Parks & Wildlife Areas

The WCCB invites you to visit any of our county-managed areas!
Our areas offer hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and bird watching opportunities,
as well as many other activities. 
If you have any questions about any of our areas, please feel free to contact us!

(Maps of each of our areas will be coming soon!)

Before visiting our areas, please keep the following in mind...

--Please report any fish and wildlife violations you observe to the Turn in Poachers (TIP) Program by calling 1-800-532-2020. You can provide as much information as possible while remaining anonymous. A conservation officer will be dispatched to investigate.

--Please try to use non-lead ammunition when hunting on WCCB areas. We've had Trumpeter Swans die from lead shot poisoning, so the problem is real. For more information about hunting with non-lead ammo, check out huntingwithnonlead.org. Please consider using non-lead fishing tackle, as well, for the same reason. For more information about non-lead tackle, check out the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's web site.

--In response to the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer, the WCCB has banned bringing firewood into our county parks and wildlife areas from outside Winnebago County. Please purchase your firewood locally to help curb the spread of this invasive insect. 

Ambroson Recreation Area (119 acres)*

     3035 Highway 9, Leland--Located 3 miles north of Forest City on Highway 69
     (N43°19.676'/ W93°38.488'--west entrance)
     (N43°19.302'/W93°38.228'--east entrance)

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting
Fishing - Lake (32 acres)/ River 
Boating Allowed - Canoeing / Electric Motors Only 
Picnicking - Picnic Tables / Grills / Open Shelter
Water - Drinking Water
Special Notes  - Playground 

Formerly a rest area, this multi-use complex now contains a mixture of uplands and wetlands, providing excellent wildlife habitat. Located along the Winnebago River, and containing 21 acres of ponds, this area is especially popular for fishing. Fish include northern pike, largemouth bass, catfish, and bluegills. The area also serves as an access point for the Winnebago River Water Trail.

Bolstad Wildlife Area (20 acres)

     22920 470th Street, Lake Mills--Located 1 mile north of Lake Mills on R74
     (N43°26.792'/ W93°32.249') 

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Forest Hunting

Made up primarily of burr oak timber, and located adjacent to the Larson-Tweed Wildlife Area, this area is a popular location for turkey and deer hunting.

C.A. Block Wildlife Area (389 acres)*

     18405 420th Street, Leland--Located 2 miles north of Leland at the intersection of U.S. Hwy 69 & 9 
               (Includes the Farland and Blomster Tracts)

     (N43°22.269'/ W93°37.719'--north parking lot)
     (N43°22.094'/ W93°38.208'--west parking lot)

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting / Forest Hunting
Fishing - Stream / River
Special Notes -
 Geocache

Named after founding WCCB member Dr. Carroll Block, the area consists of restored prairie uplands and wetlands as well as Winnebago River bottoms. An abandoned railroad right-of-way containing native prairie cuts through the middle of the area. There are also several winter-cover food plots. This area is popular with hunters seeking waterfowl, upland birds, deer, and wild turkey.

Dahle Park (7 acres)*

21179 485th Street, Lake Mills--Located 4 miles northwest of Lake Mills on A16
(N43°27.992'/ W93°34.412')

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting / Forest Hunting
Fishing - Stream / River
Camping - Electric Sites (8 sites-$5/night) The campground will close for the season on Monday, October 15th.
Boating Allowed - Canoeing / Gas Motors Allowed
Picnicking - Picnic Tables / Grills / Open Shelter
Water - Drinking Water/ Pit Toilet
Special Notes - Playground, Geocache

Located along the Winnebago River, Dahle Park offers good fishing opportunities, especially for northern pike, in the river and in several adjacent ponds. Situated in a quiet oak timber, the park also provides camping with electricity and water. The park is also the northernmost access point for the Winnebago River Water Trail.

Dearing Tract (40 acres)

      3250 470th Street, Buffalo Center--Located 3 miles north of Buffalo Center on R20
     (N43°26.672'/ W93°55.615')

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting

This area contains a mix of uplands and wetlands, providing excellent wildlife habitat for pheasants, deer, and waterfowl. 

