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Terry Trueblood Recreation Area Offers a Welcome Natural Oasis in Iowa City
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Terry Trueblood Recreation Area Offers a Welcome Natural Oasis in Iowa City

On a recent visit to the Iowa City area, I went for a leisurely stroll at the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area on the southern perimeter of Iowa City near the growing town of Hills. On a beautiful fall day in the a.m., it was bustling with runners, walkers, and bikers, and some nature-lovers just on the water’s edge taking in the morning sun bouncing off the ripples of Sand Lake. Having lived for a time in Iowa City, this wasn’t my first visit, and I was reminded of what a lovely, family-friendly area this is. Indeed, there were families with kids there that morning, reveling in each other’s company and working up a bit of a sweat as well. With a 1.9-mile paved trail loop, it is a favorite spot for many to catch a little fresh air while getting in a little cardio. Your furry friends are also welcome to come along, so you can make sure the four-legged family members make the trip with you.

In the summer, Sand Lake comes alive with a variety of fun on the water. In 2013, Fin & Feather, a local outdoor outfitter, opened Fin & Feather H2O at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area. This satellite shop offers kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards and pedal cruisers for rental. This is such a convenient way to explore and enjoy Sand Lake. They also provide life jackets to ensure safety for the whole family. After a couple hours on the water, you may work up an appetite, so they offer some food and beverages as well.

In the winter, the snow-covered surfaces provide a peaceful place to drag out the snowshoes and enjoy the view of the ice-encased lake. You might prefer to cross-country ski. If the ice on the lake gets thick enough, you can venture a little ice skating beneath the moonlight. With the right boots, you can still explore the outdoor oasis the old-fashioned way with an invigorating hike along the edge of the lake. If you enjoy dropping a line, ice fishing on Sand Lake may be your preferred winter activity.

Of course, while there are vibrant colors in autumn as the leaves change, in the spring, everything is bursting back to life. You might want to bring the family out for a bike ride around the loop or perhaps a solo walk to truly appreciate the season of rebirth. You could even take advantage of the many picnic areas at various, well-maintained locations and enjoy a lakeside lunch in the late-spring air.

Terry Trueblood Recreation Area is also a key place for community events. I know that various charity run/walks have been hosted here, proving its essential worth to the citizens of Iowa City and beyond. It’s a conveniently located and welcoming place for lifelong residents and those just passing through to appreciate the expansive beauty of Iowa and the outdoor adventure opportunities offered here.   

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