Baird Timber is an 18 acre tract of forest located five miles south of Wapello (or three miles northeast of Morning Sun). It was acquired by the Conservation Board on July 6th, 1983 and since its acquisition has been managed for wildlife habitat and timber improvement. Baird Timber is a great site for mushroom hunting, berry-picking, nature study, and hunting. Parking is available in a small parking lot at the entrance, located at 2851 K Avenue (52653).
Acquired on August 1st, 1973, Cappy Russell Access is located on the Iowa River, approximately one half mile west of the town of Oakville. Although six acres in size, Cappy Russell is maintained mostly as an access to the Iowa River with a boat ramp. In addition to the boat ramp however, a grill is available for use by picnickers. The entrance and parking lot for Cappy Russell is located at 6444 West City Road (County Road X-71) (52646).
Flaming Prairie Park, located approximately five miles east of the town of Grandview (or approximately 15 miles south from the city of Muscatine), was acquired by the Conservation Board on September 26th, 1978 and is 72 acres in size. Flaming Prairie Park is currently managed for recreational use and wildlife habitat, including many non-game species of wildlife. Hunting is not permitted. Recreational opportunities at Flaming Prairie include camping, picnicking, fishing, and nature study. Both hand-pumped water and electricity are available for campers and picnickers. Campers can use one of the 5 primitive campsites in the wooded north campground, or 17 50/30/20 amp electric sites in the south campground, both campgrounds have fire rings/grills and latrines. Pressurized water is available in the south campground and adjoining picnic area only. Camping fees at Flaming Prairie are $12 per site per night. While the campground is open year round, please note that the water is turned off during the winter.
Picnickers can choose from one of the two picnic shelters at the park or one of the three grills and many picnic tables. The shelters can also be reserved by contacting the Conservation Board at (319)-523-8381. In addition to the shelters, the picnic area has a natural playground with boulders, logs, stumps, sand and gravel. Fishermen and boaters can obtain access to the Mississippi River by use of the boat ramp at Flaming Prairie, while those involved in nature study will appreciate the shallow wetland, savanna, and wet prairie habitat that exists throughout the park. The entrance to Flaming Prairie Park is located at 14624 County Road X-61 (52761), during times of high water, this entrance is closed.
NOTE: Parts of Flaming Prairie Park are under water when the Mississippi River level is high and at those times access to the park is restricted to Conservation Board employees only - check the Home page for closure information!
Acquired by the Conservation Board on October 5th, 1989, the Highway 61 Access is located approximately two miles north of Wapello on US Highway 61. The Highway 61 Access is currently maintained as a river access for fishing, which is the primary recreational activity for this area, no boat ramp exists at this access, however a parking lot is provided. Although there is no boat ramp, small boats such as canoes may be physically put in at this access. Highway 61 Access is located at 10726 US Highway 61 (52653), which is on the east side of the highway, immediately south of the bridge over the Iowa River.
Located next to the town of Fredonia, this five acre park was acquired by the Conservation Board on August 1st, 1973. The River Forks Access is currently managed as a river access for fishing and boating, and as a picnic area. Amenities at the River Forks Access include a large parking lot, with space enough for several vehicles with boat trailers, a boat ramp, a mowed picnic area, and a grill for use by picnickers. Although not intensively managed for wildlife, visitors will notice that an ample amount of floodplain vegetation surrounds the park to the south and east, providing cover for a variety of small animals. The entrance to River Forks Access is located at 1001 Main Street (52738), just outside the city limits of Fredonia. Due to its proximity to the junction of the Iowa and Cedar Rivers, this park is subject to occasionally flooding, at which times it is closed to the public.
Snively Access Campground
9426 County Road X-61, Wapello
Located on Lake Odessa, this 6-acre campground has 32 camping sites, 31 of which have access to electricity, and each is equipped with a picnic table and fire ring/grill. The electric sites have 50/30/20 amp service, views of the water and are $12/night. The tent only site is $12/night The area is also equipped with a latrine and several water pumps. Day use of the area for picnicking and fishing is also allowed.