Florence Recreation Area and Trap Shooting Range (35 acres)

42435 60th Avenue, Thompson--Located 4 miles west of Thompson on Highway 9 and a half mile south
(N43°22.660'/ W93°51.133')

Hunting Allowed  - Upland Hunting
Fishing - Lake (3 acres) 
Boating Allowed - Canoeing / Electric Motors Only
Picnicking - Picnic Tables / Grills / Open Shelter
Special Note - Playground, Trap Shooting Range

With a renovated, 3-acre, spring-fed fishing pond, Florence provides anglers with a good opportunity to land bluegills, largemouth bass, and catfish. The area also contains a restored prairie and is popular with pheasant hunters and trap shooters.

Grant Wildlife Area (33 acres)

      34500 30th Avenue, Woden-- Located 9 1/2 miles south of Buffalo Center on R20
      (N43°15.736'/W93°54.710')

Hunting Allowed - Forest Hunting

This area was the first to be acquired by the Winnebago County Conservation Board. Today, this wooded 
area contains a mix of cottonwoods, willows, and red cedars, and is a popular spot for deer and squirrel 
hunting. A foot trail also meanders through the area.

Gruis Recreation Area (180 acres)

      2724 360th Street, Buffalo Center--Located 8 miles south of Buffalo Center on A42
      (N43°17.063'/W93°56.234')

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting (restricted)
Fishing - Lake (1 acre)
Water - Flush Toilets
Special Note - Golf Course / Restaurant

Willed to the Board in 1968 by Bert Gruis, this area contains a 9-hole public golf course, complete with a driving range and clubhouse. Some restricted hunting is allowed on the area. For more information, call 641-926-5393.

Hagen Prairie (7 acres)

        46380 212th Avenue, Lake Mills--Located between 212th Ave. and the railroad right-of-way
        (N43°26.172'/ W93°33.145')

Hunting Allowed
 - Upland Hunting

Native prairie containing over 70 varieties of wildflowers and grasses. Please no seed harvesting. 

Hanson Trail (9 miles)

     Located along and south of U.S. Hwy 9 between Golf Course Rd. in Forest City and 205th Ave.
     (N43°16.211'/W93°37.602'--west trailhead)

Trails - Hiking / Biking

Managed by the WCCB, this asphalt trail loops along Highway 9 and 340th Street, from Forest City to Pilot Knob State Park. It is popular with bicyclists, walkers, joggers, and roller bladers. No motorized vehicles area permitted.

Hogsback Wildlife Area and Target Shooting Range (120 acres)

        48050 210th Avenue, Lake Mills--Located 3 miles north of Lake Mills on A16
        (N43°27.597'/ W93°33.391')

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting / Forest Hunting 
Special Note - GeocacheGeocache, Target Shooting Range (RegulationsSafety Plan)

Thousands of years ago, the glaciers retreated from north Iowa, leaving bluffs, such as the one here, standing over adjacent marshlands. This area contains a mixed oak forest, as well as a nice mixture of woodland wildflowers and native grasses. The timbered areas are especially popular with deer, squirrel, and turkey hunters, and waterfowl hunters take advantage of the extensive wetlands at the foot of the bluff. Target shooters also enjoy the convenience of the target shooting range. (Please bring your own paper targets--downloadable from www.nssf.org/shooting/targets/--or use the free targets that are sometimes available at the range. Do not shoot at anything that is not a paper target. Also, no shotgun shooting is allowed at the 15 and 20-yard targets. Thank you!)

Hogsback Wildlife Area Annex (55 acres)*

        47501 205th Avenue, Lake Mills--Located 2 ½ miles NW of Lake Mills along 205th Ave.
        (N43°27.117'/ W93°34.119')

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting / Forest Hunting 
Fishing - Stream / River 

Adjacent to the Winnebago River, this area is the location of Stoney Fjord, a popular spot for spring northern pike fishing. Across the railroad to the south, the area continues with river bottom habitat and additional uplands. 

