobiling or cross-country skiing surrounds the 410-acre lake. Several different access points make it easy for visitors to decide their comfort levels and how long they’d like to hike. The lake is a popular spot for ice fishing, with common catches including panfish and walleye. Pleasant Creek is a state recreation area, so it is open to hiking, hunting and trapping - be aware of any open hunting or trapping seasons and consider wearing safety orange.
For more outdoor adventure ideas, follow us on Pinterest and subscribe to Iowa Outdoors magazine.