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See Where an Iowa Glacier Was During Hike the Wild in Okoboji
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See Where an Iowa Glacier Was During Hike the Wild in Okoboji

Come inside the Dickinson County Nature Center and you can walk on a pretend fen, climb a miniature glacial kame, see a model of a kettle hole and traverse a faux esker.

But join us on our next several Hike the Wild treks and you can actually visit these places in Dickinson County.

“We enjoy doing our glacial landmark tour with our students, and we thought it would be fun to do it with an older crowd and spend more time at these sites,” said Bryanna Kuhlman, environmental education coordinator with the Dickinson County Conservation Board.

For each Hike the Wild, we'll meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji and then caravan to that month’s hiking site.

The June 26 event will take the public to Cayler Prairie to explore the fertile soil left behind by the Des Moines Lobe of the Wisconsin Glacier.

“Cayler Prairie has been known to have more than 40 species of butterflies, and Dickinson County only has about 70 species total,” Kuhlman said. “Plus, it’s on the register of historical natural landmarks because it’s virgin prairie, and that’s exciting.”

The June hike will be medium difficulty, as Cayler Prairie has long grass and no defined trails. Be prepared to walk on uneven terrain.

Hikers will then get to visit the Silver Lake Fen during the July 24 program.

“It’s going to be more of a site visit. We will talk about fens as an ecosystem, explore the flarks --- the puddles within a fen --- and the ground and talk about how the fen was formed,” Kuhlman said. “I really enjoy the flarks. I also enjoy that they do have some wetland plant species they don’t have everywhere, like lady slipper orchids.”

The glacial tour will head to Kettleson Hogsback on Aug. 28 to explore the Sunken Lake kettle hole and the esker that runs through the park. An esker is a long, winding ridge that was created by an under-glacial river.

The Sept. 25 event will be held at the Freda Haffner Kettlehole, and the Oct. 23 program will explore the Ocheyedan Mound, which is a glacial kame.

Kuhlman and naturalist Ashley Hansen are excited to teach people about the glacial history in the region.

“They may have been to these areas several times but maybe didn’t know how the landform came to be,” Kuhlman said. “I hope they get to see natural areas and enjoy them for what they are and learn how they came to be.”

To see the year’s Hike the Wild program schedule as well as the schedule of other free Dickinson County Conservation Board programs, visit our website. There, you can also learn more about glacial landmarks, or stop by the Dickinson County Nature Center to explore the new interactive glacial landmark tour exhibit.

The nature center is located at 2279 170th St., Okoboji, and is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

Image credit: Dickinson County Conservation

Leave a Comment

  1. Siouxland Families Blog
    Siouxland Families Blog
    This sounds like such a cool series of hikes! I need to go look up what a fen is though.
    Log in to reply.
  2. Patrick Muller
    These sound like great adventures. I hope many people take advantage of them and see the wonders in their own backyards.
    Log in to reply.
  3. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    We just love the fascinating Iowa programming coming out of Dickinson County! Thanks for the post!
    Log in to reply.


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