Holland Prairie and Youth Conservation Area (225 acres)*

           19260 420th Street, Leland--Located 2 miles north of Leland and 1/2 mile east of the north junction of 
Highways 9 and 69
           (N43°22.272'/W93°37.188'--west parking lot)
           (N43°22.299'/W93°36.715'--east parking lot)
           (N43°22.019'/W93°36.718'--south parking lot)

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting / Forest Hunting (Hunting is restricted to youth aged 15 and under and a permit is required. See information below.)
Fishing - Stream / River

This is the county's first ever hunting & wildlife area specifically for youth. It provides young people with theunique opportunity to have quality hunting and outdoor experiences by allowing only young hunters, aged 15 and under, to hunt the area, as long as they are accompanied by a licensed adult, 21 years and over. A free permit is required of the hunters and a permit application can be obtained here. The permit allows for one youth and one adult per hunting outing. No more than two permits will be issued simultaneously. 

The area is also open to youth for fishing, nature study, and other compatible uses, but no trapping is allowed on the area. Youth organizations are encouraged to utilize the area, as well. The idea is to encourage more young people to participate in outdoor recreational opportunities and to hopefully carry those experiences into adulthood.

Just submit a permit application to reserve a date for you and a youngster.

Jack Rabbit Slough (80 acres)

        14400 430th Street, Thompson--Located 2 1/2 miles east of Thompson, 1 mile north, and 1/4 mile 
east on 430th Street
        (N43°23.144'/W93°42.503')

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting

This area, purchased with grants from Pheasants Forever and the North American Wetland Conservation Act, contains restored wetlands and uplands. Hunters can enjoy hunting waterfowl, pheasants, and deer.

Jensen/Kvale Tract (143 acres)*

               19947 440th Street, Lake Mills (Jensen Tract)
               43000 190th Avenue, Lake Mills (Kvale Tract)--Located 3 miles west of Lake Mills at the intersection of 440th Street and 190th Avenue
               (N43°24.044'/W93°35.900'--Jensen north parking lot)
               (N43°23.174'/W93°35.827'--Kvale area)

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting / Forest Hunting 
Fishing - Stream / River 

Divided by the Winnebago River, which flows through the area, this tract contains restored prairie and wetlands, as well as a 5-acre woodlot. A winter-cover food plot usually is planted on the west side of the river. 

Lande River Conservation Area (421 acres)*

       20145 470th Street, Lake Mills--Located 2 1/2 miles west of Lake Mills on Highway 69, 1 1/2 miles north
       (N43°26.675'/ W93°34.635')
       (N43°26.530'/ W93°35.806'--west pond)

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting 
Fishing - Stream / River 
Boating Allowed - Canoeing / Gas Motors Allowed
Special Notes - Geocache, Geocache

Set in a natural floodplain of the Winnebago River, this area contains natural and restored wetlands, uplands, and fishing ponds. It was the site of a log cabin used by an early Winnebago County settler. The cabin can now be observed in its restored state at Heritage Park of North Iowa in Forest City. It also provides easy access to the Winnebago River Water Trail.

Larson-Tweed Wildlife Area (74 acres)

       47119 220th Avenue, Lake Mills--Located 1 mile north of Lake Mills on R74
       (N43°26.792'/W93°32.228')

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting / Forest Hunting
Special Note - Geocache

Like the Hogsback Wildlife Area, this area also contains a glacially-formed ridge. Situated in an oak- savanna setting, this wildlife area also consists of native and restored prairies, as well as wetlands, and is quite popular with deer and turkey hunters. 

Lenz-McCoy Wildlife Area (200 acres)

       36795 210th Avenue, Forest City (West Access)--Located 3 miles east of Forest City on Highway 9 and 1 1/2 miles north on 210th Avenue
       (N43°17.834'/W93°33.402'--west access on 210th Avenue) 
       (N43°17.730'/W93°32.276'--east access on 220th Avenue)

Hunting Allowed - Upland / Wetland Hunting

This area consists of uplands, wetlands, and mixed oak woods, providing good deer, turkey, and pheasant hunting.

