Thinking of spring? With warm temperatures finally arriving, I’m ready to put on my walking shoes and get outside and enjoy the sun! One of my favorite places to walk is the Decorah Community Prairie along the Upper Iowa River in Winneshiek County. Soon the snow will be melted and the warm air will be begging to get outside and enjoy the weather with your favorite walking partner. The trail is a great place to bring your dog or your elderly friend in a wheelchair since some of the trails are paved. From spring to fall, there are new blooms of a variety of wildflowers to enjoy.
The Community Prairie has 34 acres which includes community vegetable gardens. The location is wonderful, just across the dike from Aase Haugen Home in Decorah, where many residents enjoy using the prairie.
The reconstruction of the prairie and butterfly garden began planting in the floodplain of the Upper Iowa River in 2001 and continued in 2002 and now covers 36 acres. Through the acres of prairie, there are mowed walkways with bird houses along the way gives you a chance to see different wildlife as you wander through the prairie. Sometimes I even spot a deer or two and watch animals along the river.
There limestone boulders, which are native to the bluffs of the Upper Iowa River placed in a semi-circle to provide seating for educational events, that make a great place to sit and enjoy the sun. to get another view of the prairie, go to Phelps City Park where you can see a panoramic vista of the prairie. There is also a large canopy for shade with picnic tables by the butterfly garden in case you need a rest since the prairie thrives in full sun.
Put on your walking shoes and explore all that nature right here in Northeast Iowa. You won’t be disappointed, and soon the butterflies will be fluttering around you and your pet as you both take in some exercise in a beautiful environment. You will also want to bring your camera because throughout the growing seasons there are new native plants in bloom.