Sparkling Winter Activities at County Parks!

So, the kids are out of school for the holidays and perhaps you have house guests for a couple of days – hmmmmm, what is there to do out of the house for a couple of hours?? A visit to one of your local county parks may have just the answer! From an overnight Winter Nature Camp in Jackson County; to winter day camps and rocketing down a tubing hill in Plymouth County; to sleigh rides and snowman building contests in Polk county – Iowa’s County Park system may solve your “what to do this winter break” dilemma – right in your own back yard!


Some of your best family memories for the 2013 holiday season may be created while actually keeping your mind and bodies active with some winter hiking, snow-shoeing or cross country skiing. There’s always something to do at Clinton County’s Mississippi River Eco Tourism Center in Rock Creek Park – rent some ice skates or cross country skis, or warm up with some hot chocolate while watching the fish frolic in their 8,000 gallon aquarium. Hundreds of ponds and river/reservoir backwaters across the state provide excellent ice-fishing opportunities, and numerous county conservation areas participate in snowmobile trail networks.

A visit to will connect you with all 99 county conservation boards – which will further link you up with additional local websites, Facebook pages and other information ……leading you to great outdoor adventures! Many of the county parks provide winter outdoor recreation opportunities such as winter hiking trails, downhill sledding, X-country ski trails and winter camping venues. (Pictured Below:


Take in an extra day or two with your family during the holidays in a rustic or luxurious cabin at one of numerous county parks that offer these year-round facilities. Don’t forget that the winter months also provide us some of the best wildlife watching as the absence of leaves and other foliage open up larger vistas for critter viewing! What’s not to like about catching a glimpse of bald eagles fishing on open water at any one of numerous scenic locations! (Below Photo Shared from Facebook).


Iowa’s County Parks – just waiting to provide you with your next great outdoor adventure!

Tom Hazelton, CEO at Iowa’s County Conservation System

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