Linden Township Cemetery (2 acres)

        38128 90th Avenue, Thompson--Located 4 1/2 miles south of Thompson on R34
        (N43°18.924'/W93°47.614')

Hunting Allowed
Special Note - Geocache
 

This small cemetery is a true "pioneer cemetery," providing the final resting places of some of Winnebago County's first residents. A sign at the cemetery lists the names of the pioneers known to be buried there. Although the cemetery dates back over 130 years, its management became the job of the Winnebago County Conservation Board in the 1990's. The Board took on the responsibility after "discovering" that the area was also an excellent example of a virgin prairie, containing an abundance of native grasses and wildflowers, untouched over the years.

Luke Rossiter Wildlife Area (51 acres)

        49265 70th Avenue, Thompson--Located 1 1/2 miles south of Thompson on R34, 3 miles west
        (N43°20.722'/W93°49.976')

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting

This area was acquired in 1987, using money from the sale of habitat stamps. It is an excellent example 
of what Winnebago County looked like when the first settlers arrived in the 1800's. It contains both native 
and restored wetlands and prairies and many deer. It is also a good area to see summer wildflowers.

Nieman Wildlife Area (80 acres)*

        35999 155th Avenue, Forest City--Located 3/4 miles west of Forest City on A42, 1 mile north
        (N43°17.078'/W93°39.937')

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting / Forest Hunting
Fishing - Stream / River 

Set along the Winnebago River, and adjacent to the Winnebago River Trail, this area is comprised of natural wetlands, prairies, and oak and willow woodlands. It was purchased with habitat stamp money, along with money donated by Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. In the fall, it becomes a popular waterfowl hunting area. 

Osmundson Slough (157 acres)

        12759 390th Street, Thompson--Located 3 miles south and 2 miles east of Thompson on 380th Street

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting

This scenic area contains eleven natural and restored wetlands, as well as native prairie and restored uplands. The mix of habitat makes for excellent waterfowl, pheasant, and deer hunting. It was purchased with Habitat Stamp and REAP money, as well as grants from Pheasants Forever and the North American Wetland Conservation Act. 

Quam Wildlife Area (200 acres)

        47811 30th Avenue, Rake--Located 1 mile south of Rake
        (N43°27.325'/ W93°53.532'--east parking lot)

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting

Quam contains a restored prairie and wetlands, as well as winter-cover food plots. This area is popular with upland bird and early-season waterfowl hunters. 

Rauk-Rasmussen Tract (188 acres)*

        37780 Highway 69, Forest City--Located 2 miles north of Forest City along Highway 69
        (N43°18.189'/ W93°39.400'--south access)

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting
Fishing - Stream / River 

The Winnebago River flows through this area. There is a restored prairie, as well as wetlands and some timber along the river. This area is popular with waterfowl, upland bird, and deer hunters. Winter-cover food plots grow on both sides of the river.

Russ Wildlife Area (100 acres)

        34222 100th Avenue, Forest City--Located 7 1/2 miles west of Forest City on B14, 1 1/2 miles north
        (N43°15.528'/W93°46.268')

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting 
Trails - Hiking / CX Skiing / Equestrian 
Special Notes Geocache

Lying just adjacent to the west side of Thorpe Park, the Russ Area is a fine example of past glacial activity in north central Iowa, containing a 40-acre march surrounded by rolling hills. Oak timber covers some of the hills, as do areas of natural and restored prairie grasses. A trail winds through the area, and an observation deck along the trail provides visitors with a panoramic view.

Tenold Tract (54 acres)*

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting 

This area lies just north of Dahle Park, along 3/4 mile of the meandering Winnebago River. The typical river bottom vegetation includes sedges, cattails, and bulrushes, along with native and cool season grasses. 


Thompson Roadside Prairie (8 acres)

        10809 Highway 9, Thompson--Located 1/2 mile north of Thompson on Highway 9
        (N43°23.050'/W93°46.491')

Formerly a rest area, this small parcel of land is now a restored prairie area and a Living Roadway Trust Fund "Gateway Project."

