Recreational Areas

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Boone County Conservation offers many areas to get out and enjoy nature.  Below you will find a list of the eight Boone County Conservation recreational areas and what they have to offer.

Don Williams Lake

 Don Williams Lake

Don Williams is a recreational haven for the county of Boone.  This 600-acre park allows us to offer a wide variety of recreation including: camping, boating, fishing, golfing, hiking, playgrounds, swimming, and much more.

More Details and a Map

For more information about this park:

Swede Point Park

 Swede Point Park

Boone County’s best kept secret is out!  This 128-acre little gem is located just west of Madrid, off of Highway 210.  This small park offers: camping, hiking, picnicking, playgrounds, and more.

More Details and a Map

For more information about this park:

High Trestle Trail 

High Trestle Trail Bridge

Imagine riding your bike or walking across the Des Moines River Valley on one of the longest and highest pedestrian bridges in the world.  This new attaction to Boone County offers nearly 10 miles of concrete trail for recreational use by pedestrians, bicyclists, nature enthusiasts, cross-country skiers, and equestrian riders as well.  Pleae Note: Horses are not allowed on the bridge. 

More information about the High Trestle Trail

Jay Carlson Wildlife Area

The Jay Carlson Wildlife area is located between Boone and Ogden off of old Highway 30.  At this area you will find a sand prairie, fishing pond, and public hunting.

Map to find this Area

Mabaska

Mabaska means “swan” in Native American language and you will find a pair of Trumpeter Swans at this pond. Mabaska is 17 acres in size and is located just west of Ames between new Highway 30 and old Highway 30.  Fishing and Hunting are prohibited in this area.

Map to find this Area

Buffalo Grove

Buffalo Grove Sign

Buffalo Grove offers 127 acres of prairie and woodlands with Beaver creek passing through the wildlife area.  Recreational opportunities include wildlife viewing, fishing, and public hunting.

Map to find this area

Rhoades Acres

Intended for public hunting, Rhoades Acres is two strips of land consisting of 160 acres of native grasses and woodlands.  This wildlife area is located north of Pilot Mound on the Des Moines River flood plain.  Parking is limited to the road.

Map to find this area

Dickcissel Park

Dickcisssel is located at the intersection of Highway 30 and Highway 17.  This small 38-acre park is a good fishing, picnicking and wildlife viewing location.  NOTICE: Because of a carp problem, during the spring of 2015, Dickcissel Lake underwent a fish renovation project.  All fish were eliminated and the lake was restocked with largemouth bass and yellow perch.  Funding for this project came from a State Fish Habitat Grant.   

Map to find this Area

Des Moines River Water Trail

Water Trail Sign

The Boone County portion of the Des Moines River was designated as a state watertrail in the fall of 2009. Being a state watertrail, there are signs pointing you to the launch sites, informational kiosks, and signs along the bridges. There are approximately 38 river miles with 8 boat ramps making the Des Moines River a perfect place to canoe, kayak, boat, or float down. It’s a great place to fish, view wildlife, and relax. RIVER USERS BEWARE OF THE DAMS NEAR FRASIER AND BOONE WATERWORKS!!!

Map of Des Moines River Water Trail

Grant's Woods

In the winter of 2013 Harold Grant of Madrid graciously donated his nearly 28 acre property to the Boone County Conservation Board.  Portions of this newest addition to the Conservation Board are adjacent to the High Trestle Trail near the bridge.  Currently parking is available on this property.  A wildlife viewing blind has been constructed and is available for public use.  Trail construction is also underway which will allow access from the parking area to the High Trestle Trail without walking on the road.  Look for more to come on potential conservation and recreational opportunities that will be available. 

Map to find this area

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