This archeological site, located approximately 10 miles southeast of Wapello, next to the town of Toolesboro, contains some of the best-preserved remnants of the Hopewell culture of Native Americans. Management of this area began on May 19th, 1990 after an agreement with the State Historical Society of Iowa. This five acre site is managed for the preservation and exhibition of the unique cultural history found there and has two well preserved Indian mounds, a visitor center/museum, a mowed picnic area, and a small prairie reconstruction. The visitor center/museum is open Wednesday - Sunday from 12:30 to 4:30 P.M. from Memorial weekend through Labor Day, and 12:30 to 4:30 P.M, Sundays only from Labor Day to October 31st. The visitor center is also open by appointment for groups, contact the Conservation Board at (319)-523-8381 or at email@example.com. Admission to the visitor center is free. For more information about this park go to the State Historical Society website. The Toolesboro Indian Mounds and Museum is located at 6568 Toolesboro Road (52653) in the town of Toolesboro, which is located on State Highway 99.
Virginia Grove Recreation Area was acquired by the Louisa County Conservation Board in several sections, beginning on January 7th, 1975. Presently Virginia Grove is composed of three sections encompassing 106 acres. The most recent acquisition is Baird Grove, which consists of approximately 20 acres of forest and is located along Q Avenue. There is parking available in a lot at the entrance on Q Avenue, in addition a hiking trail begins and then returns to the lot making a loop through the area. Hiking, hunting, mushroom hunting, berry-picking, and nature study are activities that can be pursued at Baird Grove. Please note that although considered part of the Virginia Grove Recreation Area, Baird Grove currently does not connect with the main recreation area at this time.
The main section of Virginia Grove consists of 86 acres and is managed for multi-use recreation, including hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, picnicking, nature study, and similar uses. Campers may stay at one of the 11 campsites at the shaded campground at Virginia Grove, all of which have 50/30/20 amp electrical hookups. The cost of camping at Virginia Grove is $12 per night per site. Picnickers will find a large mowed picnic grounds or two shelters available for use, in addition to several grills and picnic tables in the area. The shelters can be reserved by contacting the Conservation Board at (319)-523-8381. A latrine, pressurized water, and and a large playground are also available at Virginia Grove. There is also a five acre pond at Virginia Grove, equipped with a handicap accessible dock, that makes a great place for fishing. History buffs will enjoy seeing the restored country school house on the grounds, while nature enthusiasts will be able to see both forest and prairie habitats throughout the area.
The main section of Virginia Grove Recreation Area is located on 55th Street, between Q Avenue and R Avenue. There are two entrances along 55th Street, the eastern entrance, which is located at 20406 55th Street (52640), provides access to a parking lot, the campground, the restroom facilities, the playground, and the old schoolhouse. The western entrance provides entrance to another lot and its accompanying picnic shelter, as well as two additional lots next to the pond, one of which is for handicap use only to provide access to the handicap accessible dock.
Management of the Wykert's Landing access was taken over by the Louisa County Conservation Board from the United States Army Corps of Engineers on March 2nd, 2002 through an agreement with the Corps. The small half acre landing is located on the shore of the Mississippi River, boaters can find easy access to the Mississippi from the landing's boat ramp, while fisherman can fish the river along the landing's shoreline. Please note, that since Wykert's Landing is located on the river side of the levee, the area is prone to flooding and may not be accessible during certain times of the year. Wykert's Landing is located at 1714 20th Street (52646).
This 146 acre parcel was donated to Louisa County Conservation in the will of Donna Eden of rural Columbus Junction. Mrs. Eden passed away in November of 2010 and left her land to be used as a public park. Most of the farm is currently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The rolling topography includes grasslands, wetlands, two creeks and forests. Watch for a grand opening in the Spring of 2013 after signs are installed and a parking lot is created. At this time hunting is not allowed, although the area is open to the public for bird watching and nature enjoyment.