Thorpe Park (160 acres)

34496 110th Avenue, Forest City--Located 5 1/2 miles west of Forest City on "I"/345th Street
(N43°15.761'/ W93°45.219')

Hunting Allowed  - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting / Forest Hunting  (Hunting Restrictions--Deer and turkey hunting are not allowed in Thorpe Park. Waterfowl hunting is not allowed on Thorpe Park's Lake Catherine. See boundaries here.)
Fishing - Lake (15 acres) (2 fish structure locations: 43.257479 lat./ -93.75800200618323 long. & 43.257405 lat./-93.75824749574892 long.)
Camping - Electric Sites (13 sites-$12/night), Non-Electric Sites (2 sites-$8/night) The campground will close for the season on Monday, October 15th.
Boating Allowed  - Canoeing / Electric Motors Only
Picnicking - Picnic Tables / Grills / Open Shelter
Water - Drinking Water / Pit Toilets
Special Notes - Playground, GeocacheCabinNorthland Interpretive Nature Trail

This park houses the offices of the Winnebago County Conservation Board and is truly a "multiple use" area. It contains a wetland that is popular with waterfowl hunters in the fall, and 15-area Lake Catherine, which provides a quiet fishing spot year-round. Much of the park is made up of an oak-hickory savanna with numerous prairie areas. Trumpeter swans often nest at the park, and the area is also popular with family campers and picnickers. A rental cabin along the lake is open all year and provides an excellent getaway, as well! (Rates for the cabin are $57.75/weeknight and $73.50/Friday and Saturday night. Check the Home Page for available dates and reservation information.)

Thorpe Recreation Area (82 acres)

        12380 340th Street, Forest City--Located 5 1/2 miles west of Forest City on B14, 1 mile north
        (N43°15.334'/93°44.792'--east parking lot)
        (N43°15.330'/93°45.208'--west parking lot)

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting / Forest Hunting  

Lying adjacent to Thorpe Park, this area also contains an extensive oak-hickory savanna, an upland prairie, and a 30-acre wetland. Popular with bow-hunters, it is accessible from either the east side or from Thorpe Park on the west. 

Walker Prairie (29 acres)

       34135 220th Avenue, Forest City--Located 1 mile south of Highway 9 along 220th Avenue
       (N43*15.422'/W93*32.238')

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting / Forest Hunting(Hunting is restricted to archery only.)

This area was generously donated to the WCCB by the Charles Walker family so that it could be enjoyed by future generations. It contains a wonderful mix of wildlife habitat, including a small wetland, a restored prairie, and some mature hardwood trees. 

Winnebago County Farm Home (568 acres)

       22230 410th Street, Lake Mills--Located 4 miles south of 
Lake Mills on R72
       (N43°21.426'/ W93°33.422')

Hunting Allowed - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting (200 acres on the east side of the area are open to hunting and trapping only after most of the crops have been harvested in the fall. "Public Hunting" signs will be posted at that time.)

Gifted to Winnebago County in the 1930's, the farm is now enrolled in the Wetland Reserve Program. Its rolling hills have been restored to prairie and its bottomlands now contain wetlands. Upland bird, deer, and waterfowl hunters use the area in the fall. (NOTE: The area north of 410th St. is designated as a Canada Goose Refuge.)

Winnebago River Recreation Area (47 acres)*

        40500 175th Avenue, Leland-- Located 1/2 mile east of Leland on A38, 1/2 mile north
        (N43°20.984'/ W93°37.325')

Hunting Allowed
 - Upland Hunting / Wetland Hunting / Forest Hunting
Fishing - Stream / River
Special Note - Geocache

This area provides a canoe access to the Winnebago River, and also contains a natural marsh and an upland timber area. 

Winnebago River Water Trail (27 miles)*

       North access is at Dahle Park, while the south access is at Pammel Park in Forest City. Additional accesses are located at the Lande River Conservation Area and at the Ambroson Recreation Area.     
Fishing - Stream / River
Boating Allowed  - Canoeing
See specific accesses for other amenities.

This is one of Iowa's newest designated water trails! Put in at Dahle Park, the Lande River Conservation Area, or the Ambroson Recreation Area and enjoy a leisurely float down the river! What will you see along the way? Check out the official trail kiosk here! And, for a handy brochure to take with you on the trail, click here.

An asterisk (*) denotes an area that is part of the Winnebago River Greenbelt.